Maryland Judicial Accountability Act of 2011 sign now

We the citizens of the State of Maryland have come to realize that the Maryland Judicial Branch has remained mostly unaccountable for too long. Specifically the men and women wearing black robes, i.e. judges. Their job performance on the bench, especially in the lower courts, is unknown due to Marylands current records policy.

We would like the following provisions, collectively apart of The Judicial Accountability Act, to pass through the General Assembly and ultimately be signed into law by Gov. OMalley as soon as possible:


1. The Maryland Judiciary Case Search (MDJDCS) be searchable by judges names.

2. A running tally, updated at least weekly, of a judges total juried trials, non-juried trials, non-juried appealed trial rulings, and overturned non-juried appealed trial rulings.

3. From this tally all judges would receive a rating, similar to a baseball player's batting average, based on appealed and overturned rulings. So for a judge who had 2 appealed cases and one was overturned they would have a .500 rating. These judge ruling/opinion performance ratings would be a link off the main mdcourts.gov internet page.

4. Require audio taping during all open court proceedings in all courtrooms. Currently some courtrooms are exclusively transcribed by court reporters. Due to human error and the inability for the written word to convey non-verbal cues, an audible record is essential to trial history.

5. Require judges to cite the laws and/or case law that applies to their decisions and rulings. Require this be placed in individual public case records.

6. Allow voters to choose yes or no on the election ballot when judges run unopposed (example: if there are 3 judge slots open and only 3 judges running then this counts as unopposed) in both the primary and general elections. Other states currently have these measures in place.

7. If a judge has a rating at or below .600 (more than four out of every ten of his/her cases overturned by a higher court) and they are voted out in the election after their first full term then their retirement benefits and any other fringe benefits shall be revoked.

8. Make civil cases loser pays. So whoever prevails has reasonable attorneys fees paid for by the losing party. This will help curtail frivolous lawsuits.


We believe these provisions would allow for a more open and transparent government. This would also aid in maintaining the integrity of the Maryland courts.

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Bernadette WoodsBy:
People and OrganizationsIn:
Petition target:
Maryland General Assembly and Governor Martin O'Malley

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