Guardianship cases are expedited when the allegedly disabled person requires emergency medical treatment or is ready for discharge from a hospital. A hearing will be scheduled for the seventh day following the filing of the petition provided that the petition is filed by 11:00 a.m. The petition and all related paperwork must be filed with the Clerk of the Court in Room 462 of the Cummings Courthouse. A copy should be given to the Clerk to be date-stamped and to receive a case number. The copy should then be delivered to Magistrate Sara Walsh in Room 232 Cummings Courthouse for processing. Counsel will be appointed for the allegedly disabled person and a show cause order for service on that individual, counsel and all interested persons will be issued on the date the petition is filed. Service must be effected within the period specified in the show cause order. Affidavits of service must be filed with the Clerk’s office and date-stamped copies must be delivered to Magistrate Walsh. A proposed order for guardianship must also be submitted to Magistrate Marzetta for approval as to form. Magistrate Walsh will deliver the proposed order and affidavits of service to the hearing judge. The answer and report of court-appointed counsel for the allegedly disabled person must be filed with the Clerk of the Court before the hearing and a courtesy copy should be delivered to the hearing judge’s chambers at least one day prior to the hearing.
All non-expedited petitions for guardianship will be reviewed in the ordinary course for compliance with the Maryland Rules of Procedure and Title 10 of the Annotated Code by General Magistrate Sara Walsh, who will arrange for the appointment of counsel for the allegedly disabled person and have a show cause order issued. All filings are to be made directly with the Clerk’s office in Room 462 Courthouse East.
All requests for pre-judgment attachment pursuant to Section 3-303 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Maryland Annotated Code shall be processed as follows: The motion, affidavits, exhibits and complaint (if applicable) shall be filed with the Clerk of the Court, Room 462 Cummings Courthouse. Two copies of these papers should be given to the Clerk to be date-stamped and to receive a case number (if it is a new action). The copies should be delivered to General Magistrate Sara Walsh, Room 232 Cummings Courthouse. Magistrate Walsh will conduct a screening conference after her review of the papers. If no agreement results from the screening conference, Magistrate Walsh will recommend a disposition to the Civil Motions Judge. If a bond is required, it must be posted with the Clerk of the Court before counsel can receive the order and the writs. The Clerk’s office will issue writs of attachment, which are to be served by the sheriff or private process. The Clerk charges a fee for each writ requested by the moving party.
Protracted Cases/Special Assignments
Only a very small number of highly complex actions qualify for inclusion on this track. The requests for a special assignment to an individual judge must be directed to the Administrative Judge. The Administrative Judge, after review of the file and reasons asserted in support of the need for a special assignment, determines if a special assignment is warranted. If so, all scheduling is thereafter determined by the assigned judge.
Emergency Injunctive Relief
All motions for temporary restraining orders pursuant to Maryland Rule 15-504 shall be processed as follows:
- The motion, affidavits, exhibits, proposed order, and complaint (if applicable) should be filed with the Clerk of the Court, 462 Cummings Courthouse.
- Two copies of these papers should be given to the Clerk to be date-stamped and to receive a case number (if it is a new action).
- The copies should be delivered to General Magistrate Sara Walsh, 232 Cummings Courthouse. Prior to filing, counsel should call Magistrate Walsh (410) 396-5006 to advise her office of the filing.
- A copy of the papers should be delivered to the opposing party or counsel to effectuate notice.
- If appropriate, Magistrate Walsh will arrange a tentative date and time for hearing. It is counsel’s responsibility to contact the opposing party or counsel for the opposing party to determine if the proposed date and time is agreeable to both parties. It may become necessary to change the date and time of the hearing.
- The hearing will consist of a screening conference with oral argument in front of the Magistrate followed by a hearing before the Civil Motions Judge, if necessary.
If a temporary restraining order is issued and a bond is imposed, the bond must be posted with the Clerk of the Court before counsel can receive a copy of the order.
During each term of court there are two “discovery” judges who decide all civil non-family discovery disputes. Contact the Civil Assignment Office (410-333-3755) to determine the names of the judges assigned to handle discovery disputes in a particular term.
In addition to ruling on the substance of discovery motions, the discovery judges will rule on any motions to shorten time requirements in these matters. All motions to shorten the time a party should respond to a discovery motion must be in compliance with Md. Rule 1-204. The court will not rule on ex parte motions.
Within the civil docket there is a “chambers” or “motions” rotation. Most civil motions (with the exception of discovery, certain administrative matters and equity motions) are assigned to the chambers judge.
Motions that require a hearing for which a timely request has been made are scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at half-hour intervals starting at 9:30 a.m. before the chambers judge who also presides over hearings regarding emergency injunction requests.
Settled and Dismissed Cases
Parties are required to attend the pre-trial settlement conference and appear for trial unless: (1) a Full Settlement Order, fully executed by all attorneys and all parties in the case (and in all of their capacities) OR a Stipulation of Full Dismissal (see Md. Rule 2-506) is filed with the Clerk’s Office; (2) all outstanding court costs are paid; and (3) an original date stamped copy of the Settlement Order or Stipulation of Dismissal is hand-delivered or faxed to the Civil Assignment Office (410-333-8654). If a Remand Order is required (e.g., workers’ compensation cases), a proposed Remand Order must be attached to the Settlement Order.
All asbestos cases are assigned to a separate track within the civil docket and are scheduled by the Administrative Judge.