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MARYLAND FEDERAL COURTS (as of April 10, 2020)

UPDATED April 10, 2020:

Standing Order 2020-07 extends court closures through June 5, 2020 (previously April 24), and orders the following:
  • Postpones and continues all civil and criminal petit jury selections, jury trials, and all other civil, criminal, and bankruptcy proceedings through June 5, 2020, unless another date is established by the presiding judge or other order.
  • Extends all filing deadlines for cases scheduled between March 16 – June 5, 2020 by 84 days unless otherwise ordered by a presiding judge or further order.
  • The 30 day period for filing an indictment or information is tolled from March 16 through June 5, 2020.
  • Courts will remain open for emergency proceedings related to public safety, health, welfare, and individual liberty.
Today’s second Order addresses discovery issues in pending matters. While filing deadlines have been suspended, that does not include the conduct of discovery in civil cases, provided that all parties agree to continue with discovery and that discovery would not oppose public health orders related to COVID-19. If parties are unable to agree as to whether discovery should be conducted, they shall meet and try to resolve the disagreement. If unable to reach resolution, they shall file a joint letter setting forth the nature of the dispute and each party’s position.

March 30, 2020:

The Court has compiled a webpage with several new orders and procedures in response to COVID-19, including proceedings and filing deadlines, restrictions on visitors to courthouses, Southern Division Courthouse, CVB Dockets, Clerk’s Office operations, Bankruptcy information, courtesy copies, and CJA vouchers.

Proceedings and Filing Deadlines:
The Court has issued Standing Order 2020-05 concerning court operations under the exigent circumstances created by COVID-19.

As detailed in the Order, all civil, criminal, and bankruptcy proceedings in the District of Maryland, including court appearances, trials, hearings, settlement conferences, conference calls, naturalization and admission ceremonies, and grand jury meetings now scheduled to occur from March 16, 2020, through April 24, 2020, are POSTPONED and will be rescheduled at a later date, unless otherwise ordered by the presiding judge in an individual case directing that a particular proceeding will be held on or before April 24, 2020.

In addition, all filing deadlines for all cases now set to fall between March 16, 2020, and April 24, 2020, are EXTENDED by forty-two days, unless otherwise ordered by the presiding judge in an individual case.

The Court remains open for emergency criminal, civil, and bankruptcy matters related to public safety, public health and welfare, and individual liberty.  This Order does not toll any applicable statute of limitations.  Electronic filing through CM/ECF remains available, and self-represented litigants may deposit and date-stamp papers in the drop boxes at each courthouse between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Restrictions on Visitors to Courthouses:
The Court has issued Second Amended Standing Order 2020-02 concerning restrictions on visitors to the courthouses.  Members of the public are no longer permitted to enter the courthouse except for litigants with scheduled proceedings, counsel of record, investigators or employees of counsel, and credentialed press.  This Order does not affect access to the drop boxes for each Division.  All persons seeking entrance to these facilities should expect to be screened for flu-like symptoms, including possibly fever tested, and may be denied entry.

Southern Division Courthouse:
The Court has issued a COVID-19 Pandemic Procedures Order temporarily suspending all in-court proceedings in the Southern Division Courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland.  All emergency civil, criminal, or bankruptcy matters arising in the Southern Division will be heard in the Northern Division.  This Order does not affect the availability of electronic case filing through CM/ECF for Southern Division cases or access to the Southern Division drop box between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Misdemeanor, Traffic, and Petty Offense Dockets (CVB Dockets):
The Court has issued a COVID-19 Procedures Order POSTPONING AND CONTINUING all Central Violations Bureau proceedings (misdemeanor, traffic, and petty offense dockets) scheduled in this District through May 31, 2020.

Clerk’s Office Operations:
The Clerk’s Office intake counters are closed in both courthouses.  The Clerk’s Office remains open to the public through telephone and filings may be made via the drop boxes located in the lobby of each courthouse.  The drop boxes are available between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Electronic filing through CM/ECF remains available.

Courtesy Copies:

The Court has issued a COVID-19 Procedures Order temporarily suspending the delivery of courtesy copies to the Clerk’s Office for the presiding judge.

CJA Vouchers:

The Court has issued a COVID-19 Procedures Order regarding the submission of vouchers by Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel Attorneys.

