Washington Examiner June 5, 2011 editorial in print and online points out that:
“The [Maryland Domestic Violence] statute‘s clear intent is to provide a weeklong “cooling off” period by separating the parties involved in domestic disputes. A final hearing is then scheduled, at which time both parties may present evidence. After hearing both sides, the judge can either allow the TPO to expire or extend it for up to a year.
….In the case before the Maryland Court of Appeals, a lower court judge issued a TPO, but another judge quashed it before the hearing could be held. To make matters worse, the second judge made his decision ex-parte (“by one side”) without both parties present — and without hearing any of the evidence that convinced the first judge to issue the TPO in the first place. The practical effect of this second ruling was to nullify the state statute granting Maryland residents the right to seek the court’s temporary protection.
….The now-unprotected victim made her case to the Court of Appeals, which agreed to clarify the issue. However, after briefs were filed and oral arguments were held, the appellate court suddenly decided not to rule on the case after all. This drew a stinging dissent from Appellate Judge Joseph F. Murphy: “I am persuaded that, even though the case at bar is now moot, the question presented involves ‘unresolved issues of public importance, which are likely to recur, and for which there is manifest urgency of establishing a rule of future conduct.'” It goes to show that sometimes, an inert judiciary can be just as bad as an overactive one.
Read more at the Washington Examiner:http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/editorials/local/2011/05/examiner-local-editorial-maryland-appeals-court-wimps-out#ixzz1PCD9nqwO
- Maryland Court of Appeals Leaves Gapping Hole in Domestic Violence Statute Open (marylandfamilylaw.wordpress.com)
- Maryland Court of Appeals Hears Landmark Case On Domestic Violence Statute (marylandfamilylaw.wordpress.com)
- Domestic Violence Statutes of Maryland Saves Lives (marylandfamilylaw.wordpress.com)
- This Week in The National Law Journal (legaltimes.typepad.com)