Today 65th District Court Judge Yahara Lisa Gutierrez announced the creation of El Paso's first Protective Order Court dedicated exclusively to deal with victims of domestic violence. Judge Gutierrez received a $93,000 grant from the Office of the Governor of Texas to fund the creation of a county court dedicated exclusively to hear protective order cases.
The new Protective Order Court was approved today by the El Paso County Commissioners Court who assisted in the creation of the court by approving the use of a special family violence fund to pay for the salary of the judge of the Protective Order Court.
The new Protective Order Court will allow victims to have timely access to the courts on their application for protective orders. The court will provide a one stop venue for all issues involving the family during the duration of the protective order, including child support, custody of children and visitation issues.
The plan calls for the transfer of all protective order cases filed in each of the three family courts to the proposed "Protective Order Court," which will operate under the supervision of the 65th District Court. This consolidated approach will allow for a more efficient supervision of all protective order cases, and will allow the other family courts to dedicate more time to other types of family cases.
A single court will have the expertise and knowledge to deal with these very important cases. Commissioner Anna Perez stated "This is an important day for victims of domestic violence in our community. There will now be one single court where domestic violence victims will obtain expedited hearings."
65th District Court Yahara Lisa Gutierrez said the creation of a Protective Order Court would be a giant step forward in helping the victims of domestic violence in El Paso County. "I am grateful for the support of the Commissioners Court and the Governor's Office. There must be recognition by the community that no amount of violence is acceptable in El Paso."
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Protective Order Court Press Release.pdf