KidSide Newsletter March 2022
What About the Kids? Domestic Violence and the Effects on Babies and Children
by Judge Carroll Kelly, 11th Judicial Circuit
Every day, our courts address domestic violence issues involving individuals who are parents. What happens to the children who are exposed to domestic violence? They are more than just innocent witnesses. They are victims of child abuse. Child abuse includes not only direct physical abuse, but also emotional abuse, and exposure to domestic violence. Child abuse is defined in Chapter 39.01, Florida Statutes, as: Abuse means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental or sexual abuse, injury, or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired.
Domestic Violence Court: A Primer
by Judge D. J. Cannava, 11th Judicial Circuit
Miami-Dade County, Florida is the eighth largest county in the United States, has close to 3,000,000 diverse residents and spans 2,400 square miles including a large unincorporated area and 36 municipalities. The Miami-Dade County Domestic Violence Court (“DVC”) had been in existence for over 25 years and is responsible for serving the needs of the fastest growing and most populated county in Florida. DVC has a dedicated domestic violence (“DV”) court structure for both civil injunctions and misdemeanor criminal DV cases. Although judges in DVC are appointed and/or elected as County Court judges, by authority of Administrative Order, DVC judges are also cross-designated as Circuit Court judges for purposes of presiding over injunction cases. This unique designation allows 7 full time judges and 6 part-time branch court judges to preside over both misdemeanor criminal and civil county court cases as well as civil circuit court injunction cases.
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