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Montgomery County Circuit Court Judges Can Do More To Protect Domestic Violence Victims, Study Say

6:27 PM, Nov 14, 2013   |    comments
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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Curcuit Court Judges in Montgomery County have some work to do when it comes to better protecting victims of domestic violence, according to a new report from Montgomery Court Watch.

The report documents how abusers often leave court without strong enough warnings about the consequences of violating protective orders.

In 47% of hearings alleged abusers were not warned by a judge that they could go to jail if they violate a restraining order.

In 55% of hearings alleged abusers were not told they must give up their guns.

In 35% of hearings the courts did not follow procedures to protect women leaving court by preventing an alleged abuser from leaving a hearing at the same time as an alleged victim.

Despite the shortcomings, the CourtWatch report found in the vast majority of cases victims are treated with dignity and respect in the courtroom.

Montgomery County Circuit Court Administrative Judge John Debelius said the criticisms were constructive and should be taken into consideration.

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