Daily docket information is posted to the Baltimore City Circuit Court website under Daily Trials/Hearings. If you need information concerning the date, time or location of a court proceeding, please contact the Criminal Assignment Office at (410) 333-3811 which is located in the Mitchell Courthouse, Room 142.
There are three reception courts that operate daily: two for felonies and one for misdemeanors. There is a felony reception court in the Mitchell Courthouse and Courthouse East which begins at 9:00 a.m. These courts also operate as administrative/postponement courts.
The misdemeanor reception court conducts one session daily starting at 9:30 a.m.
There are trial courts which receive cases from the reception courts daily.
The Initial Appearance Protocol, Entry of Appearance Form, and Trial Schedule Form are posted under Resources for Attorneys. If by the day before the initial appearance no entry of appearance is filed, the defendant must appear to be advised of right to counsel, charges, penalties and be assigned a trial date. Initial appearances will be held daily at 2:00 p.m. for unrepresented defendants only.
PRACTICES & PROCEDURES
The court schedules cases in compliance with its differentiated case management plan by designated track assignments based upon the complexity of the case, the number of defendants, and the anticipated length of trial. All criminal cases follow one of four distinct tracks to resolution.
Track A – Jury Trial Prayers and Appeals from the District Court
All jury trial prayers and appeals from the District Court will be assigned to Track A by the Clerk’s Office. When a jury trial is prayed in District Court, the District Court assigns a trial date within 21 to 24 days after the jury trial is prayed. Criminal Track A – Jury Trial Prayers have a disposition1 goal of 90 days. All misdemeanors received from the District Court after appeal are assigned a trial date within 30 to 45 days after the appeal is filed. Criminal Track A – District Court Appeals also have a disposition goal of 90 days.
Track B – Regular Cases
Cases involving non-violent crimes2 are assigned to Track B by the State’s Attorney Office (SAO) upon the filing of an indictment or information with the Clerk’s Office. Criminal Track B cases will receive a trial date within 60 to 75 days of the initial appearance date. Criminal Track B – Regular Cases have a disposition goal of 120 days.
Track C – Serious Cases
Cases involving violent crimes are assigned to Track C by the SAO upon the filing of an indictment or information with the Clerk’s Office. Criminal Track C cases will receive a trial date within 90 to 105 days of the initial appearance date. Criminal Track C – Serious Cases have a disposition goal of 150 days.
Track D – Complex Cases
Cases involving a homicide, multiple victims and/or multiple defendants are assigned to Track D by the SAO. Criminal Track D cases will receive a trial date within 120 to 135 days of the initial appearance date. Criminal Track D – Complex Cases have a disposition goal of 180 days.
The Court’s postponement policy is strict and consistent across all four tracks in order to comply with time standards. As required by Rule 4-271, the Court will deny requests for postponements unless “good cause” is shown.
Advance postponements are not accepted for misdemeanor jury trial prayer cases. If counsel wishes to postpone a felony case prior to the trial date, counsel must submit by email a Request for Advance Trial Postponement Form at least 7 business days prior to the trial date to the Judge In Charge or his/her designee. The request should be submitted at least 4 business days prior to the proposed hearing date. The Judge In Charge will either deny the postponement request or set a date and time to hear the postponement request. The Advance Postponements Request Protocol and Request for Advance Trial Postponement form for felonies is posted under Resources for Attorneys.
Any discovery disputes must be raised pursuant to the Maryland Rules with all such disputes referred to the assigned Discovery Judge after appropriate pleadings have been filed with the court.
In most cases, pre-trial motions are decided by the trial judge on the date of trial. If a defendant has a dispositive pre-trial motion, a Request for a Specially Set Dispositive Motions Hearing may be submitted to the Judge In Charge who will determine if a hearing should be set.
MISDEMEANOR JURY TRIALS
If an election for a trial by jury occurs in the District Court, the defendant will be given a summons by the Assistant State’s Attorney in the District to report for trial in the Circuit Court 21 days later. If the attorneys or witnesses have a conflict with the designated date, counsel may select a trial date 2-3 days before or after the original date. All cases will be assigned to the misdemeanor reception court for resolution or assignment to a trial court.
PROBLEM SOLVING COURTS
The Division operates two Drug Treatment Courts and one Mental Health Court.