Mirandizing Family Justice

69 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2016 Last revised: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Jane K. Stoever

Jane K. Stoever

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: April 8, 2016


Family Justice Centers, which co-locate governmental and community responses to domestic violence, are rapidly proliferating sites at which survivor autonomy is frequently in tension with state intervention. Abuse survivors often benefit from being able to access multiple services in one location, but the presence of mandatory reporters at the Centers, along with the Centers’ criminal justice locus, can create unanticipated criminal justice and governmental involvement, monitoring, and control, contrary to the help survivors expect to receive. Although the Centers are typically advertised as “confidential,” most of the service providers — including police, prosecutors, safety advocates, and medical personnel — are mandatory reporters of abuse who can initiate criminal or protective services cases. As the Family Justice Center model propagates, it is imperative that the Centers’ goals of empowering and supporting survivors be paramount. Abuse survivors should be counseled about the implications of providing information to the various governmental and community agents with whom they come into contact so that they understand all possible consequences of their statements and are able to make more informed choices. Survivors can essentially be “Mirandized” or provided with tailored information from Attorney Navigators to enhance their safety, autonomy, and available options. Such warnings could salvage the noble intentions of Family Justice Centers and protect survivors’ constitutional privacy rights while disarming the State from using survivors’ information in ways contrary to their wishes and well-being.

Suggested Citation

Stoever, Jane K., Mirandizing Family Justice (April 8, 2016). Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Vol. 39, 2016, Forthcoming, UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2016-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2761077

Jane K. Stoever (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Irvine, CA 92697-8000
United States
949-824-3418 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uci.edu

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics