Amicus Briefs and Case Studies

Amicus Briefs
In addition to legislative and systems change work, the Partnership also joins Amicus Briefs when appropriate. This is an important way for the Partnership to ensure that the needs of victims are heard in our courts. 

Recent Amicus Briefs:

Gou v. Xiao: Amici Curiae Brief. November 1, 2013.
The Partnership, along with a number of other interested parties, submitted the brief on this case supporting the argument that trial judge misinterpreted the DVPA which specifically allows parents to petition for restraining orders to protect themselves and their children based on abuse directed at a child.

Farmer v. Torah: Amici Curiae Brief.  October 16, 2012.
The Partnership, along with a number of other interested parties, submitted the brief on this case arguing that the court incorrectly denied a permanent restraining order on the basis that the offender had not violated the temporary restraining order. 

Y.V.Z v. Attorney General: Amici Curiae Brief.  Sept. 28, 2012.
The Partnership, along with the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies and the National Immigrant Justice Center, submitted the brief on this case supporting the petitioner’s request for a rehearing of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision to deny her asylum application.  The petitioner fled Peru as a young woman, age 15 at the time, to escape a violent man who targeted her to be his girlfriend.  After the petitioner and her family endured threats and physical attacks for months, her family sent her to the United States where she applied for asylum.  The BIA denied her request on the grounds that her abuser did not target her on account of her “gender-defined particular social group.”  The brief argues that the BIA overlooked the gender-based nature of harm in the case.

Stormans v. Selecky: Amici Curiae Brief.  Aug. 17, 2012.
The Partnership, along with a number of other interested parties, submitted the brief on this case to urge the court to recognize the importance of access to emergency contraception for all women, and its critical nature for rape and domestic violence survivors. The case centers on two rules enacted by the Washington State Board of Pharmacy that would have required pharmacies to dispense medications, including birth control and emergency contraception, regardless of individual pharmacists’ personal feelings. A federal court put a hold on these rules and blocks them from taking effect until constitutional issues are resolved.

People vs. Beltran: Amici Curiae Brief. Apr 20, 2012.
The Partnership, along with the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, California Women Lawyers, Queen’s Bench Bar Association of San Francisco Amicus Briefs Committee, and Women Lawyers of Sacramento submitted the brief on this case to request the Court to reevaluate the profound societal consequences of allowing habitual abusers who kill their intimate partners to escape full criminal culpability by raising the provocation defense. The provocation defense allows some murderers to avoid the full weight of society’s collective judgment that murderers should be dealt with as harshly as the law allows. As a concession to “human weakness,” the provocation defense tempers criminal culpability for those who kill in a fit of passion. The defense embodies the notion that even the most reasonable of “reasonable men” might sometimes lose control.

Segalit McRoberts vs. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County. Nov 22, 2011.
The Partnership, along with the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP), Domestic Violence Report, Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence, Justice for Children, the California Protective Parents Association, and former California Senator Sheila James Kuehl, submitted the brief in support of the petitioner Segalit McRoberts. The brief argues that because “parental alienation syndrome” (PAS) lacks general acceptance in the scientific community, PAS should not be admissible as evidence in custody cases.