Judge Richard Mori has headed the Gloucester District Court for five years. He will now be working as a circuit judge, overseeing jury trials. This will take him from the district court here in Gloucester as it does not handle jury trials. He has been temporarily assigned to Salem District Court until his trial schedule is determined. Seems a strange thing to say, but, I'll miss him.
When the Rockport Police and the District Attorney decided to pursue criminal harassment charges against my ex-husband, I was asked by the DA's office to file a Restraining Order against said ex. I was told that they were asking for this as a precautionary measure in preparation for the time when he would be required to appear in court locally. I made my appearance in Judge Mori's court and with full understanding of the unique circumstances (my ex having returned to the UK), his honor granted the temporary RO and per law scheduled the hearing for 10 days later.
Well, the courts do not allow long distance phone usage for serving papers. No faxing! Therefore the RO would have to make it's way through the US postal system and the UK postal system to arrive at my ex's local police station. Once there, it would have to be hand served to my ex, a copy signed and dated by the UK police and that copy returned to the court here - before the scheduled hearing.
I can assure you it takes longer than ten days for that to happen.
I returned to court ten days later. No Judge Mori. There was a "fill-in". I'll refer to him as Judge JJ. Well, obviously the court had not yet received the "return" on the RO. Judge JJ was irate and asked why I hadn't seen to it! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He extended the RO for an additional week and told me to make sure the return was there by the next hearing. He had taken me by total surprise in front of open court. It was humiliating. I headed for the clerk of courts office and asked if I had been remiss. Was there something I was supposed to have done and not realized it? The clerk could tell that I was upset and assured me that Judge JJ had been out of line with his comments.
I was a wreck as I approached the next hearing so I checked with the clerk's office about the paperwork before entering the courtroom. The paperwork had been returned from the UK. And to give praise and credit, the UK police (Met) who had served the RO had called the Gloucester court to tell them when it had been served and to let them know that it was on the way back!
I walked into the courtroom just before the end of the first session. Judge Mori was back.
The second session started and I was first to be called. After I answered a few questions, Judge Mori granted the one year RO and scheduled a renewal hearing for the following year.
He did something that will endear me to him forever.
He apologized for the treatment I had endured from Judge JJ.
As Judge Mori moves to preside over jury trials I only hope that the next time I'm called for jury duty it is in his courtroom.