Trial Court Coordination Councils
Kitsap’s Trial Court Coordination Council Institutes Another Safeguard for Domestic Violence Victims
Starting August 1st, 2003, which allows some time for training, pre-signed no-contact orders will be issued to anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge who bails out of jail before their court appearance. The presiding court judge will sign orders in advance, and jail staff will complete the orders upon release of the suspect.
The no-contact orders will be in effect for seven days, during which time the suspect will have a court appearance when it will be decided whether the order should be extended.
Currently, a no-contact order is not issued until that court appearance. This means that the suspect may return to the victim resulting in more violence and retribution. This can also result in the suspect arriving for the initial court hearing accompanied by the victim—all part of the control mechanism of domestic violence offenders according to Judge Stephen Holman of
This is not the first domestic violence initiative spearheaded by Kitsap’s Trial Court Coordination Council, lead by Judge Holman. In the past, a victim coming to the municipal court to obtain a restraining order would have been turned away and referred to the district court.
Municipal Courts have jurisdiction over domestic violence protection order cases, but not over anti-harassment restraining orders. However, county district courts do have this jurisdiction.
The Kitsap County District Court and the Bainbridge Island Municipal Court coordinated efforts in such a way that those persons who seek anti-harassment protection orders can do so at the Bainbridge Island Municipal Court. Together, these court systems have resolved not to turn away people who need legal protection in the form of court protection orders.
"We had all experienced people mistakenly coming to the wrong court, and we had heard from the shelters, domestic violence advocates, and other like people, that petitioners often would not go to the correct court, but rather just give up on the protection order,” said Judge Holman.
The Bainbridge Island Municipal Court is available for these protection order requests Monday through Friday, even on the days that court is not in session. Staff are currently being trained at the
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