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Final Court Watch Report 2010

Final Court Watch Report 2010

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Court Watch Report on Domestic Violence released by Toledo's Independent Advocates.
Court Watch Report on Domestic Violence released by Toledo's Independent Advocates.

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Published by: glasscityjungle on Jun 22, 2011
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Domestic Violence Court Watch

Report 2010
Toledo Municipal Court
Independent Advocates

Foreword…………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Court Watch Description…………………………………………………………….. 4
Summary…………………………………………………………………………….. 5
Judges………………………………………………………………………………. 6-7
Prosecutors…………………………………………………………………………. 8-9
Court Security………………………………………………………………………. 10
Conclusions…………………………………………………………………………. 11
Recommendations………………………………………………………………... 12-15
References………………………………………………………………………... 16-17
Appendix - Court Watch Forms………………..………………………………… 18-19
Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………………. 20

Imagine if the Fire Department were only putting out 13% of the fires, or the
garbage was only being picked up 13% of the time. We wouldn’t allow it.
We would figure out a solution.

In the over thirty years that Ohio has had a domestic violence law, local officials have known
that the law and the system were failing to work as designed in Toledo, knowing that victims were
not being protected, even knowing that something should be done about it. Yet somehow we have
simply failed to take action in a way that would fix it.

It has not been for lack of trying. For decades prosecutors, judges, police, city and county
officials, and advocates have met, talked, counted, reported, proposed, pointed, and wished, but we
have never succeeded in making real change.

The evidence presented in this report makes the case plainly that a change must be made. We
all recognize that there are real challenges facing Toledo Municipal Court, but when the majority of
domestic violence cases are dismissed in Toledo, it is clear that there is a real problem with our
system, not just with the caseload, not just with the funding, not just with the victims.

This failure is not the fault of the judges, or the prosecutors, or political leadership, or
budgeters, or the police, or our probation departments. We have met the enemy and it is us. We
must all take responsibility for our failure to act, our failure to protect.

The challenging local budget situation has long been used as an excuse, but it would almost
certainly cost us less to handle each case correctly once, rather than continuing the self-defeating cycle
of court-clogging dismissal and re-filing that we have long engaged in.

While change is certainly a good strategy for the courts, it is essential for the health, safety,
dignity, and the lives of victims of domestic violence.

Now a new generation of leaders has organized to bring focus and attention to an issue that
doesn't improve through ignoring it. Independent Advocates has raised the funds and taken the time to
provide a detailed analysis of just what has been happening in our courts.

The information presented in this study won't come as a surprise to anyone that has spent any
time in Toledo Municipal Court, but the clearly organized evidence of systemic failure should help
bring all involved to the table to work for real change rather than just more conversation.

