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Family Court

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NEWS
March 25, 1995
Any courtroom, however tedious its routine may seem, contains countless untold dramas. Not all of them arise from sensational crimes. In fact, fully half of the caseloads before many Maryland judges relate not to murders or muggings or thefts, but rather to domestic problems. From protection orders against abusive family members, to attempts to collect child support, to the hearings required by law when children are removed from their homes or put up for adoption, family matters are big legal business.
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NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | July 8, 2013
Few of the officers assigned to Baltimore County's Woodlawn Precinct ever met Sgt. Bruce A. Prothero, but they all know his story. Every day, they pass pictures of the officer and his family as they walk through the station's halls. One image shows his daughter, Holly, wearing his cap and seated at his desk the day his wife came to clean it out for the last time. Prothero died 13 years ago, shot three times responding to a jewelry store robbery while working a second job as a security guard.
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NEWS
By Robert A. Erlandson and Robert A. Erlandson,Sun Staff Writer | February 19, 1995
A seemingly innocuous House of Delegates bill calling for "A Commission on the Future of Maryland" really is a smoke screen to derail legislation to create a Family Court system, a Circuit Court judge and a state delegate said yesterday.One provision of House Bill 672, which has many sponsors, requires a study of family-related cases and how to ensure that court-related social services are available.Because of that bill, the Maryland State Bar Association will not take a position supporting two other bills to create the Family Courts, Anne Arundel Judge James C. Cawood Jr. and Del. Kenneth C. Montague Jr. told a daylong conference at the University of Baltimore Law School on creating a Family Court.
BUSINESS
By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun | August 17, 2012
Progressive Insurance has reached a settlement with the family of Kaitlynn Fisher, days after her brother's online rant against the company unleashed a torrent of backlash on social media. Fisher's family will receive a payment in the "tens of thousands," according to its attorney, Allen W. Cohen of Annapolis. "It's exactly how much we asked for," he said. The settlement prevents Cohen from filing a complaint with the Maryland Insurance Commissioner, he said, and the payment is separate from the judgment rendered by a jury in Baltimore Circuit Court last week awarding the Fishers $760,000.
NEWS
By JEAN MARBELLA | April 4, 2008
Here's an idea: Before you get a marriage license, you have to spend a day in family court. You have to take a day off from the goin'-to-the-chapel, band-or-deejay, you-n-me-4evah bliss of planning your walk down the aisle, and sit in the kind of courtroom where that aisle all too often can lead. You would have to sit and listen to the ugly charges and countercharges. Watch the faces of a once-happy couple now barely able to look at one another. Hear a judge decide who gets to live with the children and who only gets to visit with them, and under what circumstances.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer | December 27, 1994
Kathleen Murphy wants Maryland's judges and lawyers to stand up and listen to her silence.The Westminster bank teller, who in 1992 was ordered to pay her ex-husband $315 a month in child support, on Dec. 15 staged the second of what she hopes will be many "silent marches" at the Carroll County Courthouse, protesting the way state courts handle domestic disputes."
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,Staff Writer | January 16, 1993
The state's top judge told the General Assembly yesterday that the creation of a family court in Maryland would accomplish "absolutely nothing" unless the court were properly funded.After his annual address on the state's judiciary, Chief Judge Robert C. Murphy estimated that roughly 30 extra judges would be needed to staff a family court, which would handle divorce, juvenile delinquency and other family matters now heard in the Circuit Court system.Gov. William Donald Schaefer has said he will ask the legislature to back a measure that would set up a framework for a family court.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,Staff Writer | March 3, 1993
The creation of a family court in Maryland to hear cases ranging from divorces to juvenile delinquency was widely endorsed yesterday as a way to better handle increasingly complex social issues.But many state judges -- including Chief Judge Robert C. Murphy -- were either opposed or cool to the Schaefer administration's measure as burdensome to the courts.And a key lawmaker dismissed it as unnecessary, saying the Circuit Court has the power to create a family division."There isn't any question that a family court is needed now. . . . It's highly specialized," said Gov. William Donald Schaefer, unveiling the legislation at a morning news conference.
NEWS
By Sandy Banisky and Sandy Banisky,Staff Writer | December 15, 1992
Maryland should ease the nastiness and expense of divorce and other domestic disputes by creating a "family court" to handle issues ranging from child custody to juvenile delinquency.Members of the Governor's Task Force on Family Law say the new court would end the inefficient, fragmented way in which Maryland deals with domestic legal problems -- which range from simple divorces to right-to-die cases."It's costly. It takes forever to get through the process," says House Majority Leader D. Bruce Poole, a task force member and a lawyer.
NEWS
By Allison Klein and Allison Klein,SUN STAFF | August 16, 2003
Marcella A. Holland was appointed yesterday as chief administrative judge of Baltimore Circuit Court, the busiest and most backlogged jurisdiction in the state. Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell named Holland to replace Ellen M. Heller, who announced she would not seek reappointment when her term ends in November. Holland, 55, a native of rural Howard County, has been a circuit judge since 1997 and is currently in charge of the family division. Before being appointed to the bench, she was an assistant state's attorney in Baltimore for 13 years.
