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 two Reception Courts that operate daily: one for felonies and one for misdemeanors. These courts also operate as administrative/postponement courts.
The Judge in Charge of Criminal presides over the Felony Reception Court and handles guilty pleas, postponement requests, and assigns cases to judges for trial. Incarcerated defendants will be called at 8:45 a.m. except for Wednesdays when Reception Court begins at 9:30 a.m., and will appear remotely via Zoom for Government. The non-incarcerated docket begins via zoom after the incarcerated docket has concluded.
The Misdemeanor Reception Court cases are assigned to a trial court for resolution by guilty pleas, nolle prosequi, stet or trial in person at 9:30 a.m. daily.
Trial courts receive cases from the Reception Court 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 12:00 p.m. for unrepresented defendants only.
BAIL REVIEW HEARINGS
Bail review hearings are conducted remotely via Zoom for Government at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Friday. At 1:30 p.m. bail review hearings are conducted remotely via Zoom for Government for FTA’s and TBA’s daily.
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. Criminal Track A – Jury Trial Prayers have a disposition goal of 90 days. Criminal Track A – District Court Appeals also have a disposition goal of 90 days.
TRACK B – REGULAR CASES
Cases involving non-violent crimes 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.
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 District Court Clerk’s Office will forward the case information and transmittal sheet to the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. This list will be emailed to the Office of the State’s Attorney, who will confer with defense counsel on proposed trial dates using the Misdemeanor Criminal Trial Schedule form which is posted under Resources for Attorneys. Counsel shall select a trial date within 21-24 days of the demand for a jury trial, or within 30 days of the filing of the appeal. All cases are assigned to a trial court for resolution by guilty pleas, nolle prosequi, stet or trial at 9:30 a.m. daily.
PROBLEM SOLVING COURTS
The Division operates a Drug Treatment Court and a Mental Health Court.