March 20, 2020:

The Court has issued Standing Order 2020-05 concerning court operations under the exigent circumstances created by COVID-19. This Order suspends non-emergency court proceedings, excuses jurors, extends certain filing deadlines, and closes access to the intake counters in the courthouses. The Court remains open for case electronic filings through CM/ECF and paper filings by drop boxes located in each courthouse, as specified in the Order. Clerk’s Office staff remain available during business hours to answer case-related questions or address inquiries related to the Court’s operating status. The Clerk’s Office can be reached at (410) 962-2600.

If you are intending to come to one of the U.S. Courthouses or U.S. Probation Offices in this District, please review Second Amended Standing Order 2020-02 concerning restrictions on visitors. Members of the public are no longer permitted to enter the courthouse except for litigants with scheduled proceedings, counsel of record, investigators or employees of counsel, and credentialed press. This Order does not affect access to the drop boxes for each Division. All persons seeking entrance to these facilities should expect to be screened for flu-like symptoms, including possibly fever tested, and may be denied entry.

March 18, 2020

  • The United States District Court for the District of Maryland is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 and is following all recommended guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maryland Department of Health. This website will be updated when changes are made in the Court’s operations.
  • The Court has issued Second Amended Standing Order 2020-03 concerning court operations under the exigent circumstances created by COVID-19. This Order suspends non-emergency court proceedings, excuses jurors, extends certain filing deadlines, and closes access to the intake counters in the courthouses. The Court remains open for case electronic filings through CM/ECF and paper filings by drop boxes located in each courthouse, as specified in the Second Amended Order. Clerk’s Office staff remain available during business hours to answer case-related questions or address inquiries related to the Court’s operating status. The Clerk’s Office can be reached at (410) 962-2600.
  • If you are intending to come to one of the U.S. Courthouses or U.S. Probation Offices in this District, please review Amended Standing Order 2020-02 concerning restrictions on visitors. Persons seeking entrance to these facilities should expect to be screened for flu-like symptoms, including possibly fever tested, and may be denied entry.
  • On March 18, 2020, the Court issued a COVID-19 Pandemic Procedures Order temporarily suspending all in-court proceedings in the Southern Division Courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland. All emergency civil, criminal, or bankruptcy matters arising in the Southern Division will be heard in the Northern Division. This Order does not affect the availability of electronic case filing through CM/ECF for Southern Division cases or access to the Southern Division drop box between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

March 14, 2020:

  • On March 14, 2020, a Second Amended Order was issued, further clarifying that all filing deadlines between March 16, 2020 and March 27, 2020, are extended by fourteen days unless the presiding judge in a case sets a different date by order issued after the date of the Second Amended Order. The Order further states that due to the unavailability of a grand jury in this District, the 30-day time period for filing an indictment or an information is TOLLED as to each defendant during the time period March 16, 2020 through March 27, 2020, in alignment with 18 U.S.C. § 3161(b).
  • This Order suspends non-emergency court proceedings, excuses jurors, extends certain filing deadlines, and closes access to the intake counters in the courthouses. The Court remains open for case electronic filings through CM/ECF and paper filings by drop boxes located in each courthouse, as specified in the Second Amended Order. Clerk’s Office staff remain available during business hours to answer case-related questions or address inquiries related to the Court’s operating status. The Clerk’s Office can be reached at (410) 962-2600.

March 13, 2020:

  • As of March 13, 2020, an Amended Order was issued, postponing all other civil, criminal, and bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. District Court of Maryland, between March 16, 2020 and March 27, 2020, unless a presiding judge in an individual case issues an Order directing that a particular proceeding will be held on or before March 27, 2020.

March 12, 2020:

  • The United States District Court for the District of Maryland is restricting courthouse entry to certain members of the public (began on March 12, 2020) to contain the spread of COVID-19. On March 12, 2020, U.S. District Chief Judge James K. Bredar issued a standing order regarding entry. People who have travelled to high-risk countries, the state of Washington, and New Rochelle, New York, are banned from the courthouse.
    Late on March 12, 2020, Judge Bredar also issued an order suspending all civil and criminal jury trials in the court until April 24, 2020. The full order can be found here.

View latest updates on the Court’s website.