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NEWS
By MARLO BARNHART | February 1, 1998
Family law division goal of circuit judge Fred Wright's eye is fixed firmly on the future of the Washington County Circuit Court. Now up to full strength with four full-time judges and a family law master, Wright, as the administrative judge of the Fourth Circuit, said he doesn't believe a fifth judge is necessary. "What I would like to see is a family law division of the Washington County Circuit Court, possibly set up in the first floor of the old District Court building," Wright said.
NEWS
November 5, 1997
By DON AINES Staff Writer, Martinsburg MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Family law bore the brunt of the criticism Tuesday night at a public hearing of the Commission on the Future of the West Virginia Judicial System in the Berkeley County Courthouse. A dozen of the 20 speakers addressed the problems of family law, with several calling for changes or elimination of the law master system that deals with divorces, child custody, support and other domestic relations matters. "The court needs to consider and the legislature needs to seriously consider moving to a family court system," said Del. Vicki Douglas, D-Berkeley.
NEWS
March 17, 1999
Despite some ill feelings on both sides of the issues, the West Virginia Legislature managed to pass important bills dealing with employee pay raises and family law just minutes before the 1999 session ended at midnight this past Saturday. That's the good news. The bad news is that one of the bills may have fatal flaws while the other has significant omissions. Fixing them will require action during a special extended session. It's another example of what happens when lawmakers allow personal feelings to get in the way of their responsibilities.
NEWS
by PEPPER BALLARD | September 21, 2004
pepperb@herald-mail.com Former teacher, hospital manager, regional planner and law firm partner Michele Ferris Hansen has taken on a new role as Washington County assistant state's attorney. Hansen, a 1990 graduate of University of Baltimore School of Law, started work Sept. 7, shadowing other county prosecutors. She has been placed on the Child Abuse Treatment Team, where she will work closely with the Department of Social Services and the Child Advocacy Center, among others.
NEWS
March 24, 1999
Before adjourning Monday, the West Virginia Legislature did its best to clean up a family-law bill marred by a lawmakers' squabble that led to it being passed with a number of technical errors. It remains to be seen, however, whether lawmakers' best efforts at a last-minute repair were good enough. The bill begins the transition from the current system of family law masters to a new, separate family court, with its own elected judges. Family judges will answer to current circuit court judges until the public approves a constitutional amendment making them full-fledged judges.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | July 8, 2012
Indigent criminal defendants have a right to legal counsel, often provided through the Public Defender's Office, but people of limited incomes often have legal issues that are civil in nature. While defendants or plaintiffs in civil matters are not guaranteed free representation, free legal advice will be available in Washington County at the Maryland Legal Aid Pro Bono Day on Thursday, July 19. From 4 to 8 p.m., volunteer attorneys will be at the Department of Social Services, 122 N. Potomac St., to provide answers and advice on issues including family law, landlord-tenant disputes, foreclosures, business law, Social Security disability and other topics, said Katie Cox, a paralegal with Mid-Western Maryland office of the Legal Aid Bureau Inc. There is no charge to attend and no registration is required.
NEWS
by PEPPER BALLARD | April 28, 2006
A panel of three attorneys will answer legal questions Monday morning from local radio listeners and offer legal advice in recognition of national Law Day, Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michele Ferris Hansen said. Washington County Bar Association members Hansen, local defense and civil attorney Michael Wilson, and local private attorney Margaret Lynn Williams, will take questions about lawyers and legal proceedings on an "Ask the Lawyer" program from 9 to 10 a.m. on WJEJ AM-1240.
NEWS
by GREGORY T. SIMMONS | February 6, 2004
gregs@herald-mail.com Two women and six men, including the Washington County state's attorney, have submitted applications to fill the open judgeship in Washington County District Court. Two judgeships are assigned to Washington County District Court, one of which opened in December when R. Noel Spence retired from the bench due to state age limits. Judges must step down at age 70. The application period closed Wednesday. Eight local attorneys submitted applications to the state's court administrative office, and will be interviewed by a local judicial nominating commission.
NEWS
by ANDREW SCHOTZ | January 20, 2007
Editor's note: In this occasional series, The Herald-Mail explains the committees on which state lawmakers from Washington County serve in the Maryland General Assembly. Committee name: House Judiciary Washington County representative: Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington Started on committee: 2003 Committee's purpose: Shank said there are two divisions of the law - criminal, which covers most felonies and misdemeanors, and civil, which includes litigation and contracts.
NEWS
by ANDREW SCHOTZ | January 27, 2007
Editor's note: This is part two of an occasional series explaining the committees on which state lawmakers from Washington County serve in the Maryland General Assembly. Committee name: Senate Judicial Proceedings Washington County representative: Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington Started on committee: Served on committee from 1999 to 2001, then rejoined committee in 2003. Committee's purpose: Mooney said the committee considers a wide range of issues connected to the law, including vehicle and traffic, abortion, gambling, crime, the death penalty, gay rights and medical malpractice.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
May 16, 2013
A vote for referendum is a vote for quality jobs To the editor: I am writing in support of the referendum question on the May 21 primary ballot in Montgomery Township. While the question on the ballot mentions liquor, this question is ultimately about jobs and Whitetail Resort, which creates quality jobs in our part of Franklin County. With 21 years of employment at Whitetail, I am very confident that, as a reputable business in our community, we will approach this new endeavor with the utmost of professionalism and responsibility.