Michael Beazley,
Oregon City Administrator
Former Toledo/Lucas County Administrator
DV Court Watch Report 2010 3
Independent Advocates’ mission is to improve the community’s response to domestic violence
(DV). Since the organization’s inception in 2007, Independent Advocates has provided direct services
to over 350 victims of DV in the criminal and civil court systems in Lucas County, and has educated
over 3,000 community members about the dynamics of domestic violence.
Over the years, victims have told advocates that they understand why victims don’t come to
court; they do not feel safe in court, they feel like a number instead of a person, and they have no
confidence in the court’s ability to stop their abusers from committing crimes against them. When
Independent Advocates relayed this message through presentations at colleges, churches, and
community centers, Toledoans were troubled by the idea that their own court system may not be
protecting victims and their families from ongoing violence.
In response to these concerns, community members mobilized to develop the Domestic
Violence Court Watch program in 2010 in order to take a closer look at court proceedings and hold the
court system accountable for its response to DV. Initial goals for Court Watch included collecting
DV-related data from Toledo Municipal Court (TMC), reporting on the current state of DV in the
court, and promoting progressive change in the way the court handles domestic violence.
Independent Advocates trained over 60 volunteers to observe and document DV cases in TMC
in 2010. The first year of Court Watch was focused on the beginning of cases, or arraignments,
because it is the initial appearance for defendants and victims in domestic violence cases. This allowed
Court Watch volunteers to get a good idea of the parties’ first impression of the court.
Volunteers observed arraignments in TMC Courtroom # 4 and completed standard forms (see
Appendix) to document what they saw. In addition to qualitative data based on in-court participation,
Court Watch volunteers also combed the Toledo Municipal Clerk of Courts website
(www.tmc-clerk.com) for all 2010 DV case information. A total of 1,916 domestic violence and
protection order cases were reviewed on the court’s website by Court Watch; the statistics cited in this
report reflect that total.
This is not a scientific study performed by legal experts, but rather a grassroots
community effort in which volunteers with a range of backgrounds and perspectives
gathered quantitative as well as qualitative data about the court. Court Watch
observations will be noted throughout the report in purple boxes, while statistics
gathered from the Court’s official website will appear in black with citations.
This report follows a top-down approach starting with a look at the seven judges presiding in
Toledo Municipal Court. The next section includes a review of the City of Toledo Prosecutor’s Office,
followed by a look at security in the courthouse. In researching how other communities have improved
their own courts’ responses to domestic violence, the leadership of a Judge proved essential. The same
has been true of our community. We are grateful that since beginning Court Watch, judges in TMC
have requested additional information about how to improve their response to domestic violence and
several have even begun to implement changes in their own courtrooms.
Court Watch
will be noted
the report in
purple boxes.
DV Court Watch Report 2010 4
Special points of
- 1,916 DV cases
in TMC in 2010
- DV bonds range
from $0 to
- 13% of DV cases
result in DV
- 34% of DV cases
involved repeat
- 1% of DV cases
went to trial in

1,916 DV-related criminal misdemeanor cases were filed in
Toledo Municipal Court in 2010.
Bonds issued by judges on DV cases ranged from $0 or
unconditional Own Recognizance to cash bonds of up to $50,000,
showing a lack of consistency in judicial response to DV.
82% of the DV cases in 2010 resulted in either complete
dismissal or were amended to lesser non-DV-related charges.
13% of DV cases result in DV convictions, allowing future
DV charges to be enhanced to a higher misdemeanor or felony.
(5% of DV cases are still pending from 2010.)
Only 1% of domestic violence cases went to trial in 2010.
That is 28 out 1,916 cases in the whole year.
It is common knowledge among those familiar with TMC, that
if a victim fails to appear 3 times for a DV case, it gets dismissed.
The research conducted by Domestic Violence Court Watch volunteers revealed patterns of
repeat DV offenses, inconsistency in the type and amount of bonds issued, and an alarmingly low
conviction rate. The overall assessment of Court Watch volunteers was that Toledo Municipal Court is
not prepared to respond effectively to the complex crime of domestic violence.
Improving the response to domestic violence will save the City of Toledo money by
using current resources more efficiently.
Considering the dynamics of domestic violence and the likelihood of intimidation and other
tactics of abuse after a criminal case begins, the Toledo court system is set up in a way that
reinforces DV instead of stopping it and enables abusers to continue abusing. In 2010, 34% of
DV cases in TMC involved repeat offenders within that year alone.

DV Court Watch Report 2010 5
Bonds: Judges issue bonds to defendants at the arraignment of a criminal case to
ensure that defendants return to court for trial. Bonds may be in the form of cash
paid to the court and may or may not require conditions of the defendant, such as no
contact with the victim, in order to be released from jail before trial. The type of
bond ordered by the judge at the beginning of a case sends a message about the
weight given each charge. Judges set the tone in each of their courtrooms and no one
is in a better position to balance the rights of the defendant with the safety and rights
of the victim.
Individual cash bonds ranged from $500 to $50,000. The most common cash bond documented by
Court Watch volunteers was $1,500. While the judge may issue a $5,000 bond, in reality the
defendant need only pay $500 or 10% to a bondsman to be released from jail.
Judges (Elected Officials)
Effective August 26, 2005, judges in Ohio are required to consider the following 11 factors when setting
bail for a person charged with DV:

