Unsupervised visits with violent dads – in the child’s best interest?
Every year over 8,000 adults are abused by their partners in Montgomery County.
Domestic violence victims coming to the courts for protection should be safe.
Every domestic violence victim deserves the best.
We make sure victims are treated well in court rooms.
Court Watch Montgomery gathers data in 1,000 domestic violence hearings each year, and publishes our findings & recommendations. We challenge the courts to better protect intimate partners and their children who have been abused. We are achieving significant reforms!
Court Watch Montgomery is a 501©(3) non-profit
Staggering exits at the end of every domestic violence court hearing is a simple procedure. Bailiffs can keep victims safe by holding respondents for at least 10 minutes after the petitioner leaves the courtroom. When bailiffs don’t stagger exits, many survivors are harassed or assaulted by angry abusers on the way…
Monitors were surprised to see what played out in dv criminal court last week. A defendant, due at 8:30 am, arrived at court just before noon. The judge vigorously assessed the veracity of the defendant’s claim that he was late because his car had broken down. What the judge did…
A prosecutor handling criminal domestic violence cases implemented a terrific “best practice” this week. She didn’t just assume that bailiffs would hold defendants at least 10 minutes so victims could safely leave the building. (In fact, bailiffs rarely ensure safe exits in criminal court). Instead, the prosecutor informed the judge that she had…
Court failing children of domestic violence?
Four children in one county, dead after unsupervised visits with their fathers — visits moms had warned judges might endanger their children.
An extraordinary new study suggests judges and elected leaders in Montgomery County are doing too little to protect children in homes with a history of domestic violence.
Dozens of volunteers observed hundreds of court hearings and what they found shocked them.
Volunteers from Court Watch Montgomery say they saw constant echoes of the story of the three Castillo children, who were drowned by their father one by one in a bathtub on an unsupervised visit in March, 2008. They also saw echoes of the case of 15 month old Prince Rams, who was also allegedly murdered by his father while he was with him alone in October, 2012.
NBC4 – Group Keeps Watch on Domestic Abuse Cases in Montgomery County
In Montgomery County, Md., 25 people have volunteered to monitor cases in District Court in which victims ask a judge for a protective order restraining an abusive spouse or acquaintance from approaching the victim or threatening violence.
In the past six months, Court Watch Montgomery has monitored 642 cases.
“I’m a former law professor recently retired and I’m a lawyer and I’ve been in courtrooms where judges have their own little fiefdom, and in domestic violence cases, women are victims and they come in again and they’re victimized by some judges,” Court Watch Montgomery volunteer Joyce Batipps said.
Most judges do a good job, volunteers say, but four judges were impatient or rude.
Montgomery Week in Review
Montgomery Week in Review host Don Mooers and the panel discuss the community impact of the Affordable Care Act, affordable housing in Montgomery County, social media and introduction to the work of Court Watch Montgomery. Take a look
Guests : Shu-Ping Chan – US Asia Links, Laurie Duker – Court Watch Montgomery, Henry Hailstock, Montgomery Week in Review, Melpi Jeffries – League of Women Voters of Montgomery County
Montgomery Week in Review airs on Montgomery Channel 21 Thursdays at 12 noon and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 12 noon and Mondays at 1 p.m.
Court Watch Montgomery Works To Protect Victims Of Domestic Violence
An organization working to improve the effectiveness of protective orders against victims of domestic violence in Montgomery County has just released a report with a series of recommendations.
Over the past year, 25 volunteers with Court Watch Montgomery sat through several hundred hearings in circuit court involving domestic violence cases.