Agenda for Change
Initiative Two: Civility And Assistance For Victims
A full 72% of domestic violence victims in Montgomery County face a judge in protective order court without the help of a lawyer. This group is less likely to get the essential protections they need to stay safe.
There are too few victim advocates based in Montgomery County courthouses, and no advocates at Montgomery County Commissioner Stations, where almost half of all victims fill out their petitions on weekends or evenings.
When a judge makes a biased remark or is rude to a victim they may never come back to court. That's dangerous.
Court Watch Montgomery's reports have documented problematic demeanor by clerks, bailiffs, interpreters, and judges. Our verbatim quotes from one very abusive judge and our request to testify about his behavior helped lead to his resignation from the bench.
Additional Court Watch reports have provided data that underscores the vital role of lawyers and court-based advocates, and identifies critical gaps in needed services in Maryland courts.