(1) Whether the person has a history of domestic violence or a history of other violent acts;
(2) The mental health of the person;
(3) Whether the person has a history of violating the orders of any court;
(4) Whether the person is potentially a threat to any other person;
(5) Whether the person has access to "deadly weapons" or a history of using "deadly weapons";
(6) Whether the person has a history of abusing alcohol or any controlled substance;
(7) The severity of the alleged violence that is the basis of the offense;
(8) Whether a separation of the person from the alleged victim has recently occurred;
(9) Whether the person has exhibited obsessive or controlling behaviors toward the alleged victim;
(10) Whether the person has expressed suicidal or homicidal ideations;
(11) Any information contained in the complaint and any police reports, affidavits, or other documents.

Cash Bonds, based on total number of DV cases arraigned by each judge in 2010.

The average domestic violence bond issued by Judge Byers in Maumee is $50,000.

DV Court Watch Report 2010 6
Start times for court ranged from
9:05 am - 10:45 am. ALL victims,
defendants, and witnesses were
told to be there at 8:30 am.
7 Judges = 7 Different Ways of Doing Things. Judges rotate through Arraignment Court,
each presiding over arraignments one out of every seven weeks. Court Watch observations revealed
that there is little to no consistency from one week to the next. Each judge brings her or his own tone,
style, and staff to the arraignment courtroom. Judges have the power to use their discretion in setting
bonds, even though there are guidelines in place. This discretion creates an environment in which
victims, defendants, and the community
as a whole have no idea what to expect
from the court process. A consistent
message coming from TMC about DV
is necessary for all parties to understand
the seriousness of the crime and conduct
themselves accordingly.
SOR = Supervised Own Recognizance, regular physical check-in required by Probation Department.

MOR = Monitored Own Recognizance, regular phone contact required by Probation Department.

OR = Own Recognizance, defendant is not supervised by or required to post any money to the court.

Non-Cash Bonds, based on the total number of non-cash bonds issued by each judge.

DV Court Watch Report 2010 7
The City of Toledo Prosecutor’s Office represents the interests of the public
and victims of crimes. Prosecutors play a primary role in working with DV victims in
court, as they are responsible for interviewing victims and making written and oral
motions on their behalf. Advocates are in place to aid in this process. Toledo’s
prosecutors have limited resources due to challenging budget cuts, however the
current budget crisis does not account for a historically high dismissal rate. “Victim
failure to appear” is often cited as the reason for DV dismissals in TMC, so Court
Watch volunteers paid particular attention to what happens when victims do appear.
Prosecutors (City Employees)
“The defense attorneys appear more prepared to discuss the
facts of their cases than the Prosecutors when cases are called.”

Adjudications, based on total number of 2010 DV cases found on TMC Clerk’s website.

Court Watch volunteers regularly
observed the first interaction between
prosecutors and victims. When meeting at
the table during an arraignment hearing, the
prosecutor asks in open court whether the
victim is afraid and wants a bond. The
victim is then on the spot to respond in front
of the defendant and a courtroom full of
people, as to whether they want the alleged
abuser to stay in jail. This approach ignores
the dynamics of domestic violence and poses
a further detriment to the victim’s safety.
Prosecutors arrived in court between 8:50 am and 9:30 am.
Domestic Violence cases are filed as “City
of Toledo v. Defendant,” but when prosecutors
seemingly rely entirely on the victim’s presence in
court and opinion thereafter, it makes it seem as
though it is the “Victim v. Defendant.”
Prosecutors have the authority to send the
message that the prosecutor, and not the victim, is
responsible for decisions regarding criminal
prosecution. The prosecutor may be able to
reduce the risk of retaliation by the abuser against
the victim and increase the likelihood of a
successful prosecution.

