Court volunteers discuss domestic violence with judges

This week 18 court volunteers spent over an hour discussing the protective order and domestic violence criminal dockets with District Court Administrative Judge Eugene Wolfe, and Judges Mitchell, Moffett, Williams and Sabett. It was a valuable opportunity to more fully understand the court’s approach to domestic violence cases and to share Court Watch’s concerns about […]

Questionable denials of temporary protective orders

temporary protective orders

It is critical that deserving victims of domestic violence get 7 day temporary orders when they need them – but that isn’t always happening in Montgomery County District Courts. A judge in Maryland need only find “reasonable cause” to believe there is bodily harm, stalking or a serious threat to issue a 7 day order. The Maryland legislature […]

Particularly unsafe day in criminal domestic violence court

criminal domestic violence

Some criminal domestic violence dockets go more smoothly than others. It was infuriating last week to see what happened to a victim who took the brave step to come to court to testify against her former partner, who was charged with violating her protective order six times. The defendant’s criminal record included numerous assault charges, carrying a concealed […]

Making a difference, focusing on work to be done

Court Watch cheered the announcement that the Human Rights Campaign will use its incredible advocacy skills to help push for tighter controls on guns. Court Watch is also focused on gun violence as part of our mission, and was proud to be cited in Tuesday’s Washington Post for our report that inspired gun legislation in […]

Domestic violence and mass shootings are linked

domestic violence and mass shootings

Domestic violence and mass shootings are far more closely linked than you might at first think. The Washington Post reports that before committing the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, the Orlando shooter was an abusive husband who beat his wife repeatedly while they were married. The May 6 gun murder of two people (injuring […]

Judges fail to discuss gun restrictions with convicted abusers

convicted abusers

Court Watch’s new study shows judges told only 1 out of 126 convicted abusers they were banned from possessing or purchasing guns. When a domestic violence abuser has access to a gun the chances of a victim being killed rise 500%. Judges need to be actively applying Maryland law by informing relevant convicted offenders verbally and in […]

Memorial service for domestic violence homicide victims in Maryland

domestic violence homicide victims in Maryland

Between July 2013 and June 2014, 54 Marylanders lost their lives to domestic violence. 70% of the fatalities were due to guns. Last night a large crowd gathered in Annapolis to remember victims. Domestic violence homicides are preventable. New bills in the Maryland legislature would add protections for victims of violence in dating relationships and […]