Family Violence Appellate Project (FVAP)

FVAP is the only organization in California dedicated to appealing cases on behalf of domestic violence survivors and their children in order to set good legal precedents. HQ in Oakland.
Organization Website

Twitter: @fvap_law
Facebook: Facebook
Primary geographic focus: California Statewide
Organization Type: Provider
LAAC Membership Type: Members
Lists: IOLTA-Funded, IOLTA Support Centers
Tags: Children, Domestic Violence, Women
Acronym or short name: FVAP

FVAP is the only organization in California dedicated to appealing cases on behalf of domestic violence survivors and their children. The organization focuses on cases that will set legal precedent in favor of survivors throughout the state of California so the law can do what it was meant to – keep families safe.

The Problem: Decisions reached by trial courts in domestic violence cases are leaving survivors and their children in danger of ongoing abuse. At least half of batterers who frequently abuse their spouse also frequently abuse their children and one study found that abusers are granted custody in 54% of custody cases involving documented domestic violence. Many survivors in this situation, who may have had poor or no representation in the trial court, either do not know that they can appeal their cases or simply lack the financial resources to appeal. As a result there is little appellate precedent for trial courts to follow, and they are not rigorously enforcing key statutes designed to protect children from abusive parents. Moreover, while many nonprofits provide much-needed trial court representation to survivors of domestic violence, nothing is being done to help them at the appellate level.

FVAP identifies cases that are likely to result in the appellate courts rendering decisions that advance the interests of domestic violence victims throughout California. FVAP’s experts work with pro bono attorneys from the private sector to provide the highest quality legal representation in briefing and arguing those cases to the appellate courts. In particular, FVAP focuses on cases in which survivors and their children are in danger of ongoing abuse.


News and Alerts

Women-led startup turns domestic abuse survivors into entrepreneurs

Olivia Solon
November 23, 2017
FreeFrom helps domestic abuse survivors become financially independent from their abusers.

Op-Ed , Opinion

Opinion: Why California should boost legal aid funding

Salena Copeland
San Jose Mercury News
March 23, 2017
We join with legal service organizations throughout California in calling on the state to provide $30 million to reach the national average in civil legal aid funding. President Trump’s budget threatens to eliminate all federal aid provided through the Legal Services Corporation. That leaves the state’s Equal Access Fund to help bridge this growing gap. Established in 1999, the fund receives just $10 million a year, a number that has only been boosted once ­– a $5 million increase that many of us fought hard for in this year’s state budget.

News Story , Other

Domestic Violence Restraining Order Isn’t Derailed by Couple’s Post-TRO Reconciliation

Julianne Tobin Wojay
November 22, 2016
It is the first case to clarify that a restraining order can be issued in California even if the parties briefly reconciled following the issuance of a temporary restraining order.


Privacy in DVROs and CHROs: New Law to Protect Information of Minors

May 28, 2019
In 2018, a new law went into effect that allows a minor or minor’s legal guardian to ask that certain information regarding a minor (e.g. name, address, description of abuse related to minor) be made confidential in a domestic violence or civil harassment restraining order proceeding. In this webinar, staff from the Judicial Council will go over the new forms and court processes for these requests, including a draft information sheet that is currently out for public comment. Staff from the Family Violence Appellate Project will present on a pending bill (Assembly Bill 925) that, if passed, would make some modifications to the existing law.


Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in California Courts

May 30, 2019
In this informational webinar we will explore the different types of restraining orders that can be issued to protect a domestic violence survivor and discuss common issues that arise before judges when applying for or requesting transfer or renewal of such an order between the Family and Juvenile court systems. We will also review the important differences substantively and procedurally between civil domestic violence restraining orders and criminal protective orders.
MCLE: 1 hour

Facing Housing Barriers: Gender, Evictions, and COVID-19

Sep 23, 2020
(Elimination of Bias)

Post-Traveling Training Webinar Series: Post-Trial Motion and Writ Remedies in Domestic Violence Restraining Order and Child Custody Proceedings

Dec 13, 2016
Attendees will be able to identify when and how to file a post-trial, post-motion, or writ to remedy an unsuccessful family court order in the context of DVRO and custody proceedings. Among other topics, motions for new trial, to vacate, to set-aside, and to reconsider will be discussed.
MCLE: 1 hour

Statements of Decision

Nov 20, 2014
This webinar will discuss statements of decisions in relation to Family Law.
MCLE: 1 hour

This page last modified: Thu, April 19, 2018 -- 3:11 pm ET

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