Virtual Courtrooms

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact the daily operation of the Maryland Judiciary. Beginning on Monday, August 31, the Maryland courts will move into Phase 4 of the Maryland Judiciary’s reopening plan. The plan establishes guidelines for the courts’ gradual return to full operations throughout the next several weeks and months.

During Phase 4, the District Courts of Maryland and Circuit Courts will resume non-jury trials and contested hearings in criminal, civil, family, and juvenile matters. Even as courts reopen for in-person proceedings, remote proceedings will continue throughout the state in the discretion of the individual courts. The information on this page serves as a central repository for updates, information, resources, and guidelines on those remote proceedings.

Maryland Rules 2-802 and 2-803 authorize Circuit Courts to conduct remote electronic proceedings. Similarly, Maryland Rule 3-513.1 gives a presiding judge of the District Court of Maryland the authority to permit remote electronic participation in a judicial proceeding. In both the Circuit and District Courts, remote electronic proceedings may be conducted in either evidentiary or non-evidentiary matters, and the court may permit or require one or more participants, or all participants, to join the proceeding by means of remote electronic communications.

To promote the fair and effective administration of justice when holding court proceedings remotely, the Maryland Judiciary has established the following guidelines and recommendations when the above rules are invoked.

Video Conferencing Standards and Guidelines

Technology Guides

Participate in a Zoom Meeting

How to Invite Others to Join a Meeting

Zoom on a Mobile Device

Zoom Breakout Rooms

Zoom Screen Sharing Options, Features and Troubleshooting Tips

Zoom Audio and Video Options, Features and Troubleshooting Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to participate in a remote judicial proceeding with the Maryland trial courts?

The court shall provide adequate notice to the parties and ensure that the parties are able to participate remotely.

Can interpretation services be used in a remote proceeding?

Yes, court interpreters can participate in a remote proceeding.

  • It is recommended that clerks or the judicial officer’s chambers e-mails participants specific instructions on how to access Zoom, along with the Zoom Meeting ID.
  • Limited English proficient individuals, their attorneys, and other parties should receive detailed instructions on how to use the Interpretation feature in Zoom prior to the hearing.
  • It is recommended that LEP individuals, their attorneys, and other parties who may be needing interpretation services join the remote meeting 15 minutes prior to the official start of the hearing to practice the interpretation feature with the court-appointed interpreter.

Are remote proceedings recorded?

Proceedings conducted via videoconferencing technology must be recorded by the court, except for those hearings that are not required to be recorded, such as pretrial settlement conferences. The required recording must be sufficient to produce a verbatim written transcript as if the hearing were held in person in the courtroom.

Pursuant to Rule 16-208:
No electronic device may be used to receive, transmit, or record sound, visual images, data, or other information. An individual who willfully violates this Rule or any reasonable limitation imposed by the local administrative judge or the presiding judge may be found in contempt of court and sanctioned in accordance with the Rules in Title 16, Chapter 200.

See Maryland Rules 16-208, 16-502, 16-503 and 16-504

I lost connection and dropped out of the remote hearing. How do I get back in?

Follow the same instructions that you used to join originally.

I joined the hearing on time, but I don't hear anything. Did I do something wrong?

Participants will remain in a virtual waiting room until the hearing begins.

My hearing is scheduled for a specific time, but what time should I really call?

You should always join the conference by the scheduled start time. You can join up to 15 minutes early to ensure that you can remotely participate.

I'm having issues and this FAQ page isn't answering my question. Now what?

The court where the hearing is being scheduled should be contacted for more information regarding issues with participation in a remote hearing.

Trial Courts Dockets

Allegany County

Anne Arundel County

Baltimore City

Baltimore County

Calvert County

Caroline County

Carroll County

Cecil County

Charles County

Dorchester County

Frederick County

Garrett County

Harford County

Howard County

Kent County

Montgomery County

Prince George's County

Queen Anne's County

Somerset County

St. Mary's County

Talbot County

Washington County

Wicomico County

Worcester County

UPDATED: August 26, 2020