DV Court Watch Report 2010 8
1% of Domestic Violence cases go to trial.
The City of Toledo filed 1,916 DV-related cases in 2010. Only 13% of the total DV cases
resulted in DV convictions. DV convictions carry certain sanctions, such as firearm restrictions, and
for repeat offenders, DV charges can be enhanced to a felony. Enhancement of DV charges are only
possible IF there is a prior DV conviction. The system is designed to elevate DV charges to prevent
an escalation of violence in abusive relationships, but prosecutors are regularly abandoning domestic
violence charges and allowing abusers to evade a DV record. 82% of the DV cases in 2010 resulted
in either complete dismissal or were amended to lesser non-DV-related charges.
DV Court Watch Report 2010 9
Court Security (Lucas County Sheriff)
in court.”
Victims, defendants, and witnesses are told to be in court at 8:30 am, but
courtrooms are not open until 9:00 am, and court was documented to sometimes
start as late as 10:45 am. That leaves a significant gap in time for victims,
defendants, and family members to wait in the hallways of the courthouse. These
waiting areas, which are often congested and full of tension, have no uniformed law
enforcement presence. Incidents of protection order violations, intimidation, and
other abusive contact are frequently going undetected within the courthouse.
unaware of
when [it] comes
to protecting
victims from
No Security Stationed in Waiting Areas of the Courthouse.
This is an issue that has been addressed repeatedly in Toledo Municipal
Court by administrators as well as City Council Members and unfortunately has
come down to a lack of funding. The issue of a separate safe waiting area has also
been proposed and discussed for years, but to date, no reliable secure waiting area
exists for victims.
Separate and secure waiting areas are important in
DV cases because abusers regularly use INTIMIDATION
as a tactic of abuse. Court Watch volunteers witnessed
many defendants communicating with victims across the
courtroom with words like, “You better go home,” “I’m
gonna fuck you up,” or “I love you,” and “I’m sorry.”
Defendants also displayed body language that ranged from
agitated and angry to sad and crying. All of these behaviors
serve to either put the victim in increased fear for their
safety or make the victim feel guilty and responsible for
their abuser being in jail.
Intimidation is extremely common in abusive relationships as a tactic to gain or maintain
The court needs to be prepared to respond to threatening and abusive conduct inside the court
because it is the nature of the crime. Training for court security about the dynamics of DV and all of
the ways intimidation can be used in court could increase awareness and provide tools to respond
effectively to the probable manifestation of this dynamic.

DV Court Watch Report 2010 10
Current Message:
To the victim the message is: It’s YOUR responsibility to stop
domestic violence. It is the victim’s responsibility to decide about the bond,
the victim’s responsibility to request a safe waiting area, and ultimately the
victim’s responsibility to prosecute the case.
The message to defendants is: If the victim fails to appear, your case
gets dismissed, but we will see you next time. 34% of the domestic violence
cases in 2010 involved repeat offenders within the year.
To the community the message is: Toledo Municipal Court is NOT
prepared to respond effectively to domestic violence.
Potential Message:
It’s OUR responsibility to stop domestic violence. Court professionals
work together to reduce the rate of DV crimes in our community.
- Chaotic
- Relaxed
- Crazy
- Disorganized
- Busy!
- Hectic
- Confusing
- Zoo

One Word to
Describe Court:

Changes developed in the way DV cases were handled over the course of the year. Some judges
began calling DV cases first on their docket, while others began addressing firearms when issuing
protection orders and requesting danger assessment scores before issuing DV bonds.
DV Court Watch Report 2010 11
1. Implement a Dedicated Domestic Violence Docket, which is a mechanism
used by over 300 jurisdictions in the United States to improve victim safety and
enhance abuser accountability.
A dedicated DV docket would streamline cases
through a singular courtroom, with a secure waiting area for advocates and prosecutors
to interview and assess victims before court begins. The courtroom designated to hear
domestic violence cases will include a highly trained staff led by one judge and
consisting of one prosecutor, one probation officer, one clerk, and sufficient court
security. This model offers consistency for all parties involved in DV cases and is
designed to improve courts’ responses to domestic violence in communities of all sizes
and demographic make-ups. Cities large and small have implemented variations of
specialized domestic violence courts in order to address a problem that every
community has been forced to face in one way or another.
Specialized DV courts in Ohio include:
- Akron Municipal Court Judge Kathryn Michael
- Hocking County Municipal Court Judge John Wallace
- Mansfield Municipal Court Judge Jerry Ault
- Warren Municipal Court Judge Thomas Gysegem

