Message from the Judge In-Charge
Honorable Althea M. Handy, Judge In-Charge
Courthouse East, Chambers 529
111 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
The Circuit Court for Baltimore City is a court of general original jurisdiction. Its authority encompasses all civil actions except those which the Maryland legislature has specifically allocated to other courts.
The goal of the Civil Division is to process cases efficiently and provide an orderly forum for the prompt resolution of disputes.
The Civil Division of the Court processes and manages all civil non-domestic matters within the Court’s jurisdiction. It employs a differentiated case management system for the processing and tracking of all cases. A scheduling order, which establishes relevant procedural milestones and deadlines and pre-trial conference and trial dates, is generated for all cases that are expected to proceed to trial.
Several alternative dispute resolution programs are utilized by the Court to provide opportunities for the resolution of cases prior to trial. Mandatory settlement conferences are generally scheduled before either a judge or volunteer settlement attorney at least thirty days before trial. There is also a separate Court Mediation Program for professional malpractice, business/commercial, contract, worker’s compensation, employment, environmental and insurance cases. The mediation sessions are facilitated by mediators, who have met the requirements of Maryland Rule 17-107 and have been approved by the Court. Mediators may charge an hourly rate as set by the Court. Two hours of mediation are court ordered. By agreement, parties may choose any other individual to mediate the dispute if the name, address and telephone number of the individual is filed with the Clerk of Court within thirty days of the scheduling order.