From February through April 2013, DC Domestic Violence Court Watch volunteers sat in on 303 Civil Protection Order (CPO) cases.
The Honorable Judge Edelman heard 152 CPO cases. The Honorable Judge Anderson heard 119 CPO cases. The Honorable Judge Retchin heard approximately 10 CPO cases. The remaining 22 CPO cases heard were recorded as “other”.
Where the gender of the parties was recorded:
- 200 of petitioners were female and only 50 of petitioners were male.
- 171 of respondents were male and 68 of respondents were female.
Where the perceived race of the parties was recorded:
- Of the cases where the race of the petitioner was recorded, 184 cases were brought by black petitioners, 12 cases were brought by Latino petitioners, 7 cases were brought by white petitioners, 4 cases were brought by Asian petitioners, and 96 cases were recorded as “other.”
- Of the cases where the race of the respondent was recorded, 150 were black, 13 were Hispanic, 11 were white, 1 was Asian, and 128 was recorded as “other”.
- According to the U.S. Census, about 50.7% of Washington, DC’s residents are black, 42.4% are white, 9.5% are Hispanic, and 3.7% are Asian. As shown on the graphs below, both petitioner and respondent’s race were majority black.
Relationship between parties:
- Of the 303 CPO cases, 50% of the relationships were not stated.
- 18% had a child in common, 17% previously dated, and 7% were married.
*People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.
Outcomes of cases:
- Of the 303 CPO cases, 89 cases, about 29.6% of cases observed were dismissed. The majority of the cases that were dismissed were due to the petitioner being absent. The following graph shows the breakdown of these cases.
- Of 303 cases CPO cases, 89 cases, approximately 29.6% of cases, the Judge ordered a continuance. The graph below shows the reason for the continuances. About more than half of continuances were given because there was no service of process.
- 18 cases were granted by default; the respondent was served but did not appear. 9 other cases were granted by default due to other reasons.
- 58 cases were granted by consent order. 47 of the cases reached consent agreement prior to the hearing. 9 of the cases reached by consent agreement were consented with admissions.
- 12 cases were granted through a contested hearing. The judge explained the terms.
- 19 cases were denied through a contested hearing.