DV Court

- Austin
- Chicago
- Cleveland
- Minneapolis
- New York
- Salt Lake
- San Diego
2. Require extensive Training in the dynamics of domestic violence for dedicated court staff and all
city employees regularly responding to domestic violence. Training topics could include:
- Assessing domestic violence accurately
- Determining primary aggressor in DV cross-filings
- Responding to intimidation in court and beyond
- Understanding power and control dynamics in the courthouse and on the scene
- Practicing evidence-based prosecution techniques
Trainings to address the specific needs of our court staff are available locally, state-wide, and nationally.

Toledo has an opportunity to join the ranks of communities that are successfully handling domestic
violence, by reducing repeat DV offenses and increasing victim safety. Free resources are available to
assist our court in developing a domestic violence program that works for everyone involved (see
reference section). It is time for Toledo to take the necessary steps in the direction of a dedicated
domestic violence court.

DV Court Watch Report 2010 12
Focus on the Defendant
3. Change the Culture or challenge the current way things are done in Toledo Municipal
Court. The domestic violence dismissal rate is not going to decline without taking a hard look at
our own behaviors and how they have contributed to the overall system failure as it relates to DV.
Domestic violence is a crime and deserves to be treated as such.
It is easy to blame the rate of domestic violence dismissals on victims who don’t appear for court,
but we have to be ready to respond effectively to victims when they do come to court. We have to
change the way we think about domestic violence and shift the focus from the victim’s behavior to
the defendant’s behavior.
Remember, it is NOT a crime to go back to your abusive husband. It IS a crime to beat your wife.
Improve the Response to Domestic Violence
“Officers stood in
between victim and
defendant during
hearing but faced the
victim. Why not face
the defendant and see
what he is doing?”

DV Court Watch Report 2010 13
5. Apply for Specialized Funding. Specialized programs attract specialized funding. With local
economic hardships limiting basic community services, it is a good time to look at cost effectiveness
in the courts. Toledo has an opportunity to promote itself as the progressive, problem-solving,
forward-thinking community it is. Local and federal funding is available for innovative court
programs. The court and community can come together to explore funding prospects and make sure
that the court takes advantage of all grant opportunities available to improve the response to domestic
violence. Toledo is an innovative community full of people committed to stopping domestic violence,
and we will continue to work to do what it takes to keep our community safe and protected.
4. Use Resources Effectively. The City of Toledo pays 911 operators, police officers, clerks,
prosecutors, and judges to begin a domestic violence case, but resources are not being used to finish
the majority of cases. The time and resources put into processing domestic violence cases are wasted
when cases are dismissed. The high incidence of repeat DV offenders further depletes the city’s
resources without achieving intended outcomes.
TMC has the time, space, and tools already in place to implement changes without spending any
money at all. Immediate no-cost ways to improve the court’s response to domestic violence include:
Improving the response to domestic violence will
save the City of Toledo money.
- Provide a consistent safe space where
victims can wait for their hearings
without fear of intimidation.
- Use video arraignment equipment
already in Prosecutor’s Office to
allow defendants to face their accuser
without being in the same space.

