Yet, courts in New York - as well as across the United States - unconstitutionally legislate in a variety of ways.
Of course, such "legislating from the bench" is always portrayed as being for the good of the people in general and of certain groups of "victims" in particular.
This is exactly the way New York state court system has unconstitutionally created a system of "courts, but not courts" - a variety of "helping courts", such as
- drug courts, including separate "opioid courts";
- "family treatment courts", and
- Adjudicate (decide) cases brought in front of courts created by the legislature by parties,
- following legislatively set procedures (rules),
- and in accordance with substantive laws also created by the legislature.
- separate courts;
- separate rules for them.
What cases are included in the IDV Court?Related criminal, matrimonial and family court cases filed in the same county which involve a single family may be eligible for the IDV Court. Allegations of criminal domestic violence form the threshold requirement for entry into the IDV part, with related cases in at least two of the three areas of law. Although the cases will be heard in the IDV Court part, each case will retain its individual integrity and will not be consolidated with each other.
- A criminal case may never be consolidated with a civil case - from Family Court or from the Suprem Court (the lower general jurisdiction court in the State of New York is called "Supreme Court").
- A Family Court domestic violence case (Article 8 of the Family Court Act) may never be consolidated with a Supreme Court divorce case.
- there is a combination of a Family Court domestic violence (Article 8) case and a justice court criminal misdemeanor case - because the local Family/County/Surrogate's court judge who is supposed to decide the Family Court case as a TRIAL jurisdiction must serve as an APPELLATE jurisdiction for misdemeanor criminal cases out of local justice courts - and the same judge serving as both a trial and an appellate judge in the same case is unconstituional, the New York State Court of Appeals has confirmed it in a specific precedent on this issue in 2017, OR WHEN
- a certain Family Court judge was simply not appointed by the New York Chief Administrative Judge as an "Acting Supreme Court Justice", in other words, a Family Court judge under such circumstances has no authority to hear issues from a divorce case out of a Supreme Court; and
- If the Family Court judge IS also an Acting Supreme Court justice, he/she may not supersede (cancel) the supposedly existing "random assignment system" assigning judges to court cases, which is operated by the respective Judicial Administrative District. And, if the judge seeks the so-called "consistency" across these three types of courts, he may just as well direct it to the assigning administrative judge, and not create his own "rules" bypassing assignments.
What is an Integrated Domestic Violence (IDV) Court?IDV Courts are specialized Supreme Court Parts developed to better serve families in crisis. Our current court structure often requires domestic violence victims and their families to appear in multiple courts (in front of multiple judges) to address their criminal, family, matrimonial and other legal problems. IDV Courts, by contrast, are dedicated to the idea of "One family-One judge," allowing a single judge to hear related cases involving domestic violence victims and their families. The goal of the court is to change the way the justice system treats families and children by promoting more informed judicial decision-making, creating consistency in orders of protection and reducing court appearances, as well as providing enhanced services to victims and ensuring defendant accountability.
- The Family Court domestic violence case is decided exclusively by a judge (a bench trial);
- In the Supreme Court divorce case some issues may be decided by a jury (grounds for divorce) and the rest of it - by the judge; and
- the criminal case, by the State and Federal Constitution, is decided STRICTLY by the jury - unless the defendant waives his right to a jury trial in writing,
- in the Supreme Court tort (assault, battery) case the factfinder is also the jury - unless the case is decided by a summary judgment is facts are not in dispute by parties.
- LIBERAL (wide) discovery, not a strictly restricted one to certain enumerated positions, and
- most especially - of availability in civil, but not in criminal, cases of the right to FORCE the opponent to answer, under oath, questions asked by a party OUT OF COURT, orally (a deposition) or in writing (an interrogatory, a notice to admit).
- In Supreme Court parties are ONLY the divorcing spouses (their children may be assigned a separate attorney, but they are not mentioned in the court case as separate parties);
- In the Family Court parties to a domestic violence case may be people restricted to categories defined by Article 8 of the Family Court Act;
- In a Supreme Court tort (assault, battery) case there is no restriction on who may be the plaintiff and who the plaintiff may sue as defendant in terms of a family relationship
- In a criminal case the plaintiff is "The People of the State of New York" against the defendant, and the complaining witness of the prosecution (the ALLEGED victim of domestic violence) is not a party in the proceedings at all,
- pre-judge a specific case making an alleged victim a true victim as a matter of law, and make decisions based on such a determination; or
- make the alleged victim a party in a proceeding where the alleged victim is not a party.
- full discovery,
- full trial (a jury trial in the criminal and a part of the divorce case), and
- a final verdict is obtained - making the IDV "court" unnecessary.
- right to remain silent and for a jury trial - in criminal cases;
- right to due process, not to have their cases pre-judged by calling complaining wintesses/parties as "victims" before the final decision in the court case;
- right to an impartial judicial review;
- right to by tried by a real court, not an administratively created tribunal, like an "IDV court", not set by the State Constitution or legislature;