Second Amended Administrative Order Expanding Statewide Judiciary Operations In Light Of The COVID-19 EMERGENCY

 

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND
SECOND AMENDED ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER EXPANDING STATEWIDE JUDICIARY OPERATIONS IN LIGHT OF THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY

WHEREAS, Pursuant to the Maryland Constitution, Article IV, § 18, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals is granted authority as the administrative head of the Judicial Branch of the State; and

WHEREAS, Chapter 1000 of Title 16 of the Maryland Rules of Practice and Procedure sets forth the emergency powers of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals; and

WHEREAS, Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and consistent with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), an emergency exists for which measures continue to be required to mitigate the potential for exposure to individuals visiting a court or judicial facility and judicial personnel; and

WHEREAS, The administration of justice necessarily has been affected by the pandemic and will continue to require the professionalism, courtesy, and cooperation of the members of the bench and the bar in navigating the changes to practices and procedures; and

WHEREAS, Remote proceedings have proved to be useful and effective in facilitating the courts’ performance of core functions during the COVID-19 emergency and will continue to be necessary; and

WHEREAS, The COVID-19 emergency continues to require the Judiciary to monitor the current phase of operations in the phased approach, moving toward full operational functions, while employing safety measures and monitoring local health conditions to continue to support the health and safety of Maryland residents and Judiciary personnel; and

WHEREAS, The Amended Administrative Order on the Progressive Resumption of Full Function of Judiciary Operations Previously Restricted Due to the COVID-19 Emergency, filed June 3, 2020, provided for five phases of a progressive return to operations, and these phases shall be utilized should a change in the level of operations be necessary during the remainder of the COVID-19 emergency; and

WHEREAS, Ongoing vaccination efforts coupled with falling infection rates have prompted the CDC to issue relaxed health protocols for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, allowing for the progression to more robust levels of operations,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and administrative head of the Judicial Branch, pursuant to the authority conferred by Article IV, § 18 of the Maryland Constitution, do hereby order this 24th day of May 2021, effective June 1, 2021, as follows:

  • Should the CDC or MDH protocols require a return to restricted emergency operations during the COVID-19 emergency, a progressive, phased return to full operations by the courts in the Maryland Judiciary, court offices, administrative offices, units of the Judiciary, the Offices of the Clerks of the Circuit Courts, and the clerks’ offices of the District Court shall be the policy of the Maryland Judiciary, consistent with the measures taken since March 12, 2020; and
  • Emergency operations consist of five phases1, each progressive phase representing an increase in the level of operation within court As the

1 (a) Phase I is the state of emergency operations consistent with the Fourth Amended Administrative Order Expanding and Extending Statewide Judiciary Restricted Operations Due to the COVID-19 Emergency, filed May 4, 2020, as noted in the attached Exhibit; and

  • In Phase II, from November 30, 2020, through March 14, 2021, as amended in the attached Exhibit, courts shall address matters that can be heard both remotely and on-site, as well as matters that must be In the previous period during which the Judiciary operated in Phase II (June 5, 2020, through July 19, 2020), the Offices of the Clerks of the Circuit Courts and the clerks’ offices of the District Court were closed to the public with limited exceptions. Beginning November 30, 2020, pending further Order of the Chief of the Court of Appeals, in Phase II, the Offices of the Clerks of the Circuit Courts and the clerks’ offices of the District Court shall remain open to the public for emergency purposes as listed in the attached Exhibit and by appointment for other matters. In Phase II, court activities shall proceed with restrictions to limit the concentration of individuals and allow social distancing, consistent with guidance of the CDC or MDH or both; and
  • In Phase III, courts schedule and hold a broader range of matters than in Phase II, including certain non-jury trials in the District Court and the Circuit Courts and attorney disciplinary matters in the Circuit Courts, with limited in-person services to be offered as determined by the administrative judge and posted electronically and in the court facility, as described in the attached The Offices of the Clerks of the Circuit Courts and the clerks’ offices of the District Court are open to the public. Court and clerk activities shall proceed with continued restrictions to limit the concentration of individuals and allow social distancing, consistent with guidance of the CDC or MDH or both, and subject to staffing as determined in Sections (k), (l), and (m) of footnote 1 of this Order; and
  • In Phase IV, beginning March 15, 2021, courts are open to the public. Courts resume non-jury trials and contested hearings in criminal, civil, family, and juvenile matters, as described in the attached Exhibit, with continued restrictions to limit the concentration of individuals and allow social distancing, consistent with guidance of the CDC or MDH or both, consistent with Sections (k), (l), and (m) of footnote 1 of this Order; and
  • Effective March 15, 2021, through April 25, 2021, the courts operated under Phase IV as described in Section