- Conduct and review danger
assessments in each alleged domestic
violence case before setting bond.
- Designate a specific courtroom and set
a specific time to hear only domestic
violence cases.
DV Court Watch Report 2010 14
We look forward to many opportunities to discuss the information in this report as we move forward
as a community committed to stopping domestic violence. Together we will set goals for DV-related
issues in Toledo Municipal Court. As a coordinated court effort, we stand to reduce:
- the number of domestic violence crimes
- the rate of recidivism in domestic violence cases
- the number of domestic violence-related homicides
In 2011, Domestic Violence Court Watch volunteers are expanding their focus from arraignments to
adjudications in order to shed light on the way cases are resolved. Volunteers have already begun
observing pre-trials and trials in each Judge’s courtroom to track issues like resets, plea agreements,
sentences, and probation violations. Court Watch will continue to monitor Toledo Municipal Court’s
response to domestic violence and work with the court to promote positive change.
Hope for the Future
6. Build Community Collaboration. All of the pieces of the system need to come together in
the interest of improving the court’s response to DV in order to create meaningful change. It’s OUR
responsibility to stop domestic violence. We all have a role to play in addressing DV and families are
depending on us to get it right.
The leadership of a dedicated DV judge will be vital to the facilitation of on-going communication
between all relevant professionals in order to ensure everyone’s interests are adequately represented.
DV Court Watch Report 2010 15
1. Maumee Municipal Court led by Judge Gary Byers represents a coordinated court response to
domestic violence in which dedicated staff meet regularly to discuss DV cases and work
collaboratively to reduce family violence in Maumee, Ohio.
2. Ohio Legislative Service Commission. “Sub. H.B. 29,” http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/
Columbus, OH.
3. Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “Prosecution Guidelines,”
http://www.acadv.org/Prosecutionguidelines.pdf, Montgomery, AL.
4. United States Department of Justice. “What is Domestic Violence?”
http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/domviolence.htm, Washington D.C.
5. Center for Court Innovation. “Domestic Violence Overview,”
http://www.courtinnovation.org/topic/domestic-violence, New York City, NY.
6. Ohio Supreme Court. “Domestic Violence Courts,”
http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/JCS/specDockets/DVCourts/courtList.pdf, Columbus, OH.

Suggested Reading
- Campbell, J. C. and J. Manganello, “Changing public attitudes as a prevention strategy to re-
duce intimate partner violence.” Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 13 3/4,
(2006): 13-40.
- Gavin, Chandra and Nora K. Puffett, Criminal Domestic Violence Case Processing: A Case
Study of the Five Buroughs of New York City, prepared for the Center for Court Innovation,
- MacLeod, Dag and Julia F. Weber Domestic Violence Courts: A Descriptive Study, prepared
for the Judicial Council of California Administrative Office of the Courts, 2000.
- Peterson, Richard R. Combating Domestic Violence in New York City: A Study of DV Cases in
the Criminal Courts, prepared for the New York City Criminal Justice Agency, 2003.
DV Court Watch Report 2010 16
Training Resources
- Center for Court Innovation. Expert technical assistance to develop DV Courts - from
performing a rigorous community needs assessment to figuring out how to measure the
impacts of new procedures. www.courtinnovation.org
- Danger Assessment. Developed by Jacquelyn C. Campbell of Johns Hopkins University, the
danger assessment responds to the challenge those who encounter abused women have in
identifying those with the highest level of danger. www.dangerassessment.org
- Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs. Customized trainings for working with men who
batter, battered women, law enforcement, probation, coordinated community response, and
others. www.theduluthmodel.org
- Ohio Domestic Violence Network. Assists communities in developing coordinated
community responses to domestic violence and provides extensive trainings on a variety of
issues surrounding DV. www.odvn.org
- Ohio Supreme Court. The Specialized Dockets Section provides technical support to trial
courts in analyzing the need for, planning of, and implementation of specialized docket
programs. www.supremecourt.ohio.gov
- Wynn Consulting. Lieutenant Mark Wynn is a national law enforcement trainer whose
engaging facilitation style helps professionals recognize their own abilities to make a
difference in domestic violence intervention. www.markwynn.com
Funding Sources
- Violence Against Women Act - provides funding for projects that assist local government to
develop and strengthen the effectiveness of law enforcement and prosecution strategies to
combat violent crimes against women. Federal funding distributed locally by the Criminal
Justice Coordinating Council.
- Court Training and Improvements Program - designed to improve court responses to adult
and youth domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Federal funding
distributed by the United States Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women.
- Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program - designed to strengthen civil and criminal
legal assistance for victims of sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence
through innovative, collaborative programs. Federal funding distributed by the United States
Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women.

