YOU MUST HAVE AN OPEN CASE BEFORE YOU FILE FOR AN EMERGENCY HEARING. The general criteria for granting an emergency hearing is:
- A child in immediate physical danger.
- A child who has been kidnapped.
- Other situations on a case-by-case basis as determined by the Special Magistrate.
As a general rule, the following are not considered emergencies (though determinations are made on a case-by-case basis by the Special Magistrate)
- Changes of custody in order to enroll children in school.
- Unsubstantiated threats to remove children from the jurisdiction.
- Financial issues.
- Visitation issues.
Paperwork for requesting an emergency hearing is available from the Pro Se Attorneys in room 114, Cummings Courthouse (111 North Calvert Street). Please sign in at the Sheriff’s station and indicate that you are here requesting an emergency hearing. Please note: if you are not using the form pleading, you are required to comply with Rule 1-351(b) and your pleadings must contain the requisite certifications.
- After the paperwork is complete, please make 2 copies.
- The original gets filed in the clerk’s office (room 109).
- One copy must be mailed to the other party (regular mail).
- Retain one copy for your records.
Upon receipt of the pleading, the clerk’s office will docket the pleading and send the file to the Family Division Special Magistrate.
The Family Division Special Magistrate will review the pleading and case file and make a determination about whether an emergency hearing is appropriate.
If the Magistrate sets a hearing, you will be notified of the date and time for that hearing by telephone. There will not be a hearing on the same day. PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE MAGISTRATE’S OFFICE TO CHECK ON THE STATUS OF YOUR REQUEST!! You are responsible for letting the other party know about the hearing. Generally, face-to-face notification is required. If you cannot notify the other party, the Magistrate cannot go forward with the hearing.
If the Magistrate determines that an emergency hearing is not appropriate, you will receive an Order denying your request in the mail.