(d) of footnote 1 of this Order and the Exhibit; and

  • Phase I Matters, as identified in the Exhibit, shall continue to be scheduled or heard, either in person or remotely; and
  • In Phases I and II, Phase I Matters and Phase II Matters, as identified in the Exhibit, shall be scheduled and heard, if at all possible, before the end of the Phase II period; and
  • Regardless of Phase, scheduling orders issued by the Circuit Courts in civil and family law matters and by the appellate courts shall continue to be addressed by motion on a case-by-case basis by the administrative judge, or, in the appellate courts, the Chief Judge, or his or her designee; and
  • Regardless of Phase, scheduling orders issued by the Circuit Courts in civil and family law matters and by the appellate courts shall continue to be addressed by motion on a case-by-case basis by the administrative judge, or, in the appellate courts, the Chief Judge, or his or her designee; and
  • Regardless of Phase, this Order permits the courts’ consideration or resolution of:
    • Matters that can be addressed without a hearing; and
    • Matters requiring a hearing or court trial, to the extent that an individual court has the capacity to hear such matters, either in person or on a remote basis, with access to the public as justice requires. Courts shall notify all participants to the proceeding if a matter will go forward; and
  • Regardless of Phase, credentialed press shall be admitted to the courthouse and courtrooms (other than hearings that are closed to the public), subject to available capacity and in compliance with the health protocols; and
  • Regardless of Phase, personnel shall report to work as required by their administrative judges, court administrators, clerks of courts, administrative clerks, and administrative heads of units of the Judiciary, as is consistent with the extant order. An employee who is unable to serve due to illness or otherwise, will be excused consistent with applicable leave policies. Job duties, schedule, and the means of completing assigned work of any and all Judiciary employees may be adjusted or revised as necessary; and
  • During Phase II and III operations, courts that staggered personnel reporting in person on a temporary basis did so consistent with the guidance provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts’ Department of Human Resources (November 2020). Neither Phase IV nor Phase V operations contemplate staggered staffing; and

COVID-19 profile changes throughout the state over the next several months, it may become necessary to retreat from a later to an earlier phase, or to adjust the phase in one or more specific jurisdictions within the state, as determined by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, with any required changes in phases to be announced as soon as feasible; and

  • In Phase V, courts resume full operations, including jury trials. Jurisdictions previously had proceeded to Phase V, on October 5, 2020, as described in the attached Exhibit. Surging COVID-19 infection rates in Maryland required the Judiciary to return to Phase III operations on November 16, 2020, and then to Phase II. Phase V may require continued restrictions to limit the concentration of individuals and allow social distancing as necessary, consistent with the guidance of the CDC or MDH or Effective April 26, 2021, courts resumed operations under Phase V as described in the Exhibit to this Order; and
  • Pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the courts are authorized and may conduct remote proceedings to the greatest extent possible during the health emergency, using communication platforms consistent with the Administrative Order on the Implementation of Remote Electronic Participation in Judicial Proceedings, filed June 18, 2018, and the Amended Administrative Order on Remote Proceedings Held During the COVID-19 Emergency, filed May 1, 2020, and the relevant Maryland Rules, including amendments that took effect on July 1, 2020; and
  • Jury trials scheduled to commence between November 16, 2020, through April 23, 2021, by previous order were postponed and rescheduled in accordance with the date established by the Third Amended Administrative Order on Lifting the
  • Regardless of Phase, sufficient court personnel shall be available to perform their duties between the hours of 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, holidays excepted, with commissioners to follow established

Statewide Suspension of Jury Trials and Maintaining Grand Juries, filed May 24, 2021; and

