Last Updated: Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact the daily operation of the Maryland Judiciary. Maryland’s courts are now in Phase IV of the progressive reopening plan. Visit the local court page for the latest information on hours of operation BEFORE arriving to court.

PLEASE NOTE: On Monday, March 15, 2021, the Maryland Judiciary began Phase IV of the its COVID-19 five-phased progressive resumption of operations plan. Phase V full operations resume on April 26, 2021, including jury trials.

Beginning March 15, the clerks’ offices in the circuit courts and District Court locations will be open to the public for all matters, though the number of people may be limited to achieve COVID-19 social distancing requirements.

The Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals will continue to be fully operational in Phases IV and V, with both appellate courts hearing all matters within their jurisdiction. Oral arguments scheduled in the Court of Appeals and the Court of Special Appeals in April will be heard remotely, pending further orders of the chief judges of the two appellate courts for the resumption of in-person arguments.

In the circuit courts, the following items will be heard in Phase IV in addition to the case types heard in the preceding three phases: civil non-jury trials and de novo appeals; criminal post-conviction hearings and three-judge panel sentence reviews; family hearings and trials, including child support contempt cases; and fully operational dockets for Child in Need of Assistance (CINA), juvenile delinquency, and problem-solving court cases.

In the District Court, Phase IV now includes all civil and criminal matters, minor traffic matters, failure to pay rent cases, fully operational problem-solving courts, and red light, parking, speed camera, school bus, toll/MTA, other civil citations, including previously postponed matters.

There are five phases in the plan and each phase will represent an increase in the level of activity within each courthouse and court office. Depending on the current state of COVID-19 throughout Maryland, it may be necessary for a court and/or jurisdiction to adjust phases.

The Judiciary is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and evaluating its ongoing response to this public health emergency. Some courts will continue using technology for remote proceedings, either by video or telephone, but please note that this will vary by court location. The general public, members of the media, and attorneys should reference the COVID-19 webpages for the latest information on individual court operations. Court closings related to coronavirus.

Additionally, the courts are requiring any individual, including employees, seeking access to a courthouse or court office location to:

  • Answer a set of screening questions;
  • Be subject to temperature checks;
  • Wear a facial covering or mask; and
  • Practice social distancing.

The Maryland courts started implementing the reopening plan on June 5, 2020. 

 

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