New laws take effect in Maryland today!

New laws take effect in Maryland

New laws take effect in Maryland today which were passed by the legislature in the winter/spring 2019 season in Annapolis.  Many impact domestic violence victims: Firearms New firearms laws allow the prosecution of anyone loaning a gun to someone known to be legally barred from possessing them or when it is known the gun will […]

Courts begin implementing new Maryland gun laws

new Maryland gun laws

Courts all across the state have begun implementing new Maryland gun laws that: improve firearm transfers upon conviction of a domestic violence crime; and make more people eligible to more quickly get Commissioner or court permission to temporarily remove guns from a person who is a threat to themselves or others. As of October 1, […]

No progress extending and expanding Violence Against Women Act

Violence Against Women Act

Re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which funds a great number of domestic violence service programs across Maryland, has been delayed in Congress’ rush to head home for the fall campaign season. Funding under the Act is extended for two to three months, but a year-long authorization and appropriation is needed to enshrine […]

Prince George’s judge to release abuser who set his girlfriend on fire

set his girlfriend on fire

LaQuinn Phillips stands accused of attempted murder after he allegedly set his girlfriend on fire in September of 2017, leaving burns over 70% of Andrea Grinage’s body. Grinage was pregnant at the time. Incredibly, Prince George’s Circuit Court Judge Pearson recently ordered that Mr. Phillips be released from jail to home detention due to a […]

Powerful tool to get guns out of the hands of abusers coming soon

new Maryland gun laws

Getting guns out of the hands of abusers is one of the most important ways to prevent domestic violence homicides. A new law that takes effect October 1 will give police and victims a powerful tool that can save lives. Beginning October 1 police, family members, intimate partners, cohabitants, health care professionals, and legal guardians […]

Judge fails to set hearings on needed protective order extensions

protective order extensions

Are domestic violence victims in Maryland able to get protective order extensions when they can show a court that they have “good cause?”  Under Maryland law, if a petitioner has “good cause” for their request a judge can, and should, extend the order for six months to provide continued protection. Generally, Montgomery County District Court […]

Samantha Bee uses our data on domestic violence and guns

domestic violence and guns

Samantha Bee took a hard look last night at domestic violence and guns – and she used Court Watch’s data in our “Abusers with Guns” study to highlight the critical role judges play.  We’re about 3 min, 50 seconds in. Samantha Bee used Court Watch data showing that 126 abusers convicted of assault in criminal […]

Partner gun assault highlights key policy problems

partner gun violence

A Queen Anne’s County man was arrested this week on charges of attempted murder following an alleged physical assault that included threats to kill the survivor with a shotgun.  The woman’s partner fired at or near her, but she was not hit by the shot. The victim suffered repeated physical assault for almost two hours […]

New “No Means No” rape law will help survivors

At long last, the Maryland legislature has passed — and Governor Hogan appears ready to sign into law — a significant change in our state’s bizarre rape law which, until now, required prosecutors to prove that a rape victim had physically resisted her assailant, regardless of the threat implicit in doing so and despite the […]

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 […]