  • The courts are to provide services, either remotely or in person, as appropriate to the Phase and jurisdiction, to the extent feasible, and consistent with the recommendations of the CDC, MDH, and local health departments, including, but not limited to, self-help centers, alternative dispute resolution programs, family division services, law libraries, and child care for litigants, witnesses, and those who have business in the court; and
  • No person who has been diagnosed with and remains ill with COVID-19, or who has not been fully vaccinated, is aware of having been exposed to a person infected with COVID-19, and is within the quarantine period, may enter a Judicial Branch facility; and
  • No person who has been advised by a doctor, hospital, or local health department to self-quarantine or ordered to quarantine may enter a Judicial Branch facility during the quarantine period; and
  • To the extent that, during this emergency, any person who attempts to enter a Judicial Branch facility and appears to be ill with a respiratory illness, protocols developed as part of extant Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) shall be employed to provide to that person, to the extent possible, the services needed without placing other court visitors and staff at risk; and
  • Any such person and/or his or her attorney, if applicable, who has a scheduled proceeding, event, or services in a Judicial Branch facility must contact the appropriate office regarding his or her status; and
  • Consistent with the recommendations of the CDC, MDH, and local health departments and subject to the Eighth Administrative Order Clarifying COVID- 19 Health Measures in Courthouses and Judicial Branch Facilities (Eighth Administrative Order on COVID-19 Health Measures), filed on May 24, 2021,any person, including Judiciary personnel regardless of vaccination status, who seeks entrance to courts and judicial facilities shall be:
  • subject to COVID-19 screening questions,
  • subject to non-contact temperature checks where available,
  • if not fully vaccinated, required to wear face masks that cover the nose, mouth, and chin completely, without vents, and
  • if not fully vaccinated, required to maintain social distancing; and
  • Any person may be denied entrance to or required to leave a court or judicial facility as a result of the screening process or, if not fully vaccinated, as a result of refusing to comply with the requirements to wear a face mask or maintain social distancing as required:
    • if, as a result of the screening process, such person shall be provided information regarding alternative means to address the purpose of that person’s intended visit to the court, and
    • if, as a result of refusing to comply with the requirements to wear a face mask, or maintain social distancing, such person shall be required to leave the courthouse or facility; and
  • Effective June 1, 2021, pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, during the emergency period, consistent with Section (a) of the Eighth Administrative Order on COVID-19 Health Measures, the wearing of face masks is voluntary for judges, Judiciary personnel, and any other persons who have completed the vaccination process, except that, for any jurisdiction determining to require individuals to wear face masks indoors regardless of vaccination status or other related health measure, the respective administrative judges of the Circuit Court and District Court, together, in that County or

Baltimore City, may require additional mandatory health measures consistent with those mandatory health measures adopted by the jurisdiction; and

