- Legal Aid – 410-539-5340
- Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Service – 410-547-6537
- Family Law Hotline – 1-800-845-8550
- Advocacy Resources
- The Protective Order Advocacy and Representation Project
- The Multi-Ethnic Domestic Violence Project
- Department of Social Services
- Information of Criminal Charges
- House of Ruth
Court Services and Programs
Student Mediation Project
In a limited number of cases, students from the Mediation Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law perform mediation services for the court under the supervision of their professors and experienced mediators. Limited representation for parties is provided by the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland. The service is provided free of charge. Referrals are made by the Magistrate at the Scheduling Conference.
Social Services Coordinator
If there are allegations of substance abuse, a Judge or Magistrate may order the parties to report to the Social Services Coordinator for referral to Addictions Assessment and random drug testing. Generally within a few weeks of the referral, parties can expect to start receiving requests that they obtain drug testing. Parties are required to find their own resources for testing. Test results must be faxed to the Social Services Coordinator, who will report the results (including failure to appear for testing) to the Judge or Magistrate assigned to hear the case. Parties are expected to provide test results approximately twice per month.
Appointments for Addictions Assessment will also be sent in the mail. The assessments are conducted by the Addictions Assessment Unit of the court located in room 442 of the Mitchell Courthouse. Results are reported directly to the Judge or Magistrate assigned to hear the case.
The Social Services Coordinator may also make referrals for community resources.
Custody and Adoption Unit
The Custody and Adoption Unit conducts interviews with all parties involved with a child, gathers essential records (criminal records, school records, medical records, etc.) and conducts home studies. Parties are required to appear at an in-house interview and provide access to necessary records. A visit to one or both parties’ homes may also be scheduled.
Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Social Workers attached to the Medical Services office of the court perform mental health and custody evaluations. Parties are required to report to the Medical Services Office (room 100 in Courthouse East) for an interview. Children, depending on age, will be interviewed at a separate interview. The court may assess a fee of up to $600.00 for the evaluation, with the costs to be divided between the parties as the court sees fit. Any request to waive the custody evaluation fee must be submitted to the Clerk’s office at least 30 days prior to the scheduled appointment. PLEASE NOTE: children who are not scheduled for an interview should not be brought to the Medical Services office.
Confidential Document Policy
PLEASE NOTE: In order to obtain a copy of a confidential report from Custody and Adoption, Medical Services, Social Services Coordinator, and/or Supervised Visitation you will be required to read and sign a copy of the Confidential Document Policy. Copies of all reports are available in the Clerk’s Office. The charge for copies is $.50 per page.
Confidential Document Policy
Frequently, there is an impediment to meaningful interaction between a parent and child (long periods with no contact, previous abusive situations, etc.). The Supervised Visitation Program provides a mechanism whereby non-custodial parents can interact with their children in an environment that is safe and comfortable for both the parent and the child. The interaction between parent and child is observed by a social worker who reports those observations back to the court. The ultimate goal of the program is to create enough of a comfort level to allow for less restrictive visitation, if deemed appropriate by the Judge or Magistrate.
All visits are court ordered. The program runs in the evening Monday – Friday. Visits are scheduled for one hour per week for eight weeks. Visits are scheduled at either 5:15 or 6:15pm.
PLEASE NOTE: The City of Baltimore also offers a supervised visitation program when there are allegations of domestic violence between the parties. Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice