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Late on Friday, March 13, 2020, Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera issued an Administrative Order on statewide closing of the courts to the public. A copy of the order can be found here.

The order states, in pertinent part, as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and administrative head of the Judicial Branch, pursuant to the authority conferred by Article IV, § 18 of the Maryland Constitution, do hereby order this 13th day of March, 2020, as follows:

(a) All courts in the Maryland Judiciary, court offices, administrative offices, units of the Judiciary, and the Offices of the Clerks of the Circuit Courts shall be closed to the public on an emergency basis, effective March 16, 2020; however, Judiciary operations shall continue to the extent practicable. Maryland Judiciary personnel shall report as scheduled, unless otherwise excused by their administrative head.

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

(1) In the Court of Appeals:

(A) certain election law matters
(B) certain petitions for Writs of Mandamus
(C) certain certified questions of law
(D) quarantine and isolation matters

(2) In the Court of Special Appeals:

(A) requests for injunctive relief pending appeal
(B) appeals in cases in which a lack of action would result in a dispositive outcome
(C) appeals from quarantine and isolation petitions

(3) In the Circuit Courts:

(A) bail reviews
(B) arraignments
(C) emergency Habeas Corpus petitions
(D) juvenile detention hearings
(E) CINA shelter care and adjudication on shelter care
(F) emergency delinquency
(G) domestic violence protective petitions
(H) appeals from peace orders
(I) family law emergencies including petitions for guardianship
(J) temporary restraining orders
(K) emergency evaluation petitions
(L) quarantine and isolation petitions
(M) extradition cases
(N) Rule 4-271 determinations (Hicks)
(O) search warrants
(P) body attachments
(Q) contempt

(4) In the District Court:

(A) bail reviews
(B) emergency evaluation petitions
(C) emergency risk protective order petitions
(D) domestic violence protective petitions
(E) peace order petitions
(F) quarantine and isolation violations
(G) initial appearances
(H) search warrants
(I) applications for statement of charges
(J) acceptance of bail bonds
(K) bench warrant satisfactions
(L) body attachments
(M) contempt

(c) To the extent that an individual court has the capacity to hear additional matters, this Administrative Order does not prohibit such proceedings, with access to members of the public as justice requires. Courts shall notify all participants to the proceeding if a matter will proceed.

(d) This Administrative Order does not affect the courts’ consideration or resolution of matters that can be addressed without a proceeding that involves testimony or argument.

(e) All other matters scheduled to be heard between March 16, 2020, through April 3, 2020, are postponed pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.

(f) Court personnel will be available by telephone and mail and paper filings will be received. MDEC continues to be available for electronic filings.

(g) To the extent this Administrative Order conflicts with any other extant administrative order, whether local or statewide, this Administrative Order shall prevail.

(h) This Administrative Order will be revised as circumstances warrant.