  • Effective June 1, 2021, pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, during the emergency period, consistent with Section (e) of the Eighth Administrative Order on COVID-19 Health Measures, unless determined by an administrative judge or the State Court Administrator to be necessary in a large congregate setting, such as a jury pool, social distancing of six feet or more shall not be required for those persons who have been fully vaccinated or those who identify as being part of a social “pod” or cohort; however, social distancing will not be a substitute for the masking requirement for those who have not been fully vaccinated; and
  • To achieve social distancing for large congregate settings, administrative judges may limit, temporarily, the number of people entering the courthouse or a courtroom to the extent necessary to achieve the requirements of social The courts shall be open to the public, and no appointment shall be necessary for access; however, notices shall inform individuals seeking access to the courthouse that access to courtrooms and other court spaces may be limited on an intermittent basis; and
  • Pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, during the emergency period, all incumbent Maryland judges, except those judges whose office is that of Orphans’ Court, continue to be cross-designated to sit in any trial court in the State of Maryland; and
  • The following activities having been previously suspended or minimized, are hereby authorized to resume effective June 1, 2021, to the extent that they are more effective than conference calls or other remote hosting technology:
    • In-State Travel,
  • Out-of-State Travel,Out-of-Country Travel, except that official travel to countries with travel restrictions shall continue to be suspended,
  • Judicial College in person judicial education; professional development, technology education, with judicial education requirements suspended for calendar year 2020 and reinstated in full for 2021,
  • Committee Meetings, may be virtual or in person at the discretion of the chair, and
  • Gatherings; and
  • The Ninth Revised Administrative Order on the Emergency Tolling or Suspension of Statutes of Limitations and Statutory and Rules Deadlines Related to the Initiation of Matters and Certain Statutory and Rules Deadlines in Pending Matters, filed May 24, 2021, (Ninth Revised Administrative Order on Emergency Tolling or Suspension), issued pursuant to Maryland Rule 16- 1003(a)(7), shall control as to statutory and rules deadlines for the initiation of matters and for conducting certain court proceedings, except that the deadline for the scheduling of criminal jury trials shall be governed by the Third Amended Administrative Order on Lifting the Statewide Suspension of Jury Trials and Maintaining Grand Juries, filed May 24, 2021; and
  • Regardless of Phase, search warrants must be addressed on a 24-hour, 7-day per week Search warrants shall be handled electronically to the greatest extent possible. The administrative judges of the Circuit Courts and the District Court each shall designate a judge responsible to cover search warrant duty for a specified timeframe; and
  • Application of case time standards shall be governed by the First Amended Administrative Order on Case Time Standards and Related Reports for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 in Light of the COVID-19 Emergency, filed February 2, 2021; and
  • The suspension of Maryland Rules 2-507 and 3-507 shall be governed by the Ninth Revised Administrative Order on Emergency Tolling or Suspension; and
  • The Maryland Electronic Courts system (MDEC) continues to be available for electronic filing and is required to be used in all MDEC counties. Pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, during the emergency period in non-MDEC counties, litigants are permitted to use MDEC for appellate filings pursuant to the Administrative Order on the Permissive Use of the MDEC System for Appellate Filings During the COVID-19 Emergency, filed on March 27, 2020; and
  • Pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, during the emergency period, in Baltimore City, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties (non-MDEC jurisdictions) only, to the extent that any of these Courts determine to make a virtual drop box available for filings during the COVID-19 emergency period, such drop boxes may be utilized consistent with protocols adopted in an administrative order issued by that Court, announced electronically, and posted on that Court’s website; and
  • Pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, during the emergency period for pleadings not required to be filed electronically or where permitted by virtual drop box, filings will be received by mail and may be received via physical drop boxes installed at local courthouses:
    • Filings subject to the Ninth Revised Administrative Order on Emergency Tolling or Suspension shall have a filing date as determined by that Order, and
    • For filings not controlled by the Ninth Revised Administrative Order on Emergency Tolling or Suspension, effective June 1, 2021, the date that a mailed filing is stamped by the clerk’s office will be considered the date that it has been filed or, if a filing is filed via a physical drop box, the previous business day, unless there is a timestamp on the drop box; and
  • Clerks of the Circuit Courts, the Court of Special Appeals, the Court of Appeals, and the District Court of Maryland shall continue to process MDEC filings, filings by virtual drop box where permitted, and paper filings; and
  • The Amended Administrative Order Expanding Statewide Judiciary Operations Due to the COVID-19 Emergency, filed February 16, 2021, shall be rescinded effective June 1, 2021; and

(aa) To the extent that this Administrative Order conflicts with extant Administrative Orders, local administrative orders or policies, this Administrative Order shall prevail; and

(bb)   This Administrative Order will be revised as circumstances warrant.

 

/s/ Mary Ellen Barbera                                      Mary Ellen Barbera
Chief Judge
Court of Appeals of Maryland

 

Filed: May 24, 2021

/s/ Suzanne C. Johnson                   Suzanne C. Johnson
Clerk
Court of Appeals of Maryland

2021-05-24 16:38-04:00

EXHIBIT TO THE MAY 24, 2021, SECOND AMENDED ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER
EXPANDING STATEWIDE JUDICIARY OPERATIONS IN LIGHT OF THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY1

PHASE I: March 16, 2020 through 4:59 PM, June 5, 2020

  1. All matters identified in Paragraph B, as well as those emergency matters identified in Paragraph C that the administrative judge or his or her designee determines must be heard in person or can be heard with remote electronic participation, are defined as “Phase I ”
  2. The following emergency and urgent matters shall be scheduled or heard, either in person or remotely. The court shall notify all participants necessary to the proceeding:
    • In the Court of Appeals:
      • certain election law matters
      • certain petitions for Writs of Mandamus
      • certain certified questions of law
      • quarantine and isolation matters
  • In the Court of Special Appeals:
    • requests for injunctive relief pending appeal
    • appeals in cases in which a lack of action would result in a dispositive outcome
    • appeals from quarantine and isolation petitions
  • In the Circuit Courts:
    • bail reviews/bench warrants

