What We Do
Initiative Two: Civility And Assistance For Victims
When a judge makes a biased remark or rudely cuts off a victim’s testimony, that victim may never come back to court. When only 46% of victims in Montgomery County protective order court face the judge without an advocate or a lawyer, their chances to obtain the essential protections they need to stay safe is significantly reduced. That's dangerous.
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.
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. Numerous reports have educated the courts on the vital role of court-based advocates, and how few exist in the Maryland court system.
- Court Watch is preparing a report based on data from over 2,000 hearings, on new demeanor problems at court, including rudeness, intimidating demands, inappropriate humor, and biased or victim-blaming remarks.
- We are currently assessing how victims can best be helped when they come to a Commissioner Station to file a protective order or criminal charges.
Our agenda for increased civility and assistance in the court process will help empower victims! Visit Ways to Help!