Dear Volunteers:

We received notice yesterday that, due to concerns about limiting contact during the COVID 19 public health crisis, DC Superior Court is making temporary changes to court operations. The full version of the Court’s official statements are available at the bottom of this email, and we encourage you to review them. For now, here’s what you need to know:

1. Hearings: The court is remaining open, but non-emergency hearings will be continued until May 1 or later. This means that if you are working on a case (DRB or CPO) with a hearing date between now and May 1, the hearing is continued, and the Court will be rescheduling it for a new date.

2. New & emergency filings: New filings are being accepted in both custody/divorce cases and CPO cases. Emergency matters are also being heard. If you have a DRB case, and you believe your client’s interests warrant filing a motion to be heard immediately, please talk to your supervisor. For new CPO cases, the TPO process is still available for emergency relief. Any TPOs issued will be extended until May 1 or later.

Please coordinate with your Supervising Attorney to make sure you are getting notice of your new dates, and please reach out to your clients as soon as possible to explain the situation.

Although the court system, and so much in the world, is a bit upended, we know that domestic violence and family instability are not on hold. Rather, we are concerned that under the stress of the chaos around us, vulnerable adults and children are at greater risk of being victimized. DCVLP is committed to continuing to provide client services, both legal and non-legal. New cases may still be filed, and we will continue to accept them and assign them. We will be in touch soon with more details about how you can be of assistance to vulnerable families during this uncertain time.

We are incredibly grateful for all of your hard work and continued dedication to domestic violence victims and at-risk children. Be well!