Saturday, December 14 2019

Family Unit

The Family Unit consists of five assistant prosecutors, two assigned to the Juvenile section of the Unit, two to the Domestic Violence section and one supervisor.  In addition to the attorneys assigned to the Unit, there are two clerical employees, one legal assistant, one victim witness advocate, one prosecutor’s agent, and one detective.  The Juvenile Section of the Family Unit is charged with the prosecution of all juvenile delinquency cases scheduled on the formal court calendar in Family Court.  In addition, assistant prosecutors assigned to the Unit appear on behalf of the state at all detention hearings, and at hearings requesting an order to release juvenile police/probation records. 

The Unit supervisor provides recommendations to the Prosecutor concerning applications to prosecute a juvenile as an adult in criminal court.  While the functions of this Section are essentially and predominantly legal in nature, assistant prosecutors in the Unit must be knowledgeable in all areas of juvenile therapy, counseling, and education.  Additionally, they work with probation officers, social workers, therapists, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, and others concerned with the welfare and care of juveniles. 

The Domestic Violence Section of the Family Unit screens all domestic violence cases that come to the BCPO.  This Section prosecutes incidents of domestic violence and takes indictable matters to the Grand Jury and to trial when necessary.  Additionally, the Unit participates in the County Domestic Violence Working Group.  The Unit also screens and prosecutes interference with child custody cases and willful non-support matters.  In addition to indictable cases, assistant prosecutors in the Unit are responsible for the prosecution of disorderly persons contempt cases in Family Court.  Additionally, all applications seeking the return of weapons seized as a result of domestic violence charges must be reviewed by the legal staff to insure that the return is appropriate.  Where forfeiture of weapons is sought an assistant prosecutor will argue such applications on behalf of the State.  Assistant prosecutors in the Domestic Violence Section will prepare training materials for law enforcement and also the domestic violence response teams where necessary.