TITLE

DENYING ACCESS TO JUSTICE: THE COST OF APPLYING CHRONIC NUISANCE LAWS TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

AUTHOR(S)
Fais, Cari
PUB. DATE
June 2008
SOURCE
Columbia Law Review;Jun2008, Vol. 108 Issue 5, p1181
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Chronic nuisance laws impose fines or other sanctions on property owners based on the number of times police respond to the property. These ordinances aim to recover the cost of what the government considers to be excessive police service, and to encourage property owners to prevent criminal activity from occurring on the premises. This Note argues that domestic violence calls for police service should not trigger liability under chronic nuisance laws. Applying chronic nuisance laws to victims of intimate partner violence exacerbates the barriers that many victims already face in accessing housing, and blames the victim for criminal activity that she cannot control. Imposing sanctions that discourage domestic violence victims from calling the police is also incompatible with other government policies that address domestic violence, including mandatory arrest, evidence-based prosecution, and the housing protections in the Violence Against Women Act. This Note proposes several legal challenges to the application of chronic nuisance laws in domestic violence cases. It also explores legislative reforms that would protect victims' access to the police, while still allowing local governments to target actual nuisance activity.
ACCESSION #
32752840

 

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