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Updates from

  • Office of Administrative Hearings
  • Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals
  • Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission
  • Department of Assessments and Taxation
  • Maryland Office of the Attorney General
  • Maryland Legislature
  • Maryland State Employees

Office of Administrative Hearings (as of March 30, 2020)

UPDATED April 21, 2020:

OAH Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
Beginning March 23, 2020 through May 15, 2020, all in-person proceedings at the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) are temporarily suspended and all OAH offices are closed to the public until further notice. 
All requests for a hearing must be mailed to the Hunt Valley OAH at 11101 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, Maryland 21031. No in-person requests, fees, or filing will be accepted.
Remote proceedings are being conducted for hospitals and other emergencies.
Any person who has a hearing notice for a Motor Vehicle Administration driver’s license hearing may request a remote hearing by filling out a form available on the OAH website (www.oah.state.md.us). This opt-in form must be submitted at least three business days before your scheduled hearing date.
All other in-person proceedings scheduled during the period from March 23 through May 15, 2020, are postponed and will be rescheduled.
Continue to monitor the OAH website (www.oah.state.md.us) for further updates.

March 27, 2020:

Beginning March 23, 2020 through May 1, 2020, proceedings at the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) are suspended. Scheduled proceedings during this period are postponed and will be rescheduled.
Beginning 4:40 p.m. on March 20, 2020, all OAH offices are closed to the public until further notice. All requests for hearing must be mailed to the Hunt Valley OAH at 11101 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, Maryland 21031. No in-person requests, fees, or filing will be accepted.
Please check the OAH website oah.maryland.gov for further updates.

March 22, 2020:

Beginning March 23, 2020 through April 3, 2020, all proceedings with the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) are temporarily suspended. All scheduled proceedings during this two-week period are postponed and will be rescheduled.

Beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020, all OAH offices will be closed to the public until further notice. All requests for a hearing must be mailed to the Hunt Valley OAH at 11101 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, Maryland 21031. No in-person requests, fees or filing will be accepted.

Continue to monitor the AOH website​  for further updates.

March 18, 2020

The Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings has changed their current operating procedures as follows:

Proceedings scheduled for Hunt Valley will convene as scheduled. Proceedings outside of Hunt Valley, scheduled between March 16, 2020 and March 27, 2020, are postponed and will be rescheduled.

Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals (as of March 30, 2020)

UPDATED March 23, 2020:

The Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals has implemented new, temporary procedures to permit electronic filings. Those procedures are available through the MSBCA’s website.

TEMPORARY FILING PROCEDURES

This notice is given by Bethamy N. Beam, Esq., Chairman of the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals, acting pursuant to the Proclamation of Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr. (the “Governor”) dated March 5, 2020 proclaiming a state of emergency and a catastrophic health emergency related to COVID-19, as it may be amended or renewed from time to time, and the Order of the Governor dated March 12, 2020 entitled “Extending Certain Licenses, Permits, Registrations, and Other Governmental Authorizations, and Authorizing Suspension of Legal Time Requirements,” as it may be amended from time to time, after
finding that the actions described herein will not endanger the public health, welfare, or safety.

The Board’s offices will be closed to the public until further notice in response to the State Government’s movement to Heightened Level II – Pandemic Flu and Other Infectious Diseases Attendance and Leave Policy. The Board is implementing the following temporary changes to its filing procedures, which may be updated from time to time.

Effective immediately, the Board will begin accepting filings by email (“e-file”) to the Board’s e-file email address (efile.msbca@maryland.gov). This does not relieve any party of any requirement to “mail” a submission. However, parties are strongly encouraged to use this e-filing procedure as well in order to expedite receipt of submissions. The party using the e-file procedure shall copy opposing counsel as well. The Board’s hours remain 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for such filings. The filing party shall be notified by email that the efiling has been received. If the filing party does not receive a response from the Board by 4:00 p.m. on the day of the e-filing, it is possible that the e-filing landed in the spam or junk mail folder, and it shall be the responsibility of the parties to contact the Clerk or Deputy Clerk to verify receipt. The Board’s phone number is 410-767-8228. The Clerk and Deputy Clerk shall not be responsible for searching spam or junk mail for possible e-filings. All timeframes still apply, so it would be in any given party’s best interest to submit filings in advance of the deadline to ensure time for receipt and response.To ensure that protesters/claimants are aware of these procedures, effective immediately, all responses by procurement officers to protests and claims should include information instructing the parties that, in addition to mailing their Notice of Appeal to the Board, they are strongly encouraged to e-file their Notice of Appeal and subsequent filings as described above. COMAR 21.10.07.01B(2) provides that “‘File’ and ‘submit’ mean receipt
in the offices of the Appeals Board.” The Board shall consider a Notice of Appeal and all subsequent filings received by e-file to be “receipt in the offices of the Appeals Board.” Additionally, for a Notice of Appeal or other filing that may have been mailed prior to the change in the State emergency level, or in cases where a party may not have been advised of these Temporary Filing Procedures by a procurement officer, and which the Board may be unable to retrieve until the Board’s offices are reopened, such Notice of Appeal or other filing shall be considered “filed” when the Board’s offices are reopened
and the Board is able to retrieve them.

