Over the last 30 years, the justice system has increased attention toward domestic violence. In many states, the emphasis has emerged to a specialization, separate dockets and specially trained judges (Center for Court Innovation 2009). Domestic violence courts have evolved, however the Ninth Circuit Court in Orange and Osceola County has yet to adopt this concept. At present, the Osceola County Courthouse utilizes the Unified Family Court (UFC), an integrated comprehensive approach which handles all cases simultaneously addressing the families involved in disputes, as well as the adults and the children of domestic violence. The Orange County Courthouse on the other hand, has the court rooms on one designated floor of the Orange County Courthouse which is dedicated to domestic relationâ€™s cases. There are (3) specialized judges for domestic violence cases which rotate every (6) months. This thesis will explore the different challenges that are faced by the judicial system in domestic violence courts in Orange and Osceola County. One of those challenges is that there is no set â€œmodelâ€ to develop a consistency in practices and policies; therefore there is no mutual understanding or agreement for the purposed outcome. With the study of case law, statutes, court research, court observation, and goal assessments, this thesis will explore the possibilities of change in this court system. The purpose of this study is to contribute awareness, present recommendations to the legal system, and state that it is not enough -although critical- to focus on the victimâ€™s safety and the offender accountability, but also it is crucial to place an emphasis on specially trained judges and stakeholders in order to create a more unified structure.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs; Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Caldero, Rose, "Domestic Violence: The Need for Integrated and Specialized Courts in the Ninth Judical Circuit of Orange and Osceola County, Florida" (2014). HIM 1990-2015. 1560.