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Pagers to help contact court's officer

November 25, 2000

Pagers to help contact court's officer



By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer


The public will soon have 24-hour access to Washington County District Court commissioners.

The commissioners have traditionally kept weekday hours for services such as posting bail and issuing criminal charging documents.

On weekends and after hours, the public has relied on already overburdened police agencies, said court spokesman Todd Silver.

Under a new system, a commissioner will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The commissioner can be reached at the new Boublitz District Courthouse, 36 W. Antietam St., Hagerstown. The phone number is 240-420-4650.

After-hours callers will be greeted by a message that identifies which one of three pagers is in service and its number.

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Citizens who call the pager and enter a telephone number where they can be reached should receive a response within 10 minutes, Silver said.

The system was not in service Friday, but is expected to begin shortly.

"The pager system will give citizens 24-hour direct access to our court commissioners," said District Court Chief Judge Martha F. Rasin.

"While other agencies often refer calls to us, it is important that people realize that commissioners are independent judicial officers and are not affiliated with the police or the jail," Rasin said. "This method of direct contact will help to make that clear."

The system is already used in larger counties and may eventually be implemented statewide, Silver said.

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