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Hyattsville District Court Hosts Maryland’s Chief Judge

(HYATTSVILLE, Md. – September 23, 2014) The District Court of Maryland in Hyattsville welcomed Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera on Friday, September 19. Judge Tiffany H. Anderson, Administrative Judge for District Five (Prince George’s County), hosted the visit from the chief judge, who came to Prince George’s County to meet with judges and court professionals during an extensive tour of the court.

Chief Judge Barbera toured the District Court’s Upper Marlboro location earlier in the year. She has been visiting and learning about each court facility since July 2013, when she was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley to lead Maryland’s judicial branch of government.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to introduce Chief Judge Barbera to our exceptional personnel and four of our 15 judges who sit in Hyattsville. Our staff is dedicated and hardworking, and they continue to work collaboratively to serve the citizens of Prince George’s County,” Judge Anderson said.

The chief judge arrived in Hyattsville at midday and spent two and a half hours visiting every area of the court, including the commissioners’ office and the jail. While at the jail, she met Commissioners Eva Mejia, Xerxes Grant, and Alyce Rojugbokin. Chief Judge Barbera also was introduced to two attorneys who work with the Appointed Attorneys Program, which helps provide representation to indigent defendants during initial appearances. Hyattsville operates five full-time courtrooms while Upper Marlboro operates nine full-time courtrooms.

“Everyone here is a vital part of the Judiciary’s mission, both here in our community, and as part of the state court system,” Judge Anderson said. “Chief Judge Barbera genuinely cared about every aspect of the court and its operation. She made it a point to meet personally with each and every person here, and listened to what they had to say. We were very excited to have her in Hyattsville.”

While in Hyattsville, Chief Judge Barbera met with Judge Clayton A. Aarons, who was sworn in on Monday, September 15, Judge G. Richard Collins, Judge Mark T. O’Brien, and Judge Gregory C. Powell, as well as retired Judge Alice P. Clark and retired Judge Louis D. Harrington, who are recalled to hear cases in court. During her tour, the chief judge talked with every member of the court staff. “I was impressed by both her sincere interest and her excellent questions,” Administrative Clerk Robert Prender said. “In a time when we all communicate by phone or email, it was a huge morale booster to have our leader talk with us personally and in such a warm and friendly way.”

Judge Anderson was named administrative judge in June, Chief Judge Barbera noted, adding, “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet with Judge Anderson as she begins this new challenge, and to thank her personally for her impressive leadership of District Five. I enjoyed meeting with my colleagues on the bench, and I have learned much from the hard-working people here who represent our Judiciary so well. They graciously took time to meet with me, and I was so pleased to hear from the staff that they truly enjoy their work. It was wonderful to be able to thank them in person for their dedicated service.”

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