Domestic Violence Court

State of Minnesota Judicial Branch
Seventh Judicial District Court 

About Domestic Violence Court

Domestic Violence Court (DV Court) was developed from a 2010 Court Training and Improvements grant awarded by The United States Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women. DV Court is a dedicated domestic violence criminal court that includes all felony and misdemeanor cases involving one or more allegations of domestic violence occurring between intimate partners, including relationships that involve current and former dating relationships, cohabitating couples or people with children in common. DV Court operations are achieved through the collaboration of multiple organizations, agencies, government partners and outside interest groups that are normally represented or interested in criminal cases, as well as issues related to domestic violence.

DV Court is a judicially monitored program that has two rotating judges with specialized training of the dynamics involved in domestic violence cases. A separate court docket allows these judges to preside over all pre-trial and post sentence hearings. This concentration of judicial oversight ensures accurate information for judicial decisions which results in enhanced offender monitoring of offenders' compliance with court orders and a more consistent, time-effective processing of cases.

Impact on the Community

Since the inception of the Clay County Domestic Violence Court in 2011, over 800 cases have been processed in the specialized system. Both internal and external evaluations have found that DV Court is successful in reducing recidivism and increasing victim safety. In the Fall of 2014, DV Court received the results of an evaluation conducted to determine the court's effect on enhancing public safety. DV Court was found to reduce rates of recidivism, delay re-offending behavior and improve victim safety.


Cost - Benefit Analysis (PDF)
Fact Sheet 2016 (PDF)
Offender and Victim Perceptions of Procedural Justice (PDF)
Recidivism Outcome Study (PDF)


Participant Handbook (PDF)
Participant Handbook – Spanish Version (PDF)
Domestic Violence Court Brochure (PDF)

Mission Statement

Domestic Violence Court seeks to enhance victim safety, offender accountability and coordination of services across the agencies and community partners that directly and indirectly interact with the Court.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2014-FJ-AX-0030 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women U.S. Department of Justice. The opinion, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.