Who is Hassan Giordano? And what is the origin and meaning of the Circuit Court?
Below, find out more about Hassan Giordano, the city's leading candidate for Clerk of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Also learn about the history of the Circuit Courthouses and how they came about in order to familiarize yourself with the importance of the role of the Clerk. 
Hassan Giordano is a 41-year old political analyst, community servant, advid Orioles and Ravens fan, and most importantly a proud father of three beautiful boys - Malik, Makil and Caleb. He is the son of Harry 'Jake' Allen, an African American retired Chevron exec; and Theresa Giordano, an Italian and Sicilian bookkeeper and account manager.

Hassan grew up in different parts of Baltimore, from the streets of Park Heights and Sandtown, to the suburban landscapes of Cockeysville when he attended middle school. After receiving his GED at age 16, Hassan went on to attend Catonsville, Essex and finally Baltimore City Community Colleges, studying government and communications. He went on to serve as the Legislative and Communications aide to Delegate Salima Marriott in 2003, after first helping get then City Council President Sheila Dixon re-elected serving as her citywide field director.

He then served as the Executive Director of the Voting Rights for Former Felons 'Rock da Vote' campaign, where he successfully authored the 2007 Voter Registration Protection Act, which enabled former felons to regain their voting rights upon completion of their court-ordered sentence. During this time, Hassan also served as one of the founders of Baltimore's Youth Empowerment Movement, serving as the political director for a group of young and spirited activists across the City of Baltimore, which included such leaders as Reverend Heber Brown, Minister Farajii Muhammad and Elder C.D. Witherspoon.

During his time with the Youth Movement, Hassan helped shepherd through local legislation forming a Youth City Council, which is known today as the Baltimore City Youth Commission. He then went on to serve as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Field and Communication Operations on the Kweisi Mfume for U.S. Senate campaign, followed by serving on the Michael Sarbanes for City Council President campaign.

​Hassan then went on to start writing for the Examiner as their local political expert, eventually garnering the brand name he carries today, #MrPolitics. He followed that success up with his own political television show, entitled the Reporters' Roundtable with Hassan Giordano, where he interviewed local, state and national figures such as Anthony Anderson, Tavis Smiley, Reverend Al Sharpton and more.

After gaining a political following, Hassan founded GCOMM Media Co, which housed the creation of Maryland's first social media based news outlet, DMVDaily.com. Serving as the online publication's Editor In Chief, Hassan began garnering a reputation for reporting on political issues that most would not cover, including breaking news stories such as the sexual harassment story of one local city councilman and uncovering the facts that led to the state board of elections decertifying the city's 2016 Primary Election results, the first time in the history of the state that this was ever done. 

In 2011, Hassan authored local legislation that would lower the age requirement of those seeking elected office on the Baltimore City Council, from twenty-years of age to eighteen years old. This Charter amendment passed through the City Council and was approved by over 80% of the city's electorate later that year. The very next year, Hassan authored legislation that allowed for Independent and third-party voters to be appointed to local boards and commissions. This bill was another Charter amendment that needed the approval of the voters, which it received overwhelmingly in the 2012 Presidential General Elections.

After fighting for the rights of the courthouse employees alongside the local union AFSCME 3674 and it's President Pat Kelly, along with Frank Conaway Sr. - the late, great Clerk of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Hassan saw a need for a new fight - one that required a leader ready to roll up his sleeves and begin the fight for an increase in the juror pay, an upgrade in the courts technology and someone willing to work with city and state legislators to ensure the employees and the citizens of Baltimore were given a brand new courthouse complex. And that is why Hassan decided to run for Clerk of the Circuit Court, looking to capitalize off of the years of experience and knowledge he has of the court system in order to 'Change the Courts'. 

The Origin of the Circuit Courts in Baltimore

The Circuit Court for Baltimore City is essentially made up of two facilities, the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse (West Courthouse) and the Old Post Office (East Courthouse). Both buildings are located on the 100 block of N. Calvert Street in downtown Baltimore, and the facilities that city residents report to for jury duty, visit when facing felony criminal charges, come to in order to file paperwork for various services, including civil cases, protective orders and custody cases, as well as being home to the city's Register of Wills offices.

Circuit Courts are the highest common law and equity courts of record exercising original jurisdiction within Maryland. Each has full common law and equity powers and jurisdiction in all civil and criminal cases within its county, and all the additional powers and jurisdiction conferred by the Maryland Constitution and by law, except where jurisdiction has been limited or conferred exclusively upon another tribunal by law.

As trial courts of general jurisdiction, Circuit Courts have very broad jurisdiction, generally covering major civil cases and more serious criminal matters. Circuit Courts also may decide appeals from the District Court of Maryland and certain administrative agencies. Circuit Courts originated in the colonial period as County Courts. In 1775, just before the Revolutionary War, their functions were suspended. After Maryland adopted its first State Constitution in 1776, the County Courts reopened and justices were appointed for every county in April 1777.

For the counties, the Circuit Courts were established to succeed the County Courts in 1851 (Constitution of 1851, Art. IV, secs. 8, 9). The present Baltimore City Circuit Court, however, evolved from a more complex judicial system. From 1789 to 1816, a court of oyer and terminer and gaol delivery heard criminal cases for Baltimore County (Chapter 1, Acts of November Session 1787; Chapter 50, Acts of 1791; Chapter 57, Acts of 1793). Its jurisdiction was redefined in 1797, 1798, and 1816 to cover a certain urban area set apart from Baltimore County, and it was renamed the Baltimore City Court (Chapter 121, Acts of 1797; Chapter 65, Acts of 1798; Chapter 193, Acts of 1816).

For Baltimore City, the Constitution of 1851 authorized four additional courts: the Circuit Court, the Court of Common Pleas, the Superior Court, and the Criminal Court (Art. IV, secs. 10-13). The Circuit Court of Baltimore City was established by statute in 1853 and further mandated by the Constitution of 1864 (Chapter 122, Acts of 1853; Art. IV, secs. 31, 35). The Constitution of 1867 authorized the Baltimore City Court (for civil proceedings) and placed all of these City courts under jurisdiction of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City (Art. IV, secs. 27, 28). In 1888, Circuit Court no. 2 also was created under the Supreme Bench (Chapter 194, Acts of 1888).

By constitutional amendment, the six courts of the Supreme Bench were consolidated (Chapter 523, Acts of 1980, ratified Nov. 4, 1980). On January 1 1983, it became the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.