By Adam Pagnucco.
Here’s something you don’t see every day in MoCo: a group of candidates obtaining a temporary restraining order against an opponent. As strange as that might be, the details are even stranger.
The incident that gave rise to the temporary restraining order occurred on Monday, October 26. According to a complaint filed in circuit court, sitting judge and candidate Bibi Berry and one of her volunteers encountered a volunteer for Marylin Pierre, who is running against the sitting judge slate, at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The civic building is an early voting location and Monday was the first day of early voting. Berry and her volunteer allegedly heard Pierre’s volunteer tell voters that Pierre was “the only progressive judge on the ballot.” Berry then claims to have corrected Pierre’s volunteer, telling voters (accurately) that Pierre is not a judge. According to the complaint, Pierre’s volunteer “continued to repeat the same phrase to prospective voters, ‘Ms. Pierre is the only progressive judge on the ballot’ louder and with greater conviction.” The sitting judges then filed for a temporary restraining order against Pierre’s campaign prohibiting her and her surrogates from referring to her as a judge. Judge Julia Augusta Martz-Fisher granted the temporary restraining order today.
This is the third strange incident involving Pierre that has been reported on Seventh State. The first occurred when Pierre tweeted that the defendants accused of killing George Floyd in Minnesota should be locked up with the burden of proof placed on them to show their innocence, a clear departure from basic criminal law. Pierre blamed the tweet on a volunteer. The second incident occurred when the former chair of the county Republican Party alleged that Pierre told GOP leaders in 2018 “she would be a ‘law and order’ judge who would be tough on bail.” Pierre is running as a progressive this year. Pierre admitted to attending GOP events and to contributing to the GOP but did not specifically address the allegations about what she said to party leaders.
Appearing below are the excerpt from the sitting judges’ online case file (accessible here) showing the issuance of the temporary restraining order as well as both the motion for temporary restraining order and the complaint filed by the sitting judges.