During this time, the Board’s telephones have been programmed to forward calls to the Clerk and to the Deputy Clerk. If for some reason there are connection issues, or if the phones do not forward properly, please contact the Clerk at 443-392-2072. Ultimately, this effort is intended to contain the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) and, with the cooperation of all parties, these procedural adjustments will permit the Board to continue to function with minimal disruption.

This Notice is effective immediately, and it shall remain in effect until 30 days after the state of emergency has been terminated and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded. These Temporary Filing Procedures may be updated from time to time, and litigants are strongly encouraged to review them regularly.

March 15, 2020: MSBCA offices will be closed for the duration of the COVID-19 situation. In order to accommodate filing deadlines, we are instituting a procedure that will allow for electronic filing of pleadings and other documents. The procedures will also be posted on our website msbca.maryland.gov. They are effective immediately.

Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (as of March 30, 2020)

UPDATED MARCH 26, 2020:

In concert with Governor Hogan’s recent Executive Orders and Chief Judge Barbera’s Emergency Administrative Order of March 25, 2020, the Commission is canceling all dockets that were previously scheduled through May 1. Our offices will remain closed to the public through that date, as well, but a very limited group of staff will continue working onsite. The remainder of our team will be working from home.

Cases that are postponed will be reset on a priority basis beginning May 4, 2020, upon return to normal operations. It is our intention to set morning and afternoon dockets when the Commission resumes regular hearings. Due consideration will be given all circumstances regarding whether the claims are ready to be held.

Emergency hearings will be scheduled as needed in the interim. EHR forms must be filed, but preferably with the WCC electronic filing system (WFMS). Commissioners will continue to review these requests and those approved will be set in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation during these unprecedented times.

Administrative Guidance – WCC – Vocational rehabilitation services – In accordance with Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Order, Number 20-03-23-01 (link: https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Gatherings-THIRD-AMENDED-3.23.20.pdf), and the Interpretative Guidance from the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel, number COVID-19-04 (link), WCC interprets the order and guidance as follows: Vocational Rehabilitation Services, as defined under Md. Code, Lab. & Empl. Article § 9-607(e), are exempt from the amended order closing all non-essential businesses.  For all other businesses, see the Interpretive Guidance.

March 22, 2020:

Through Friday, April 3, the Commission will continue to open mail and process it as expeditiously as possible with minimal on-site staffing. Settlements should continue to be mailed, which will be the only method of delivery. However, note that no telephone calls will be made for missing information/documents in the settlement paperwork. The documents will simply be returned with the order identifying what is missing. We ask that you be extra careful during this time to eliminate unnecessary delays and processing. Subpoenas must also be mailed for stamping and will be returned by mail.

We will be scheduling two dockets on Monday, 3/23 in Baltimore City and in Beltsville. They will consist of previously approved emergency hearings that were set between March 16 and April 3, 2020. Commission staff will be calling the parties to arrange these dockets. The cases will be staggered with specific times when the parties should arrive. We ask that you do not arrive early and that you depart as soon as the hearing has been conducted to minimize personal contact.

If there is an exigent circumstance and an emergency hearing request needs to be filed, please use the WCC electronic filing system (WFMS). Commissioners will continue to review these requests and we will set dockets for those approved for emergency hearings in the coming weeks.

We appreciate your patience and cooperation during these difficult times.

March 14, 2020

In response to Governor Hogan’s Executive Order regarding the COVID-19 actions, the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission announces for ALL locations: All claims scheduled to be heard between March 16 and April 3, 2020 are postponed. Commission operations shall continue to the extent possible but Commission offices are closed to the public. Electronic services and telephone assistance will still be available. A process for emergency hearings, with priority for those which have been postponed, is being finalized and will be posted on the website as soon as possible. Please look for full notices on the WCC website.

Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (as of March 30, 2020)

UPDATED March 22, 2020:

Tax Credits – Please be advised that effective 3/16/2020, SDAT’s Tax Credits office will be closed to the public until further notice. All tax credit applications can be filed online through http://www.taxcredits.sdat.maryland.gov.

Charter Business Services & Personal Property Assessments – Please be advised that effective 3/16/2020, SDAT’s Charter & Personal Property public counter located at State Center in Baltimore will be closed to the public until further notice.​ Nearly all charter and personal property filings can be made online, and to do so please visit Maryland Business Express (www.businessexpress.maryland.gov) to register your business, order business documents, and file annual reports and personal property tax returns.

Please be advised that effective 3/16/2020, SDAT’s Real Property Offices will only accept telephone and written appeals. All in-person real property assessment appeal hearings will be suspended until further notice.

March 16, 2020

SDAT just published the following announcement as it relates to the Charter Business Services & Personal Property Assessments.

From the Maryland Office of the Attorney General (on March 30, 2020)

UPDATED March 22, 2020:

Critical Updates from the Office of the Attorney General

We are dedicated to continue providing services to Marylanders who need assistance with consumer or health billing issues. Our hotlines are operational. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, you may have to leave a message but you will get a response as quickly as possible.