1 Second Amended Administrative Order Expanding Statewide Judiciary Operations

  • arraignments for detained defendants
  • juvenile detention hearings
  • juvenile shelter care hearings
  • peace order petitions (juvenile respondents)
  • emergency evaluation petitions
  • quarantine and isolation petitions
  • extradition cases
  • body attachments
  • extreme risk protective order appeals
  • In the District Court:
    • bail reviews/bench warrants
    • emergency evaluation petitions
    • quarantine and isolation violations
    • body attachments
  • District Court Commissioners shall handle the following matters:
    • new extreme risk protective order petitions
    • new domestic violence protective petitions (adult respondents)
    • new peace order petitions (adult respondents)
    • initial appearances
    • applications for statement of charges
    • acceptance of bail bonds
    • bench warrant satisfactions
  1. For all other emergency matters, including those listed below, the administrative judge or his or her designee shall review the petition, determine whether it must be heard in person, or can be heard with remote electronic participation, or can be scheduled after the emergency period has ended, or can be resolved without a hearing, including, but not limited to:
  • CINA matters, consistent with FCCIP Subcommittee of the Maryland Judicial Council recommendations of April 3, 2020
  • emergency delinquency hearings, including motions related to juveniles who are detained, committed pending placement, or committed, consistent with the Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the Circuit Courts Sitting as Juvenile Courts to the COVID-19 Emergency as it Relates to Those Juveniles who are Detained, Committed Pending Placement or in Commitments, filed April 13, 2020
  • emergency Habeas Corpus petitions
  • emergency issues in guardianship matters
  • domestic violence protective orders
  • appeals from peace orders
  • family law emergencies, including time urgent matters related to special juvenile immigrant status
  • temporary restraining orders
  • criminal competency matters
  • motions regarding:
  1. extreme risk protective orders
  1. domestic violence protective orders
  • peace orders
  • contempt hearings related to peace or protective orders
  • matters involving locally incarcerated defendants, consistent with the Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the Trial Courts of Maryland to the COVID-19 Emergency as it Relates to Those Persons who are Incarcerated or Imprisoned, filed April 14,

PHASE II: 5:00 PM, June 5, 2020, through July 19, 2020; and

November 30, 2020 extended through March 14, 2021,

Note: The Judiciary will proceed directly to PHASE IV on March 15, 2021 

Phase II represents an expansion of matters that can be heard by courts both remotely and on-site. Phase II shall include Phase I Matters, as well as matters that must be prioritized as listed below (pages 5 through 9) of this Exhibit (collectively, the “Phase II Matters”). To the extent that Phase II Matters may be handled remotely, courts are encouraged to do so. For any proceeding held during Phase II, the court shall notify all participants necessary to the proceeding.

COURT OF APPEALS

Fully operational. All matters within the appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals, with hearings occurring remotely. All matters related to the Court of Appeals’ regulatory authority over the practice of law and judicial conduct, with hearings occurring remotely. Approval and promulgation of the rules of practice and procedure in the Maryland state courts.

COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS 

Fully operational. All matters within the appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Special Appeals, with most hearings occurring remotely; and mediation proceedings conducted by the Court of Special Appeals’ ADR Division, which may be handled remotely.

PHASE II: CIRCUIT COURTS 

In addition to PHASE I Matters:

CIVIL: 

  • emergency evaluation petitions
  • quarantine and isolation petitions
  • emergency Habeas Corpus petitions
  • body attachments
  • temporary restraining orders
  • scheduling conferences
  • status conferences
  • on the record appeals
  • matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both

CRIMINAL: 

  • bail reviews, bail reconsiderations, and bench warrants including matters involving locally incarcerated defendants, consistent with the Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the Trial Courts of Maryland to the COVID-19 Emergency as it Relates to Those Persons who are Incarcerated or Imprisoned, filed April 14, 2020
  • arraignments for detained defendants
  • extradition cases
  • matters addressing competency; criminal responsibility issues not requiring witness testimony status; and discovery and Hicks issues
  • deferred sentencing – for non-incarcerated defendants
  • plea agreements without recommendations for sentences of incarceration; deferred sentence matters; and motions that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both

PHASE II: CIRCUIT COURTS (cont.)

