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Relief From Abuse Orders in Vermont Case Processing: 2004-2008

NCJ Number
Robin Adler; Joan Owen
Date Published
December 2011
15 pages
This study provides statewide and county analysis of the processing and disposition of relief from abuse orders.
Key findings from the analysis of relief from abuse orders filed in the Vermont Family Court for the period 2004-2008 include the following: an average of 3,700 requests were filed during the study period; the county in which the request is filed is significant in determining whether an order will be issued; the gender of the filing party is significant in the issuance of the temporary order but not the final order, while the gender of the respondent is significant in both the issuing of the temporary and the final order; and the need exists for greater consistency in reporting outcomes from the court. This study examined the processing and disposition of relief from abuse orders filed in the State's Family Court between 2004 and 2008. During that time, 18,769 complaints were filed with the court, with 74.6 percent of the cases being filed by women. Almost 25 percent of the complaints were against a current spouse, while other household or family members accounted for another 18 percent of the complaints. For 61.5 percent of the complaints, temporary orders were either granted or issued, and for 18.36 percent of the complaint the relief orders were denied. Additional data is provided on the percent of complaints disposed by type of hearing and result, the average filing of temporary relief from abuse orders by county, and the percent of plaintiffs following through to final disposition. The need for further research on why gender affects the rate of issuance for temporary relief from abuse orders is discussed. Tables and figures