Gov. Larry Hogan appointed three new judges to the Montgomery County District Court in order to fill vacancies and a newly created judgeship.
Hogan appointed Rand Lewis Gelber, Sherri Debra Koch and Marina Lolley Sabett to the court in December. Hogan made the appointments after a recommendation from the state’s judicial nominating commission.
“After conducting a thorough and comprehensive vetting process, I am honored to appoint Ms. Koch, Ms. Sabett, and Mr. Gelber to the Montgomery County District Court,” Hogan said in a statement. “These individuals have demonstrated an exceptional understanding of our legal process and a firm commitment to upholding the law. I am confident that they will be strong advocates for justice in our state.”
Koch, who will replace the retiring William Simmons, is a senior prosecutor for the Special Victims Division for Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Sabett will replace Judge Jeannie E. Cho, who was elevated to a Montgomery Circuit Court judgeship by Hogan. Sabett has served as an administrative law judge since 2010. Previously, Sabett had her own law practice, Venable LLP, where she worked as a civil trial litigator.
Gelber was appointed to fill a new position created when Hogan signed a law last April that added one judgeship to the Montgomery County District Court. Gelber previously worked as a solo practitioner, starting his own law practice.
All judges serve a 10-year term for the District Court.
Last year, Montgomery County Circuit Administrative Judge John Debelius testified to the General Assembly that the County was in a need of more judges. Debelius said additional judges on the circuit and district courts were overdue and that judges had been stretched as they tried to cover their dockets.
“We’re always scrambling to cover our dockets,” Debelius said. “This will give us some breathing room.”