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NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com | May 9, 2013
The three men running for judge in the 39th District of the Court of Common Pleas faced questioning Thursday night during a forum preceding the primary election. Attorneys Jeffrey Evans, Jerrold Sulcove and Jeremiah Zook are running for the open seat on the bench created by the retirement of Richard Walsh. The 39th District serves Franklin and Fulton counties. The Franklin County Democratic Committee held the event at the Shady Grove Community Center in cooperation with the Greencastle-Antrim Democratic Club.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | April 28, 2013
Legal advice is something just about everyone will need at some point during their lifetime, and residents of Washington County and surrounding areas will have the chance to get some help for free on Wednesday. Assistant State's Attorney Michele F. Hansen said May 1 has been nationally known as Law Day since the 1950s. “At that time, we were in the Cold War situation. So President Eisenhower decided that we in the United States would have a counter to their Labor Day,” Hansen said.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | July 8, 2012
Indigent criminal defendants have a right to legal counsel, often provided through the Public Defender's Office, but people of limited incomes often have legal issues that are civil in nature. While defendants or plaintiffs in civil matters are not guaranteed free representation, free legal advice will be available in Washington County at the Maryland Legal Aid Pro Bono Day on Thursday, July 19. From 4 to 8 p.m., volunteer attorneys will be at the Department of Social Services, 122 N. Potomac St., to provide answers and advice on issues including family law, landlord-tenant disputes, foreclosures, business law, Social Security disability and other topics, said Katie Cox, a paralegal with Mid-Western Maryland office of the Legal Aid Bureau Inc. There is no charge to attend and no registration is required.
NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com | May 27, 2012
Anthony Cory Ham, a Jefferson High School senior, would have been the first in his family to graduate from high school if a tragic accident last month had not claimed his young life. Instead, his cap and gown were presented to his mother and other family members in an emotional ceremony at the beginning of Jefferson High School's 40th commencement exercises Sunday afternoon in Shepherd University's Butcher Center. Ham, 18, who died in late April when a gun he was handling accidentally went off, planned to move back to Indiana and pursue a degree in medicine.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com | February 17, 2011
Nearly four years after Harry L. Angle III of Boonsboro died, his family wants the state to punish adults who supply drugs to minors. Angle, who was known as Trey, was 17 when he died in July 2007. His parents, Laureen Valentine and Harry Angle Jr., said a mixture of methadone and alcohol killed him. Trey's family testified Thursday before a state Senate committee in support of Sen. Christopher B. Shank's bill that would create a new felony charge covering how drugs were sold to him. The charge could be used against drug-providers at least 18 years old in cases where a minor uses the drugs and dies.
LIFESTYLE
Lisa Prejean | January 6, 2011
Lately my son has been studying two government documents that are very different in nature: The Constitution and “All You Need to Know about Your Driver’s License.” The first document was eloquently written in 1787 and provides the foundation for our government. The second document was written in 2003 and prepares young drivers for the road. My son’s motivation for studying the first is two-fold. He is taking a U.S. History class and he is working on a scholarship essay about the Constitution.
NEWS
by ANDREW SCHOTZ | January 27, 2007
Editor's note: This is part two of an occasional series explaining the committees on which state lawmakers from Washington County serve in the Maryland General Assembly. Committee name: Senate Judicial Proceedings Washington County representative: Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington Started on committee: Served on committee from 1999 to 2001, then rejoined committee in 2003. Committee's purpose: Mooney said the committee considers a wide range of issues connected to the law, including vehicle and traffic, abortion, gambling, crime, the death penalty, gay rights and medical malpractice.
NEWS
by ANDREW SCHOTZ | January 20, 2007
Editor's note: In this occasional series, The Herald-Mail explains the committees on which state lawmakers from Washington County serve in the Maryland General Assembly. Committee name: House Judiciary Washington County representative: Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington Started on committee: 2003 Committee's purpose: Shank said there are two divisions of the law - criminal, which covers most felonies and misdemeanors, and civil, which includes litigation and contracts.
NEWS
by PEPPER BALLARD | September 24, 2006
The Washington County Circuit Court Family Law Clinic gives residents the chance to seek free legal help from a Hagerstown attorney once a week. Michael Allen Wilson, a Hagerstown attorney, is at Circuit Court, at 95 W. Washington St., on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to help people with family law matters, at no cost. Those interested may ask for Wilson at the courthouse. Wilson said the aid is provided to people based on their income and family size. "Very, very seldom do I turn someone away because they don't fit the means test," he said.
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