FAMILY: 

  • scheduling conferences
  • status conferences
  • uncontested divorces and other uncontested family law matters
  • domestic violence protective orders
  • domestic violence, peace, and extreme risk protective order appeals
  • family law emergencies that have been determined to require an expedited hearing, including time urgent matters related to special juvenile immigrant status
  • emergency issues in guardianship matters
  • temporary restraining orders
  • default hearings
  • exceptions hearings not requiring witness testimony (uncontested or consented to or requiring legal argument only)
  • matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both

JUVENILE COURT:

CINA (DEPENDENCY):

with priority scheduling for those juveniles turning 21 within 90 days of the beginning of Phase II

  • shelter care hearings
  • CINA matters, including, if not contested and/or by proffer, adjudications, dispositions, permanency plan, and permanency plan reviews
  • Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) by consent and/or by proffer
  • exceptions hearings (uncontested or consented to or requiring legal argument only)
  • Family Treatment/Recovery Court review hearings
  • guardianships under juvenile causes
  • adoptions concerning CINA and TPR juveniles
  • matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both

PHASE II: CIRCUIT COURTS (cont.)

JUVENILE (DELINQUENCY):

with priority scheduling for those juveniles: turning 21 within 90 days of the beginning of Phase II; returning from placement; with issues with permanency plans; closures of cases; and possible placement on the juvenile and/or adult sexual offender registries

  • juvenile detention hearings
  • peace order petitions (juvenile respondents only)
  • arraignments and first appearances
  • emergency delinquency hearings, including motions related to juveniles who are detained, committed pending placement, or committed, consistent with the Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the Circuit Courts Sitting as Juvenile Courts to the COVID-19 Emergency as it Relates to Those Juveniles who are Detained, Committed Pending Placement or in Commitments, filed April 13, 2020
  • adjudication with agreed to-plea and/or by proffer
  • disposition with consent and/or by proffer
  • disposition reviews
  • delinquency juvenile treatment plans and reviews
  • closure of probation and jurisdiction of Juvenile Court not requiring testimony
  • juvenile expungements not requiring testimony
  • juvenile permanency plans and reviews, if not contested or by proffer or both
  • juvenile waivers, if consented to and not requiring testimony
  • exceptions hearings not requiring witness testimony (uncontested or consented to or requiring legal argument only)
  • matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both

PROBLEM-SOLVING COURTS:

including drug, mental health, family/dependency recovery, DUI, veterans’, juvenile drug, and truancy courts

Any other matters that can be scheduled, heard, or resolved in accordance with Section

  • and Footnote 1, Section (k) of the Second Amended Administrative Order Expanding Statewide Judiciary Operations are encouraged to be taken up by the circuit courts during Phase

PHASE II: DISTRICT COURT 

In addition to PHASE I Matters:

CRIMINAL & TRAFFIC: 

  • bail reviews and bail reconsiderations, bench warrants including matters involving locally incarcerated defendants, consistent with the Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the Trial Courts of Maryland to the COVID-19 Emergency as it Relates to Those Persons who are Incarcerated or Imprisoned, filed April 14, 2020
  • trials for incarcerated individuals
  • trials for other criminal actions alleging violent acts
  • trials for alcohol-related motor vehicle cases
  • guilty pleas, with deferral of any incarceration start date considered
  • hearings on petitions for mental health evaluations and competency to stand trial
  • preliminary hearings
  • hearings on petitions for violations of probation
  • juvenile waiver hearings
  • any other criminal proceeding that can be conducted remotely

CIVIL:

  • emergency evaluation petitions
  • quarantine and isolation violation petitions
  • body attachments
  • temporary and final domestic violence, peace, and extreme risk protective orders petitions, during court hours
  • temporary restraining orders
  • any other civil proceeding that can be conducted remotely

LANDLORD/TENANT:

  • rent escrow actions, provided local inspection practices are capable of being conducted
  • emergency breach of lease involving threats or injury to people or property and associated warrants of restitution
  • emergency wrongful detainer actions and associated warrants of restitution
  • emergency tenant holding over actions and associated warrants of restitution
  • processing of warrants of restitution for failure to pay rent actions to begin after July 25, 2020, consistent with the Ninth Amended Administrative Order on the Suspension During the COVID-19 Emergency of Foreclosures, Evictions, and Other Ejectments Involving Residences, filed May 24, 2021

PROBLEM-SOLVING COURTS:

including drug, mental health, DUI, veterans’, re-entry courts and dockets
Any other matters that can be scheduled, heard, or resolved in accordance with Section

(d) and Footnote 1, Section (k) of the Second Amended Administrative Order Expanding Statewide Judiciary Operations are encouraged to be taken up by the District Court during Phase II.

