Judge Fred S. Hecker was named administrative judge of the Circuit Court for Carroll County by the Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera and will take on the role officially Feb. 1.
Current administrative Judge J. Barry Hughes announced that he will retire this coming April 1.
Hughes has served in the Circuit Court of Carroll County for nearly 15 years.
“Judge Hughes has provided exceptional service to the citizens of Carroll County as a jurist and as administrative judge,” Barbera said, according to a release from the Maryland Judiciary. “Judge Hughes was instrumental in last April’s launch in Carroll County of the Maryland Electronic Courts case management system. We have been fortunate to have him as a member of the Judiciary’s leadership, and we are equally fortunate with his successor. Judge Hecker is well-qualified for this new assignment and brings keen leadership skills, honed by the depth of his experience, to lead the court into the future.”
“Judge Hecker will do a great job as administrative judge of the Circuit Court for Carroll County,” Judge Hughes said. “He has prepared for this position in the last three years in various administrative roles. Judge Hecker is respected by attorneys, our court personnel, and by judges across the state. He is the ideal choice to lead this court going forward. I commend Chief Judge Barbera for this excellent appointment,” Judge Hughes said, according to the release.
County administrative judges oversee the administration of the court, budget, and procurement functions. They also manage trial calendars to ensure the expeditious disposition of cases, according to the release.
Hughes said of his years of service, “I have been privileged to work with remarkable colleagues and court staff who provide dedicated and expert service to our community. It has been an honor and the capstone of my career to serve as a judge in Carroll County.”
Hecker is quoted in the release saying, “I am humbled by Chief Judge Barbera’s support and trust in me as I take on this new responsibility. I have been very fortunate and privileged to work with Judge Hughes, who has set an excellent example of leadership that I intend to build upon. I look forward to the opportunity to serve my community and the courts in this new capacity.”
Judge Hecker was appointed to the Circuit Court for Carroll County in January 2014 and has been presiding judge for the Drug Treatment Court since December 2015.
He is the chair of the Maryland Judicial Council’s Court Technology Committee and a member of the Domestic Law Committee and Joint Work Group on Human Trafficking. He is also a frequent instructor at the Maryland Judiciary’s Judicial College.
Hecker majored in political science as an undergrad at Gettysburg College before moving on to earn a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1987.
He was a partner at MacDonald & Hecker, P.A., between 1994 to 2003, Miller & Truhe, LLC, between 2004 to 2005, and Miller & Hecker, LLC, from 2005 to 2013.
A past member and president of the Board of Directors of Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, Judge Hecker received the Lee A. Caplan Award for Longstanding Commitment to Pro Bono and Ensuring Equal Access to Justice from the Pro Bono Resource Center, according to the release.