410-528-8662 (Consumer)
410-528-1840 (Health)

As a reminder, you can always reach us by email heau@oag.state.md.us (health care/insurance billing) or consumer@oag.state.md.us (business complaints), or file a complaint through our website by clicking on the red button above, at the top left of the page. ​

Effective immediately, and until further notice, the Attorney General of Maryland will be accepting service of process by e-mail on the State, State agencies, and State officers sued in their official capacity. Click for more information.

March 12, 2020

Alert: Announcement Regarding Service of Civil Complaints and Subpoenas

Effective immediately, and until further notice, the Attorney General of Maryland will be accepting service of process by e-mail on the State, State agencies, and State officers sued in their official capacity. See Md. Rule 2-124(j). Please visit the State Treasurer’s website for details regarding email service on the State Treasurer under the Maryland Tort Claims Act, Md. Code Ann., State Gov’t § 12-108.

A party may email a complaint and writ of summons or a subpoena to the Office of the Attorney General, Civil Division at civil_service@oag.state.md.us. Parties may request service by email on individual State employees or officers sued in their individual capacity. The Attorney General can accept service on individuals only after obtaining the individual’s permission. The serving party will be notified promptly whether the Attorney General will accept service on the defendant(s) or witness. Service shall be complete when an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division confirms by return email that the Attorney General has accepted service.

Maryland Legislature (as of March 30, 2020)

UPDATED March 20, 2020:

The Maryland General Assembly has adjourned for the 2020 Session. Beginning Thursday March 19, 2020, except for certain specific purposes, the DLS building will be closed and all DLS employees are encouraged to remain home and engage in social distancing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maryland State Department of Health. Employees are asked to continue to check this website for updated information about when the buildings will reopen and normal operations will resume. Posted 3/20/2020 9:45 AM

March 15, 2020:

The Maryland General Assembly will adjourn sine die on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, with a possible Special Session in May 2020.

Maryland lawmakers are streamlining procedures during the final weeks of Session in response to COVID-19 outbreak. The State House will be closed to public access, including all scheduled tours and outside visitors, and will only be accessible to those persons with a State-issued badge.

Senate President Bill Ferguson has stated that Presiding Officers are in regular contact with health experts for guidance on how the General Assembly should proceed, on considerations such as whether to Adjourn or Recess (indefinitely) ahead of their regularly scheduled April 6th adjournment date. Effective immediately, as follows: 

  1. telework for all nonessential staff;
  2. legislative building access limited to essential, credentialed General Assembly staff, and certain State officials, Cabinet Secretaries, etc.;
  3. Advocates/Lobbyist may enter only for pre-scheduled meetings with Senators & Delegates only.

Maryland State Employees (as of March 30, 2020)

UPDATED March 22, 2020: 

Elevated Level II – Flexible Operations

Governor Hogan has moved the state to Level II – Flexible Operations of the Pandemic Flu and Other Infectious Diseases Attendance and Leave Policy​​ and invoked mandatory telework across state agencies for all non-essential state employees who can perform their duties from home.  It is expected that all affected employees who are able to work from home will do so in accordance with the interim telework agreement and shall be compensated for doing so at their regular rate of pay.

The Governor has also declared that emergency essential/mission critical employees, unless on sick leave or other form of approved leave, are required to report to work, and that applicable premium pay rates will be in effect for these emergency essential/mission critical employees.
At this level, the state seeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by directing state agencies to conduct as much of their operations as possible from remote worksites.   Agencies should:
  • Limit public access to state buildings by closing offices, limiting hours of operation, or implementing appointment-only procedures in order to reduce foot traffic.
  • Require all employees, who are able to telework, to work from home to facilitate social distancing.
  • Cancel all business-related overnight out-of-state travel for all employees except for individuals engaged in emergency preparedness activities.
  • Encourage employees who are sick or caring for sick family members to use their leave to remain at home.
  • For employees who do not have adequate leave to cover their absence, permit the use of advanced sick leave (in the case of temporary employees, advanced paid time off).
  • Ease all documentation requirements related to the use of sick leave.
  • Implement social distancing practice

Important Health Benefits Information

The State of Maryland is committed to the health and safety of our employees and their families during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Effective March 6, 2020, we made important benefit updates to remove cost and other barriers to ensure all of our health and/or prescription drug participants have access to necessary care.
The State Employee and Retiree Health & Welfare Medical Plans will cover medically necessary diagnostic tests that are consistent with CDC guidance related to COVID-19 without member cost share.  All Medical Plans will cover, with no cost share to the member, the appropriate medically necessary diagnostic testing for COVID-19, where it is not covered as part of the Public Health Service response, and ensure patient testing and any subsequently needed care are done in close coordination with federal, state and public health authorities.
The State Employee and Retiree Health & Welfare Prescription Drug Plan is waiving early medication refill limits on maintenance medications and encouraging members to use their 90-day mail order benefit (Free Home Delivery).  Member cost sharing will apply as normal. We will also ensure formulary flexibility if there are shortages or access issues.   Use override code: SCC13 ​
Please check this website ​for new information, as available.