Lowell District Court
The Lowell District Court is located at 41 Hurd Street in downtown Lowell. It serves as a court for the prosecution of most criminal cases committed in Lowell and the five surrounding towns of Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tewksbury, and Tyngsboro. In addition to handling criminal cases, the Court also handles restraining orders and harassment prevention orders for plaintiffs (the person asking for the order) who live in its jurisdiction. The court also handles residential evictions (also with the housing court), commercial evictions, civil lawsuits (for damages under $25,000) and small claims matters (for damages under $7,000). The court also has a special drug court program, presided over by the Honorable Ellen Caulo, designed to supervise drug dependent persons on probation by working with treatment providers and counselors to drug test, find residential programs, and identify other needs designed to assist in treatment and recovery.
The court staff is divided into three groups: Clerk’s Office, Probation Department, and the Judge’s Lobby. The Clerk’s Office is run by Clerk Magistrate William A. Lisano, who handles the magistrate hearings and oversees the work done by his assistant clerk magistrates. The probation department is led by Chief Probation Officer Steven Mastandrea and his staff of probation officers. The judges are all independent and decide cases based on their own discretion, but are led by the Honorable Stacey J. Fortes, a former prosecutor and now the First Justice of the Lowell District Court. Judge Fortes takes over from longtime First Justice Thomas Brennan, who was assigned to Lowell leading up to his retirement.
The courthouse building is by no measure a modern structure, with its age apparent by even a cursory inspection. However, court staff are able to look forward to a new modern courthouse being built on Jackson Street in Lowell – the construction looming over the cityscape when coming into the city. The $200 million courthouse project is designed to handle Superior, District, Probate & Family, Juvenile, and Housing Court matters. Although critics of the project note a lack of room for attorneys and insufficient parking, the building is designed to house all of the local courts currently being run in outdated buildings desperately in need of repair.
Criminal Defense Lawyer Ryan Sullivan regularly handles all types of criminal matter pending in the court. From shoplifting and speeding tickets to DUI and domestic violence and more, Attorney Sullivan has represented individuals with charges in the Lowell District Court and achieved great results. Attorney Sullivan started his first job as a prosecutor assigned to Lowell, grew up in the area, prosecuted cases in the Lowell Superior Court, and opened his criminal defense law firm within walking distance of the courthouse. Having these experiences has allowed Mr. Sullivan to develop close ties with the courthouse staff, the police, and the assistant district attorneys assigned to prosecute the case. While every case is different, knowing the personality of the probation officer, the clerk magistrate, the judge, or the DA can offer an invaluable insight into the best way to defend the case.
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