ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Maryland Judiciary announced today that it will restrict operations to Phase III of its five-phased progressive reopening plan to respond to the surge in COVID-19 cases in Maryland. Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera has issued five new administrative orders, one of which requires that beginning Monday, November 16, 2020, the Judiciary’s Phase III operations plan will be in effect.
Clerks’ offices in the District Court of Maryland and circuit courts throughout the state will remain open to the public. The Judiciary, since October 5, 2020, had resumed full operations under Phase V, including jury trials, with health protocols in place statewide.
“After consultation with the leadership of the Maryland Department of Health and Judiciary leaders, I have determined that the Maryland Judiciary must return to restricted operations as described in Phase III in response to the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Maryland,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera.
“The health and safety of the public, judges, and Judiciary staff remains a top priority, and we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 heath emergency and adjust Judiciary operations as necessary. We will keep the public apprised of any changes in operations and ensure that as many of the core functions of the Judiciary will remain available to the extent the emergency conditions allow.”
The new administrative orders can be found on the Maryland Judiciary’s website at https://mdcourts.gov/coronavirusorders. The administrative orders include:
Fourth Revised Administrative Order on the Emergency Tolling or Suspension of Statutes of Limitations and Statutory and Rules Deadlines Related to the Initiation of Matters and Certain Statutory and Rules Deadlines in Pending Matters
In Phase III, the District Court and circuit courts will hear specific case types remotely or in-person, but jury trials will not be held until the Judiciary is able to re-enter Phase V of its progressive reopening plan. Marylanders who are currently serving as jurors must contact the court. Additionally, courts across Maryland will continue using technology for remote proceedings, either by video or telephone, but it will vary by court location.
Visit the Maryland Judiciary’s website at https://www.mdcourts.gov/coronavirusphasedreopening
to view the case types being heard in Phase III, which include in the District Court criminal, traffic, civil, domestic violence, peace orders, Extreme Risk Protective Orders, and landlord-tenant cases. In the Circuit Courts, civil, criminal, family, Child in Need of Assistance (CINA), and juvenile matters will continue to be heard.
Individuals who have business with the courts should check the Judiciary’s website, www.mdcourts.gov, or call the clerk’s office for information before arriving at a courthouse location.
All court visitors and employees are required to wear a face mask, submit to a no-contact temperature check, a verbal or written COVID-19 health screening questionnaire, and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Find more information on COVID-19 and court operations online at https://www.mdcourts.gov/coronavirusinformationforpublic.