DV Court Watch Report 2010 17
DV Court Watch

Defendant Information
Defendant Name: ___________________________________________ In Custody? Yes___ No___
Age: 18-25 ___ 26-34 ___ 35-49 ___ 50+ ___ Sex: Female ___ Male ___ Transgender ___
Race: Caucasian ___ African-American ___ Latino/Latina ___ Asian ___ Unknown ___
Dress: Professional ___ Casual ___
Defendant’s Comments to the Judge: _______________________________________________________________

Victim Information
Victim Present: Yes ___ No ___ Unknown ___ Age of Victim: Adult ___ Juvenile ___ Child ___
Sex: Female ___ Male ___ Transgender ___ Dress: Professional ___ Casual ___
Race: Caucasian ___ African-American ___ Latino/Latina ___ Asian ___ Unknown ___
Victim Advocate Present: Yes ___ No ___ Other Support People: __________________________________
Victim’s Comments to Judge: ______________________________________________________________________
Basic Case Information
Date:________________________________ Courtroom #: _____________________________
Judge: _________________________________ Prosecutor: _______________________________
Defense Attorney: Public Defender __ Private Attorney__ Name if Known _______________________
Charges: Misdemeanor ___ Felony ___ Type of Charges:________________________________
Bond: _________________________________ Conditions of Bond: ____________________________
Hearing : Arraignment ___ Pre-Trial ___ AM Trail ___ PM Trial ___ Sentencing ___ Other ___

Toledo Municipal Court

Temporary Protection Order: Granted ___ Consent ___ Evidence/Testimony ___ Firearms ___
Weapons Involved in Case: Yes ___ No ___ Arresting Officer Present: Yes ___ No ___
Physical Injury: No ___ Yes (describe) ____________________________________________________
Disposition: Continued ___ Dismissed ___ Plea __________________________________________
DV Court Watch Report 2010 Appendix
Efficiency of Court
Scheduled Start Time: ____________________ Time Court Began: _____________________
Time Court Ended: _____________________
Demeanor Of Court Personnel: ________________________________________________________
Judge: (Prepared? Professional? Speaks loudly/clearly? Organized? Respectful?)
Prosecutor: (Prepared? Professional? Speaks loudly/clearly? Organized? Respectful?)
Defense Attorney: (Prepared? Professional? Speaks loudly/clearly? Organized? Respectful?)
Comments: (Anything unusual or particularly interesting that you observed?)
Court Watch Volunteer Signature:__________________________________________________
Court Watch volunteers were asked to capture as much
information as possible on these forms to contextualize
the hearings they were observing and provide feedback
on the details of domestic violence cases and on the
process and environment as a whole.
DV Court Watch Report 2010 Appendix
This report represents the power of grassroots community organizing and what a dedicated
group of passionate people can accomplish.
Independent Advocates would like to thank all of the volunteers who made this report a
reality. You donated your time and attention to this project because you care about the way our courts
respond to domestic violence. From sitting in court week after week to reviewing multiple drafts of
the report, we appreciate the support of the community in seeing this project through to completion.
The following people deserve special recognition for going above and beyond:
- Mike Beazley, City Administrator, for lending his wisdom, passion, and experience to this project
- Julia Camp, Artist, for donating her talent so generously to complement the telling of this story
- Tim Nittle, Attorney at Law, for donating so much of his time to being the Court Watch statistician
- Karen Rogalski and the Crime Reduction Committee of the Cherry Street Legacy Project,
Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, for on-going support and for donating printing for the report
- Jeni Belt and Shumaker, Loop, & Kendrick for helping us with the finishing touches
- Steve Steel, Toledo City Council Member, for supporting DV court reform all along
For more information, please contact:
Independent Advocates
151 N. Michigan Street Suite 209
Toledo, Ohio 43604

Follow us on Facebook for regular updates
on the community’s response to Domestic Violence.
IA Board of Directors
Amber Billmaier - President
Sharon Barnes - Vice President
Jaimie Foster - Secretary
Jennifer DeBacker - Treasurer
Jenifer Belt
Brenda Facey
Keithley Sparrow
Rose Toth Gallardo

Domestic Violence Court Watch Report was prepared by
Independent Advocates staff:
Rebecca Facey & Rachel Richardson

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