Finalists Named for Two Montgomery County Circuit Judge Seats

Nominating Commission narrows field from 15 to 10



A pool of 15 applicants vying for two Montgomery County circuit judge seats has been cut to 10.

The Judicial Nominating Commission for Montgomery County met on Oct. 20 to choose its finalists. The list of finalists will go to Gov. Larry Hogan, who will appoint the next judges.

The next two Circuit Court judges will succeed Judges Marielsa A. Bernard and John W. Debelius III, who are retiring.

The 10 finalists recommended by the Nomination Commission are:

  • Jill Reid Cummins
  • District Judge John Christian Moffett
  • Theresa Michelle Chernosky
  • Gerald William Heller
  • David Warren Lease
  • District Judge Patricia Lynn Mitchell
  • District Judge James Bernard Sarsfield
  • District Judge Margaret Marie Schweitzer
  • Samantha M. Williams
  • Clark Emanuel Wisor III.

The five applicants who were not finalists are:

  • Kenneth Andrew Grigg Jr.
  • Alec Michael Lewis
  • Marylin Pierre
  • Ayo Mario Stevens
  • Deborah Murrell Whelihan.

There is no timetable for when Hogan will announce his appointments.

The Nominating Commission also met in July to pick its finalists for three Montgomery County District Court vacancies.

The District Court vacancies are due to the retirement of Judges Barry A. Hamilton, Gary G. Everngam and Eugene Wolfe.

Everngam reached retirement age and Hamilton and Wolfe are retiring voluntarily, according to Jason Lucas, a social media and communications specialist for the Maryland Judiciary.

The District Court finalists are:

  • Carlos Federico Acosta
  • Amy Julia Bills
  • Jill Reid Cummins
  • Mary Kathryn Knight
  • Aileen Elizabeth Oliver
  • Deborah Murrell Whelihan
  • Karen Anne Ferretti
  • Michael Ormond Glynn III
  • David Warren Lease
  • Clark Emanuel Wisor III.

Hogan has not announced his nomination for the three District Court judge positions.

Generally, District Court hears lower-level criminal cases, landlord-tenant cases and motor vehicle violations. Circuit Court is the venue for jury trials, more serious criminal cases and major civil cases, according to the Maryland Judiciary.

A District Court judge is appointed by the governor, with the approval of the Senate, to a 10-year term.

After being appointed by the governor, a Circuit Court judge must stand for election for a 15-year term in the next general election that’s at least one year after the date of the vacancy.

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