DISTRICT COURT COMMISSIONERS shall continue to handle the following matters:

  • interim domestic violence protective, peace, and extreme risk protective order petitions, after regular court hours
  • initial appearances
  • applications for statement of charges
  • acceptance of bail bonds
  • bench warrant satisfactions
  • continued acceptance of circuit court bail bonds

PHASE III: July 20, 2020, through August 30, 2020; and

November 16, 2020, through November 29, 2020

Note: The Judiciary proceeded directly to PHASE IV on March 15, 2021 

In Phase III, courts schedule and hold a broader range of matters, including certain criminal trials in the District Court and the Circuit Courts, with limited in-person services to be offered as determined by the administrative judge and posted electronically and in the court facility. Phase III shall include Phase II Matters and shall be, collectively, “Phase III Matters.” To the extent that Phase III Matters may be handled remotely, courts are encouraged to do so. For any proceeding held during Phase III, the court shall notify all participants necessary to the proceeding.

COURT OF APPEALS 

Fully operational. All matters within the appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals, with hearings occurring remotely. All matters related to the Court of Appeals’ regulatory authority over the practice of law and judicial conduct, with hearings occurring remotely. Approval and promulgation of the rules of practice and procedure in the Maryland state courts.

COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS 

Fully operational. All matters within the appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Special Appeals, with most hearings occurring remotely; and mediation proceedings conducted by the Court of Special Appeals’ ADR Division, which may be handled remotely.

PHASE III: CIRCUIT COURTS

In addition to PHASE II Matters:

CIVIL:

  • motions requiring witness testimony
  • settlement hearings
  • attorney disciplinary proceedings

CRIMINAL:

  • motions
  • expungements
  • violation of probation hearings
  • non-jury trials
  • jury prayer status hearings
  • sentencings previously deferred

FAMILY:

  • resume handling of temporary domestic violence protective order petitions during court hours
  • motions requiring witness testimony
  • pendente lite hearings
  • contempt proceedings
  • adoptions
  • guardianship – non-emergency
  • child support matters: establishment
  • settlement hearings
  • court-ordered mediations

PHASE III: CIRCUIT COURTS (cont.)

JUVENILE COURT:

CINA (DEPENDENCY)

  • all matters and motions that are contested and/or requiring testimony
  • CINA adjudications, dispositions, permanency plans, permanency plan reviews
  • exceptions hearings requiring witness testimony
  • contested TPR proceedings

JUVENILE (DELINQUENCY) 

  • all matters that are contested and/or requiring testimony
  • adjudication
  • disposition and disposition reviews
  • closure of probation and jurisdiction of Juvenile Court
  • motions
  • juvenile expungements
  • juvenile permanency plan and permanency plan reviews
  • juvenile and adult sex offender registration matters
  • waiver hearings, including to and from Juvenile Court
  • exceptions hearings

PROBLEM-SOLVING COURTS, including drug, mental health, family/dependency recovery, DUI, veterans’, juvenile drug, and truancy courts.

Any other matters that can be scheduled, heard, or resolved in accordance with Section (d) and Footnote 1, Section (k) of the Second Amended Administrative Order Expanding Statewide Judiciary Operations are encouraged to be taken up by the circuit courts during Phase III.

