BY GRANT LANCASTER
New York City’s comptroller wrote to the state’s Family Court system requesting that they take further precautions to protect people who may be trapped inside with domestic abusers during the stay-at-home order.
Comptroller Scott Stringer wants the courts to strengthen the coronavirus hotline, post guidance in multiple languages, and generally better implement and enforce orders of protection, according to a Friday press release.
The court system’s 24/7 hotline should offer more information about orders of protection outside of regular court hours and offer support for a range of languages, Singer said.
Additionally, courts that are posting signs in front of courthouses with a phone number for people to call for information instead of coming in person should be available in the 10 citywide languages — Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Korean, Arabic, French, Urdu, and Polish.
For those who cannot safely make a phone call while in close proximity to an abuser, Stringer wants the courts to make a dedicated email address that people can use to get information about orders of protection.
Stringer thinks that drawing on private attorneys who work in domestic violence cases to beef up staffing and hear more cases quickly, he said.
Finally, Stringer wants the courts to work with sheriffs to prevent any delays with serving protection orders and ensure that law enforcement is fully aware of Deputy Chief Administrative Judge George J. Silver’s order to renew all temporary orders of protection on March 16 so that they can continue to enforce them properly.