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PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Sept. 11, 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. The Calvert County Courthouse located at 175 Main St. in Prince Frederick will remain under restricted access, with new changes to operations and court proceedings effective immediately.
By order of Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, Amended Administrative Order dated June 3, 2020, beginning at 5 p.m. on June 5, 2020, proclaims there shall be 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 Court and the clerks’ offices of the District Court. Access continues to be restricted to emergency operations and closed to the public with limited exceptions, as outlined below, through Oct. 5, 2020, pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.
There are five phases described in the Amended Administrative Order, each phase representing an increase in the level of operations by the courts in the Maryland Judiciary. The courts are currently in phase IV, which commenced on Aug. 31, 2020. Phases I through IV are detailed in this release as Phase V will be released prior to its commencement date. Phase V is scheduled to commence on Oct. 5, 2020. Access to the courts and each of the phases are subject to modification by the Administrative Judge for the Circuit Court for Calvert County.
Visit our article on the previous Phases: Calvert County Courthouse Implements Phase III of Reopening
Phase IV: Aug. 31, 2020, through Oct. 4, 2020
In Phase IV, courts will resume non-jury trials and contested hearings in civil, family and juvenile matters. Courts will 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 courts facility. Phase IV shall include Phase III 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 that will be held during Phase IV, the court shall notify all participants necessary to the proceeding.
In addition to Phase III matters:
· Non-jury trials and de novo appeals
· Post-conviction hearings
· Three judge panel sentence reviews
· Hearings and trials
· Child support contempt hearings
JUVENILE (DELINQUENCY): Fully operational
CINA (DEPENDENCY): Fully operational
PROBLEM-SOLVING COURTS: Fully operational
Phase V is scheduled to commence on Oct. 5, 2020. Prior to Oct. 5, 2020, an update relative to Phase V will be released to the public.
All matters are to be held in person, unless otherwise specifically scheduled for in-person, telephone and/or video hearings using remote technology when practicable by the Circuit Court for Calvert County.
Pursuant to the Amended Administrative issued by Chief Judge Barbera on June 3, 2020, the County Administrative Judge in each county possesses the discretion to implement policies and procedures regarding Courthouse operations and access to the Circuit Court Courthouse. Accordingly, The Honorable Mark S. Chandlee, Administrative Judge for the Circuit Court for Calvert County, issued an Administrative Order on July 17, 2020 implementing policies and procedures regarding Courthouse operations and access to the Courthouse to ensure the health and safety of all individuals visiting, conducting business, or employed at the Courthouse as the Maryland Judiciary entered Phase III of its phase-based plan for resuming normal operations. This order remains in full force and effect until otherwise ordered by the court.
Pursuant to Judge Chandlee’s Administrative Order, individuals involved in a court case that is scheduled for a hearing in the Circuit Court Courthouse on or after July 20, 2020, including parties, attorneys, and witnesses, are authorized to enter the Courthouse and shall report to the Courthouse for the scheduled hearing, unless otherwise instructed or ordered by the Court or its authorized agent. Parties and/or attorneys involved in a case may request in writing to appear remotely for their scheduled hearing. For all other business not related to a scheduled court hearing to be conducted in the Courthouse, the Courthouse is open to the public BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. To make an appointment, please call 410-535-1600 and request to speak to the desired department to schedule an appointment.
Under Judge Chandlee’s Administrative Order, any individual seeking to enter the Circuit Courthouse shall undergo the Court’s screening protocol, which includes a contactless thermal temperature check, screening questionnaire and any follow-up questions deemed appropriate. Additionally, all individuals entering or traveling through the Courthouse are required to wear a facemask or covering. Furthermore, all individuals are required to practice proper social distancing while in the Courthouse and follow instructions from the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and bailiffs of the Courthouse.
For further details regarding Judge Chandlee’s Administrative Order and the policies and procedures of the Circuit Court, please visit the Circuit Court for Calvert County website at http://circuitcourt.co.cal.md.us/. The Amended Administrative Order of Chief Judge Barbera and the Administrative Order of Judge Chandlee shall be posted on the website as well as at the Courthouse.
Essential court personnel will be available to the public by telephone between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Maryland Electronic Court (MDEC) continues to be available for electronic filing and is required to be used for all MDEC counties. For pleadings not required to be filed electronically, filings will be received by mail and may be received via dropbox installed in the rear parking lot of the courthouse.
Any questions or concerns relative to cases or proceedings should be directed to:
· Circuit Court: 410-535-1600
· District Court: 443-550-6700
Calvert County Government continues to take precautionary measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and limit the number of people infected. Residents, employees, and media are encouraged to monitor Calvert County’s virtual resource center for updates and information resources: www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus.