Court’s Decision Will ‘Revolutionize’ Handling of Domestic Violence Cases: DA

Court’s Decision Will ‘Revolutionize’ Handling of Domestic Violence Cases: DA

Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Rosemonde Pierre-Louis called the court's ruling a "landmark decision." File Photo

Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Rosemonde Pierre-Louis called the court’s ruling a “landmark decision.” File Photocourt

A Queens Criminal Court’s ruling last week that held that courts could accept the electronic signature of a complaining witness in lieu of a handwritten signature on a supporting deposition will eliminate the need for the victims to both travel around the city to sign documents via pen, and will allow victims to sign the documents they need before their batterers are released from jail and attempt to contact them, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Hailing Judge Deborah Stevens Modica’s decision as “a significant victory for victims of domestic violence,” Brown said that last Wednesday’s development “will revolutionize the way that we prosecute domestic violence cases and will enhance our ability to convict more batterers, get the required orders of protections in place, seek appropriate bail and keep victims of domestic violence safer.”

In her ruling, Modica said, “To assert that the everyday use of technology in business transactions, government filings, test taking, school transactions, etc. cannot be applied to court documents without specific legislative authorization fails to recognize that such usage is simply no longer novel.”

In the instant case, defendant Gustalvo Perez Sanchez, 26, of Yonkers, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on June 14, 2014, on a criminal complaint, charging third-degree assault and second-degree harassment. According to the complaint, during a discussion between Sanchez and his wife in a Northern Boulevard building on the evening of June 12, 2014, Sanchez threatened to take their son to Mexico and a verbal argument ensued during which Sanchez grabbed his wife by the wrist and, lifting his leg, pressed his knee hard against her chest and neck area and struck her in the forehead with a closed fist. It is alleged that Sanchez caused his wife to suffer substantial pain, redness, swelling and bruising to her forehead, wrist, leg and chest area.

“This is a landmark decision that will transform and modernize the prosecution of domestic violence cases in New York City,” said Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence. “I applaud District Attorney Brown and the Queens District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau for advocating tremendously to streamline access to the criminal justice system by providing victims with a new option to safely and quickly participate in the criminal case and hold their offender accountable.”

By Michael V. Cusenza


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>