Edgartown courthouse

Humor Helps Lighten the Weight of the Bench

The Hon. Gary Nickerson’s journey has taken him to the district attorney’s office, the U.S. attorney’s office, private practice and personal injury lawyer, and finally a judgeship.

Ailing Edgartown Courthouse Set for Upgrade

Prodded by a superior court judge, the Dukes County commission this week approved funds to restore wheelchair access to the courthouse.

Edgartown Courthouse Access for People with Disabilities Found Severely Lacking

At the Edgartown courthouse, access for people with handicaps is severely lacking. The only wheelchair ramp is in disrepair. The wheelchair lift on the stairs leading to the courtroom has been broken for months.

County Warned of Fire Safety Issues at Courthouse in 2001

Fire protection problems at the Edgartown courthouse have been known since at least 2001, when a state report recommended upgrades to increase safety in the 1856 brick building.

Fire Drill at Courthouse Turns Up Long List of Deficiencies

An inspection at the Edgartown courthouse has turned up serious deficiencies in fire safety, including an emergency exit door that was locked and impassable.

Walking the Path of History, One Deed at a Time

After 21 years, Dianne Powers will retire this fall from the Edgartown registry of deeds. Lately she has been sharing her office with Honey Bee, the youngest of her four Great Danes.

Chief Justice Pays Farewell Visit to Edgartown Courthouse

After nearly 30 years on the bench, the Hon. Barbara J. Rouse, chief justice of the Massachusetts superior court, retires in December. Her farewell tour included a stop last week on the Vineyard, where she spoke with high school history students.

County Courthouse, Built in 1858, Will Get Needed Repairs

After a wide-ranging discussion about the poor condition of the Edgartown courthouse due to deferred maintenance, the Dukes County advisory board voted this week to put $150,000 toward repairs on the 1858 brick building that stands in the center of town.

The advisory board voted unanimously Wednesday to move $150,000 from the county budget reserve fund into a newly created capital expenditures fund. The vote took place during a joint session of the county advisory board and the county commissioners.

Russell Smith Sheriff Michael McCormack Joseph Solitto

Upholding the Law on Land and Sea

A 128-year-old painting of a Vineyard sheriff has been rehung in the Edgartown courthouse after extensive restoration. The painting of Sheriff Frances Cottle Smith was accidentally slashed from behind while in storage when the courtroom was repainted four years ago.

And behind an oil painting with an accidental slash lies an intricate family story.

The restoration work was spearheaded by Ann A. Perkins — a Los Angeles resident who is the great-great-granddaughter of the subject in the portrait — and her husband, John.

Judge Tucker Brings New Dignity To Sessions of Island Court

A man and woman charged recently with sleeping in Ocean Park, a violation of Oak Bluffs law, came before the Dukes county district court judge Herbert E. Tucker, Jr. and were ordered to pay a $25 fine. They told Judge Tucker they needed until 1 p.m. that afternoon to pay.
At 1 p.m., the couple did not appear. They had gone home to Fairhaven.