Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building
361 Rowe Boulevard
|For Immediate Release||CONTACT:||Rita
Sally Rankin 410-260-1488
(BALTIMORE, Md. – December 8, 2005) – In order to promote victim safety, ensure on-going compliance with court orders, and improve tracking of companion criminal and civil cases, the District Court is launching an integrated domestic violence court in Baltimore City.
As a result of the project, all civil domestic violence hearings previously held at the Civil Courthouse at 501 E. Fayette Street moved to the Eastside District Court at 1400 E. North Avenue on December 1, 2005. In addition, Assistant State’s Attorneys assigned to the Domestic Violence Unit and House of Ruth representatives will be present during civil proceedings to assist those involved in domestic violence cases.
The integrated court comes after a year of planning, transition, and discussion by a committee that included representatives from the District Court, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, court commissioners, court clerks, Baltimore City Police Department, Baltimore City Sheriffs’ Department, State’s Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, and the House of Ruth.
"An integrated domestic violence court allows for a 'one stop' venue for victims of domestic violence; instead of having to go to multiple locations to ensure different types of protection, they can achieve the same result at one location," said Baltimore City District Court Judge Jeannie Hong, who is in charge of the Eastside District Court. "An integrated court will also increase offender accountability by ensuring on-going compliance with court orders, immediate enforcement of violations, while in addition offering easier access to resources for all of those involved in a domestic violence case.
Prior to this move, domestic violence victims went to separate courthouses for civil and criminal proceedings. The Eastside District Court was selected for the program because the location already has a full-time, specialized domestic violence court. The Civil Courthouse handled 10,961 combined civil protective and peace order cases in 2004.
“Judge Hong should be given credit for her leadership in making the concept, first developed by Ben C. Clyburn, the Chief Judge of the District Court, while an Associate Judge of the District Court serving in Baltimore City, a reality,” said Baltimore City Administrative District Court Judge Keith E. Mathews.
For more information, contact the Court Information Office at 410-260-1488.
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