Welcome to the Idaho Domestic Violence Court Website

Idaho Domestic Violence Courts seek to improve the civil and criminal justice systems response to domestic violence by enhancing victim safety and offender accountability, and providing effective case management and coordination of information when families are involved in multiple cases. Idaho Domestic Violence Court Policies and Procedures were developed to articulate research-based best practices and identify essential elements for Domestic Violence Courts.

Here you will find information about the Domestic Violence Courts in Idaho, resources to assist those who manage and staff Idaho Domestic Violence Courts, and links to a wealth of additional web-based information, articles, & publications.


If you or someone you know have been or are currently a victim of domestic violence, please click here to go to the Idaho Coalitlon Against Sexual & Domestic Violence to obtain additional Information on domestic violence and how to protect yourself and your family.

Idaho’s Domestic Violence Courts are Changing the Culture of Victim Safety and Offender Accountability

Domestic violence victims face many barriers to safety and independence. Incomprehensible and complex court processes should not be among these barriers. Domestic Violence Courts assign families with a criminal domestic violence case and a divorce, custody, or child protection case to a single judge. This practice ensures accurate information for judicial decisions; compatible, consistent court orders; and improved outcomes for families. A fast- track criminal case disposition is combined with ongoing judicial reviews. This process enhances victim and children safety while holding offenders accountable. Domestic Violence Courts hold offenders to a higher level of accountability by concentrating responsibility for defendant oversight in the hands of a single judge who can monitor compliance with court orders and program mandates. In addition, victims gain a greater voice in their cases and are better able to address critical family issues—such as safe visitation—that often impede safety and independence. Additionally, resources and referrals for victims are coordinated early in the court process.

The Domestic Violence Court Coordinator is fundamental to the effective operation of Domestic Violence Courts. Domestic Violence Court Coordinators identify gaps and barriers in services for victims, create services and treatment options for victims and offenders in rural areas, and facilitate the development of a coordinated community response to improve the handling of domestic violence cases within the justice system.

Currently Idaho has Domestic Violence Courts in 5 Judicial Districts. Learn more about each Domestic Violence Court model.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Family Violence Department and the Center for Court Innovation found that Idaho was the first state in the nation to adopt legislation authorizing the establishment of Domestic Violence Courts statewide. Not only is Idaho’s provision regarding statewide Domestic Violence Courts legislatively distinctive, the creation and legislative support of a Domestic Violence Court Coordinator is innovative and is currently the only such legislation in the country. 

Find out more about Idaho Legislation and Domestic Violence Courts


Idaho Selected for the Domestic Violence Mentor Court Initiative

The Kootenai County Domestic Violence Court was selected this month (September 2020) by the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women for the Mentor Court Initiative, alongside Ada County Domestic Violence Court who was selected in 2013. Idaho Domestic Violence Courts continue to promoting best practices throughout Idaho in effectively handling these difficult civil and criminal cases. Now having two national Domestic Violence Mentor Courts in Idaho shows the innovation, leadership, and dedication Idaho has to promoting best practice and enhancing victim safety and offender accountability in all domestic violence related cases. The Kootenai County Domestic Violence Court, established in 2013 by retired Judge Penny Friedlander, will serve as a national model and share their expertise by hosting national site visits, linking courts with peer-to-peer technical assistance, and assisting other courts across the nation to implement best practices to respond effectively to domestic violence cases. Currently presiding Domestic Violence Court Judge, Clark Peterson, and his dedicated team are thrilled and honored for this unique opportunity. Congratulations Kootenai County Domestic Violence Court…you make Idaho proud!


Bench Cards may be found under Resources and Media here.


Idaho Domestic Violence Courts
Essential Elements

  • Case Assignment
  • Expedited Hearings
  • Case Coordination
  • Supervision of Offender Progress
  • Evaluation and Assessment of Offenders
  • Treatment and Treatment Providers
  • Collaboration with Key Stakeholders
  • Courthouse Safety
  • Evaluation and Monitoring of Domestic Violence Courts