Animal Cruelty Issues: What Juvenile and Family Court Judges Need to Know
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FROM ALDF Animal Legal Defense Fund
September 2019

This Technical Assistance Bulletin is a publication of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). The NCJFCJ wishes to acknowledge that this publication is made possible by a grant from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).

animal cruelty courts

The NCJFCJ [National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges] and ALDF [Animal Legal Defense Fund] co-hosted the Judicial Responses to Animal Cruelty Issues Convening (Convening) on January 31 – February 1, 2019. The Convening included participation from 10 judges from across the U.S. – eight judges who hear juvenile, child abuse or family violence cases, one municipal court judge who hears criminal animal cruelty cases, and one retired state supreme court justice. The NCJFCJ and ALDF staff met with the judges to:

  • discover what judges are doing in their communities to address animal cruelty;
  • identify what judges need to know about animal cruelty and the link to violence; and
  • determine what actions, recommended practices, tools, and resources are needed to assist judges to address animal cruelty in their juvenile and family court cases.

The Convening resulted in the development of this bulletin, animal cruelty sessions at the NCJFCJ’s two national conferences in 2019, and a draft of the NCJFCJ “Resolution Regarding Animal Cruelty and its Link to Other Forms of Violence.” This resolution will be voted on by the NCJFCJ Board of Directors at the NCJFCJ’s 82nd Annual Conference in July 2019. Once passed, the resolution will be posted on the NCJFCJ website.


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