Continuing Judicial Skills (CJS) in Domestic Violence Cases

The Continuing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases (CJS) Program is designed specifically for judges and judicial officers who have successfully completed the Enhancing Judicial Skills (EJS) in Domestic Violence Cases Workshop or a similar intensive, foundational program. The CJS program addresses judges’ specific court assignments at a more advanced level and introduces new topics of special interest.

The CJS Program features four 1.5-day court assignment courses and four 1-day special topic courses.

Court Assignment Courses

Court Assignment Courses are designed as highly interactive small group seminars of 15 – 20 participants focused exclusively on one court duty assignment.

Criminal–Participants will be better able to:
  • Set bail, establish conditions of release, and structure sentences that reduce risk, promote victim safety and autonomy, and minimize economic deprivation, while accounting for collateral consequences.
  • Rule on pretrial motions to exclude evidence post-Crawford.
  • Manage the legal implications of victim recantation.
  • Create effective on-going structures for maximizing compliance with post-disposition controls.
Civil (Protection Order)–Participants will be better able to:
  • Use risk and danger assessment tools when rendering decisions in domestic violence cases.
  • Apply an understanding of domestic violence when issuing economic relief on behalf of victims and their children.
  • Manage cases involving pro se litigants and recognize the ability to promote a pro se litigant’s access to justice within the ethical constraints as a judge.
  • Identify the wide range of enforcement mechanisms available to ensure compliance with protection orders, including civil and criminal contempt proceedings.
Family–Participants will be better able to:
  • Evaluate whether domestic violence cases are appropriate for ADR processes in family courts, and, if so, develop safeguards to use in those cases.
  • Promote safety and accountability in all family court related interventions, such as custody evaluations and assignment of parenting coordinators, GAL's, parenting education, supervised visitation, and arbitrators.
  • Craft effective parenting orders to match unique family circumstances and needs.
  • Determine the appropriate role of the family court to monitor and review custody/parenting decisions.
Rural–Participants will be better able to:
  • Identify physical, attitudinal, and systemic barriers that limit a victim’s access to justice.
  • Coordinate existing resources and influence the development of new resources in domestic violence cases.
  • Assess the lethality risk associated with access to firearms and apply state and federal laws despite competing cultural pressures in rural and tribal communities.
  • Manage and resolve domestic violence cases safely and effectively despite the challenges appurtenant to life in rural communities.
  • Develop a leadership philosophy to address the social, political, and cultural realities unique to the role of a rural judge.

Special Topic Courses

Special Topic Courses are designed as seminars of 15 - 20 judges to address specific challenges in new or emerging complex topics facing the courts.

Interstate & International Custody–Participants will be better able to:
  • Analyze how and why domestic violence is relevant to adjudicating interstate and international custody disputes.
  • Develop and promote practices and tools to resolve interstate and international custody disputes efficiently and safely.
  • Determine when the court is authorized to take jurisdiction over an interstate custody case and how best to exercise any discretion it may have when domestic violence is present.
  • Identify and access resources to help meet the judicial challenges presented by interstate and international disputes.
Immigration & Trafficking–Participants will be better able to:
  • Identify “red flags” that suggest the presence of immigration and trafficking.
  • Assess the immigration implications of civil protection orders and criminal convictions.
  • Assess the immigration implications of civil protection orders and criminal convictions.
  • Craft civil dispositions that enhance victim safety and autonomy while considering collateral consequences.
  • Document facts in state court proceedings to preserve the victim’s immigration remedies.
Effective Batterer Accountability–Participants will be better able to:
  • Tailor interventions and orders to the unique circumstances and needs of the parties.
  • Identify the various batterer intervention programs and other forms of intervention.
  • Establish program standards and develop effective oversight procedures.
  • Facilitate community collaboration to enhance batterer accountability. Interstate & International Custody–Participants will be better able to:
  • Analyze how and why domestic violence is relevant to adjudicating interstate and international custody disputes.
  • Develop and promote practices and tools to resolve interstate and international custody disputes efficiently and safely.
  • Determine when the court is authorized to take jurisdiction over an interstate custody case and how best to exercise any discretion it may have when domestic violence is present.
  • Identify and access resources to help meet the judicial challenges presented by interstate and international disputes.
Supervised Visitation–Participants will be better able to:
  • Identify factual, legal, procedural, and resource issues in cases involving domestic violence, custody, and visitation.
  • I Assess the efficacy of various custodial and visitation arrangements in light of domestic violence.
  • Analyze how to balance parental access with victim and child safety.
  • Determine appropriate batterers treatment/intervention for violent men who have access to supervised visitation/safe exchange.

Eligibility and Costs

The CJS Program is open to all state and tribal court judges and judicial officers who have attended the EJS workshop or a similar foundational program on domestic violence and the courts. To maintain the highly interactive, seminar format each course is limited to 20 judges.

The education program is provided free of charge. An activity fee will offset expenses that cannot be financed with OVW grant funds.

Some courts might cover their judges' travel and per diem expenses. All participants are responsible for their own travel and per diem expenses if they cannot obtain funding from another source.

Upcoming CJS Programs

June 26-28, 2014, Chicago, IL (approval pending)

CJS Application and Attendance

For additional information, including registration/application materials, click on the web link to be directed to the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence website www.njidv.org/ or contact Brianne Smith with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, bsmith@ncjfcj.org or 775-784-1559. Limited scholarship assistance for travel expenses might be available.

Judges who are accepted for admission to the CJS Programs are required to attend all education sessions. Otherwise, program partners will be unable to certify program participation, which might impact reimbursement for travel expenses.

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