Amherst is located in Hampshire County, Massachusetts and claims a population of about 35,000. One of the earliest city records dates back to a deed executed in 1658 when three Native Americans sold property to an early settler. From these early beginnings, in 1727, a group English settlers arrived. Amherst became a township in 1759. A city rich with history, Amherst celebrates its 250th anniversary in 2009.
In February 2009, a University of Massachusetts sociology major, Marcus Smith, was arrested on charges of assault and battery for allegedly stabbing an Amherst College student, Issac Cameron, in his dormitory room. It has been reported that the stabbing incident, in which Smith was also injured, originated out of a dispute related to a female that Smith had been dancing with earlier that evening. Smith was held without bail and pled innocent to the charges. If convicted, Smith faces a prison sentence of up to ten years.
In Massachusetts, litigants begin their cases in a district court which handles most legal matters other than matters related to juvenile, family and probate issues. Amherst residents are served by the East Hampshire District Court which is located at 205 State St, Belchertown, Massachusetts. People under age 18 facing criminal charges will appear before the Franklin-Hampshire Juvenile Court. Amherst residents who wants a divorce, have a child custody dispute, or need a will probated will go to the Hampshire Probate and Family Court.
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