Additional Precautionary Measures Implemented

News Release. Calvert County Public Information Office

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. –March 20, 2020–The rapidly evolving health emergency regarding the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) requires the Maryland court system to continually review and evaluate contingency planning efforts. Access to the Calvert County courthouse located at 175 Main St. in Prince Frederick, continues to be restricted to essential employees and members of the public as indicated below through April 3 or until further notice.

Administrative Judge Mark Chandlee has ordered further precautionary measures to be implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. Individuals in the following categories must receive prior permission from Judge Mark Chandlee before they will be permitted to enter the courthouse.

  • Individuals who have visited the following locations in the last 14 days: the state of Washington; New Rochelle, New York; China; South Korea; Japan; Italy; Iran; Egypt; Europe; or any other region of the United States for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a level three travel notice.  
  • Individuals who reside with, or have had close contact with, someone in the locations listed above in the last 14 days.
  • Individuals who have been asked to self-quarantine or self-isolate by any doctor, hospital or health agency.
  • Individuals who have been diagnosed with, or have had contact with, anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Individuals who are experiencing any acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. coughing, shortness of breath), flu-like symptoms, have a fever, or are coughing or sneezing.

Calvert County Sheriff’s Office deputies will be on-site and will deny entry to anyone attempting to enter the courthouse in violation of the order. Notices will be posted on doors or in close proximity to doorways and entrances. If you are scheduled or required to appear in circuit court, and are unable to appear because of restrictions to this order, proceed as follows:

  • If represented by an attorney, contact him or her;
  • If you are an attorney, or are unrepresented and scheduled to appear in court before a judge, please contact the clerk’s office or the assignment office at 410-535-1600. 

The circuit court remains restricted to emergency operations and closed with limited exceptions. Courthouse and court office staffing across the state will be reduced to “essential employees” only.

In keeping with the urgency of the listed mandatory matters and consistent with statutory requirements, the following matters shall continue to be scheduled or heard, either in person or remotely pursuant to the Administrative Order on Remote Electronic Participation in Judicial Proceedings, June 18, 2018. The court shall notify all participants necessary to the proceeding.

  • Bail reviews/bench warrants
  • Arraignments for detained defendants
  • Juvenile detention hearings
  • 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
  • New peace order petitions
  • Initial appearances 
  • Applications for statement of charges
  • Acceptance of bail bonds
  • Bench warrant satisfactions

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:

  • Shelter care hearings and/or related adjudications
  • Emergency delinquency hearings
  • Emergency Habeas Corpus petitions
  • Emergency issues in guardianship matters
  • Domestic violence protective orders
  • Appeals from peace orders 

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...