PHASE III: DISTRICT COURT 

In addition to PHASE II Matters:

CRIMINAL & TRAFFIC: 

  • criminal cases, prioritizing trials for incarcerated defendants, other criminal cases alleging violent acts, and alcohol-related motor vehicle
  • preliminary hearings
  • minor traffic matters, including previously postponed matters
  • violations of probation

CIVIL:

  • civil matters, including trials, and previously postponed matters
  • temporary domestic violence protective, peace, and extreme risk protective order petitions during court hours

LANDLORD/TENANT:

  • rent escrow actions, provided local inspection practices are capable of being conducted
  • tenant holding over actions and any associated warrants of restitution
  • any breach of lease action and any associated warrants of restitution
  • any wrongful detainer actions and any associated warrants of restitution
  • processing of warrants of restitution for failure to pay rent actions to begin after July 25, 2020, consistent with the Ninth Amended Administrative Order on the Suspension During the COVID-19 Emergency of Foreclosures, Evictions, and Other Ejectments Involving Residences, filed May 24, 2021

PROBLEM-SOLVING COURTS:

including drug, mental health, DUI, veterans’, re-entry courts and dockets

Any other matters that can be scheduled, heard, or resolved in accordance with Section

(d) and Footnote 1, Section (k) of the Second Amended Administrative Order Expanding Statewide Judiciary Operations are encouraged to be taken up by the District Court during Phase III.

DISTRICT COURT COMMISSIONERS: 

  • interim domestic violence protective, peace, and extreme risk protective order petitions, after regular court hours
  • continued acceptance of circuit court bail bonds

PHASE IV:  August 31, 2020, through October 4, 2020; AND 

March 15, 2021, through April 25, 2021

In Phase IV, courts resume non-jury trials and contested hearings in civil, family, and juvenile matters. Courts schedule and hold a broader range of matters, with limited in- person services to be offered as determined by the administrative judge and posted electronically and in the court facility. Phase IV shall include Phase III Matters and matters listed below (pages 16 through 17) and shall be collectively, “Phase IV Matters.” To the extent that Phase IV Matters may be handled remotely, courts are encouraged to do so. For any proceeding held during Phase IV, the court shall notify all participants necessary to the proceeding.

COURT OF APPEALS 

Fully operational. All matters within the appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals, with hearings occurring remotely. All matters related to the Court of Appeals’ regulatory authority over the practice of law and judicial conduct, with hearings occurring remotely. Approval and promulgation of the rules of practice and procedure in the Maryland state courts.

COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS 

Fully operational. All matters within the appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Special Appeals and mediation proceedings conducted by the Court of Special Appeals’ ADR Division, with remote proceedings as appropriate.

PHASE IV: CIRCUIT COURTS

In addition to PHASE III Matters:

CIVIL:

Non-jury trials and de novo appeals

CRIMINAL:

  • post-conviction hearings
  • three (3) judge panel sentence reviews

FAMILY:

  • hearings and trials
  • child support contempt hearings

JUVENILE COURT:

JUVENILE (DELINQUENCY): Fully operational CINA (DEPENDENCY): Fully operational PROBLEM-SOLVING COURTS: Fully operational

Any other matters that can be scheduled, heard, or resolved in accordance with Section

(d) and Footnote 1, Section (k) of the Second Amended Administrative Order Expanding Statewide Judiciary Operations are encouraged to be taken up by the circuit courts during Phase IV.

PHASE IV: DISTRICT COURT

In addition to PHASE III Matters:

CRIMINAL/TRAFFIC/CIVIL CITATIONS: 

  • all criminal matters
  • minor traffic matters
  • parking, red light, speed camera, school bus, toll/MTA, and other civil citations, including previously postponed matters

CIVIL: all civil matters

LANDLORD/TENANT: failure to pay rent cases PROBLEM-SOLVING COURTS: fully operational DISTRICT COURT COMMISSIONERS: 

  • fully operational, and
  • continued acceptance of circuit court bail bonds

PHASE V: October 5, 2020, through November 15, 2020; AND 

APRIL 26, 2021, FORWARD 

In Phase V, all courts resume full operations, including jury trials in criminal and civil case types in the circuit courts. To the extent that Phase V Matters may be handled remotely, courts are encouraged to do so.

COURT OF APPEALS: Fully operational.

COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS: Fully operational.

CIRCUIT COURTS: Fully operational, including jury trials in criminal and civil case types in the circuit courts.

DISTRICT COURT: Fully operational.

mitchell MITCHELL COURTHOUSE

100 North Calvert Street Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: (410) 396-5188
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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mitchell CUMMINGS COURTHOUSE

111 N. Calvert Street Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: (410) 396-5188
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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JUVENILE JUSTICE CENTER

300 North Gay Street Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: (443) 263-8706
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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