Benchbooks & Court Guides

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Benchcards and Quick Reference Guides

OSCA-OCI Newsletters

Benchbooks & Court Guides

Florida Judicial Promising Practices Guide for Domestic Violence Injunction Cases June 2019

This publicationPDF Download was developed by judges and stakeholders to assist Florida judges with court and circuit procedures and courtroom security. It also offers several promising practices to assist with hearings, training, and working as a team with court administration. This guide will improve judicial decision-making, as well as helping judges ensure an effective judicial process.

2017 Guide to Domestic Violence Cases

This guide, dedicated to helping courts intervene effectively in domestic violence cases, was developed by the National Association for Court Management.

Practice Guides for Family Court Decision-Making in Domestic Abuse-Related Custody Matters 2015

This publication, created by the Battered Women’s Justice Project in consultation with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and representatives from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, is a compilation of research- based practice guides designed to support and enhance substantive and procedural decision-making by family court professionals involved in domestic abuse-related child custody matters.

Domestic Violence Benchbooks: A Guide to Court Intervention. by Ling, Elizabeth. Crank, Katie. Center for Court Innovation. 2015

Judges and justice system staff are uniquely positioned to address the problem of domestic violence. Court intervention can significantly impact victims and families, but in order to effectively intervene, domestic violence-specific education for judges is critical. As a comprehensive technical assistance provider for the Office on Violence Against Women, the Center for Court Innovation often receives inquiries from courts nationwide on benchbooks and other judicial resources regarding domestic violence and sexual assault. This guide and recommended set of practices was created in response to these requests. Understanding that domestic violence laws differ from state to state, this project focuses on the dynamics of domestic violence rather than state statutes.

Lawyers Manual on Domestic Violence 2016

The New York State Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts recently released their updated "Lawyers Manual on Domestic Violence." 

The 2017 Domestic Violence Benchbook

The citations in this benchbook have been abbreviated to improve the flow of the text. A citation to section 741.30, Florida Statutes, appears as § 741.30. All references are to the 2016 Florida Statutes.

The 2017 Florida Domestic Violence BenchbookPDF Download is a comprehensive resource guide for judges who are on the domestic violence bench, or who may be expected to review filed petitions for protection against domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or stalking. The benchbook provides information on every step of the injunction process, complete with flowcharts and checklists designed to provide at-a-glance illumination of the procedures the judge must follow to comply with Florida law. It also contains a legal civil outline,evidence outline, and criminal domestic violence outline, each complete with case law and statutory authority. 

Domestic Violence Benchbook by Section


Section I:


      Judge Colaw - Sample Colloquy 


       Judge Eineman - Firearms Overview


       Judge Tepper - Trauma

Section II: 

Section III:

Section IV:

Section V:

Section VI:

Judge Raag Singhal - DV Injunction Compliance

Chief Judge Jack Tuter - Risk Protection Orders


The 2017 Sexual Violence Benchbook

The 2017 Florida Sexual Violence Benchbook is a comprehensive resource guide for judges who are on the criminal bench and anticipate that they will hear cases involving sexual violence. The benchbook provides information on the hearings that courts routinely hold, complete with flowcharts and checklists designed to provide at-a-glance as well as in-depth analysis of the criminal procedures impacted by the nature of the crime. 

You can access an electronic copy of the 2017 Sexual Violence Benchbook below:


The Office of Court Improvement (OCI) has produced checklists for the five injunctions for protection against violence; these benchcards are designed to be quick reference guides to the process for each type of injunction, beginning with the petition, and continuing through ordering the final injunction and enforcing it should there be any such issues. These benchcards are distributed with the Florida Domestic Violence Benchbook, but are also distributed separately due to their high demand.

Updated March 2017.

Other Related Articles and Guides

Mediation and Domestic Violence Reference Guide - Updated August 2016

The OCI has produced a reference guide to be used by mediators to learn more about the relationship dynamics surrounding domestic violence that can often frustrate the purpose of mediation.  It also provides information on how to proceed with a mediation if domestic violence is suspected.

OSCA-OCI Newsletters

The OCI produces semi-annual newsletters about topics and events pertaining to current events. These newsletters inform readers of upcoming events, conferences, and projects that may be of interest. Also, each newsletter includes an article of interest. These newsletters are distributed to judges, court staff, and interested stakeholders.


Sexual Violence Newsletters

The Sexual Violence Newsletter, Summer 2016

  • Summer 2016 Newsletter PDFPDF Download

The Sexual Violence Newsletter, January 2016

  • January 2016 Newsletter PDFPDF Download

This issue includes an article discussing some common myths surrounding sexual violence.  It is an excellent introduction into the sexual violence arena for those who are new to this case type.


Domestic Violence Newsletters

The Domestic Violence Review, Spring 2016

  • Spring 2016 Newsletter PDFPDF Download

The Domestic Violence Review, December 2015

  • December 2015 Newsletter PDFPDF Download

The Domestic Violence Review, May 2015

This issue includes an article on reasonable efforts in child abuse and neglect cases that involve domestic violence.

The Domestic Violence Review, February 2015

This issue includes an article reprinted with permission from the NCJFCJ regarding trauma in the context of domestic violence. 

The Domestic Violence Review, June 2014

This issue discusses teen sexual violence, and attached to the newsletter is a quick reference guide for judges on the subject of teen sexual violence.

The Domestic Violence Review, Winter 2013

This issue discusses batterers' intervention programs, including a success story and an interesting excerpt from Orange County's BIP Monitoring protocol. 

The Domestic Violence Review, June 2013

This issue discusses the topic of domestic violence and trauma-informed care.


If you are in immediate danger of Domestic Violence, please call 911.

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