SPORTS
By COMPILED FROM NEWS SERVICE AND WEB REPORTS | January 19, 2009
Normally, nonplayers wait until after the game to come onto the basketball court. But in the same week in which Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban drew a $25,000 fine from the NBA for walking out to confront the Denver Nuggets' J.R. Smith, Cuban was topped by an incident at the Providence-Marquette game Saturday night. With the teams lined up for a free throw, a man emerged from the stands, strode up to referee Todd Williams and spoke to him briefly before being led off by security staff at Providence's Dunkin' Donuts Center.
NEWS
By Tyeesha Dixon and Tyeesha Dixon,tyeesha.dixon@baltsun.com | December 28, 2008
Shirley Harbin has worked as director of the victim witness assistance unit for the Howard County state's attorney's office for the past decade. The job of helping crime victims prepare for court proceedings may prove stressful at times. To stay inspired, Harbin says she relies on her history with the office, her supportive staff and her passion for helping others through what sometimes proves to be the most painful experience they've ever faced. Harbin oversees a staff of three - two victim advocates and a support staffer.
NEWS
By JEAN MARBELLA | April 4, 2008
Here's an idea: Before you get a marriage license, you have to spend a day in family court. You have to take a day off from the goin'-to-the-chapel, band-or-deejay, you-n-me-4evah bliss of planning your walk down the aisle, and sit in the kind of courtroom where that aisle all too often can lead. You would have to sit and listen to the ugly charges and countercharges. Watch the faces of a once-happy couple now barely able to look at one another. Hear a judge decide who gets to live with the children and who only gets to visit with them, and under what circumstances.
NEWS
By JENNIFER MCMENAMIN and JENNIFER MCMENAMIN,SUN REPORTER | November 20, 2005
Six years ago, Donna and Jason Neidinger had a nice little family, with three children of their own. Still, the couple decided to become foster parents, hoping one day to make one of their temporary children a permanent family member. Yesterday, the Neidingers officially welcomed their second adopted child into the family during a lively, laughter-filled ceremony in Baltimore County's Old Courthouse, where nine adoptions were finalized as part of Maryland's first celebration of National Adoption Day. "There was no reason for us to adopt, but that we wanted to give another child a home," said Donna Neidinger, 33, wiping away tears as her new daughter, 15-month-old Amaris, played nearby.
NEWS
By RONA MARECH and RONA MARECH,SUN REPORTER | October 4, 2005
When Richard Joseph Moore's convictions for soliciting sex with a minor and attempted third-degree sex offense were overturned in the Maryland Court of Appeals last month, the matter seemed closed. He was off the hook on the grounds that there was no "victim" since he had solicited sex from an undercover state trooper rather than an actual minor. His former wife, Heather Moore, who divorced him during the proceedings, had been granted custody of their two young sons and moved from their Elkridge home to Virginia.
NEWS
By Jason Song and Jason Song,SUN STAFF | April 7, 2005
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will speak tonight at Goucher College to inaugurate a new ethics and leadership program that was funded by a $2 million gift to the school. The donation was made by the family of the late Roxana Cannon Arsht, who graduated from Goucher in 1935 and went on to become Delaware's first woman judge. The money will pay for a visiting scholar program in which academics from various fields will teach and lecture about ethics and leadership for up to two years.
NEWS
April 3, 1996
IF THE AMERICAN family were in healthier shape -- fewer divorces, fewer custody cases to resolve, fewer child support payments to collect, fewer children in need of foster care or adoption -- Maryland's current judicial structure might not prove such a heavy burden on so many of its citizens.But the fact is that 50 percent of many court dockets in Maryland involve domestic cases and, all too often, the families have to stand in a long line for judicial attention -- thus stringing out what is already a painfully extended and confusing crisis.
NEWS
By Joan Jacobson and Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF Sun staff writers Caitlin Francke and Andrea F. Siegel contributed to this article | October 26, 1998
A woman waits in a Towson courtroom for a judge to hear her custody case, sobbing, "I can't believe they want to take my son away." Another holds a dozing baby on her shoulder, moments after nearly losing her parental rights.In Baltimore County and elsewhere, the dockets are full of cases with names such as "Mullaney vs. Mullaney" and "Forman vs. Forman" -- dead giveaways to the most acrimonious of lawsuits, involving divorce, custody and visitation rights.This month, in an effort to better deal with family disputes -- nearly half of the state's civil docket -- Maryland began operating a new family court division, hearing cases in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Montgomery counties.
NEWS
By Allison Klein and Allison Klein,SUN STAFF | August 16, 2003
Marcella A. Holland was appointed yesterday as chief administrative judge of Baltimore Circuit Court, the busiest and most backlogged jurisdiction in the state. Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell named Holland to replace Ellen M. Heller, who announced she would not seek reappointment when her term ends in November. Holland, 55, a native of rural Howard County, has been a circuit judge since 1997 and is currently in charge of the family division. Before being appointed to the bench, she was an assistant state's attorney in Baltimore for 13 years.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Shelden and Michael Shelden,Special to the Sun | April 20, 2003
The award for this month's most dazzling literary feat goes to Monique Truong, a Vietnamese-American whose first novel, The Book of Salt (Houghton Mifflin, 261 pages, $24) adds a brilliant twist to the old tales of the Lost Generation in Paris. Instead of rehashing stories of famous novelists behaving badly, Truong looks at Paris through the eyes of a young Vietnamese cook, Binh, who prepares exquisite meals for Gertrude Stein's stylish parties. Like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, Binh is a lonely exile searching for a cultural home.
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