In October, Governor Larry Hogan elevated Judge Jeanne E. Cho from the District Court where she has been a Judge since 2012 to the Circuit Court. The governor also appointed Debra L. Dwyer to the Circuit Court. Judge Cho and Judge Dwyer fill vacancies created by the legislature. The Montgomery County Circuit Court now has 24 Judges.
The Montgomery County Circuit Court also has five Family Law Magistrates, formerly called Family Law Masters. Family Law Magistrates hear evidence and make proposed findings and recommendations to a Judge. If neither party takes exceptions to the Magistrates recommendations then the Magistrates recommendations are incorporated into a court order signed by a Judge. If one or both parties take exceptions (exceptions are similar to an appeal) within 10 days of the recommendations of the Magistrate, then a Judge will review the transcript, and may hear from the parties and or take additional testimony/evidence. The Judge must use then his or her own independent judgment to decide the outcome.