MSBA continues to share member concerns regarding court closures and deadlines with the courts. Today Baltimore County issued important updates for practitioners
Several BCBA members expressed concern related to cases in which discovery closing during the COVID-19 emergency. The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, as well as other jurisdictions in Maryland, have and will continue to consider any extension of a current scheduling order upon filing of a written motion. The requests will be considered in light of the current circumstances.
Remote Settlement Conferences
The Circuit Court for Baltimore County intends to conduct remote settlement conferences in cases involving counsel for civil and family law cases during the COVID-19 emergency, when feasible and upon the development of a procedure for the parties and settlement judge. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
Mental Health Docket
The District Court for Baltimore County’s Mental Health Docket shall be performed remotely to protect the health and safety of all participants.
Rescheduling of Cases
Per the Maryland Judiciary’s March 25, 2020 Administrative Order, all Maryland Courts shall remain restricted to emergency operations through May 1, 2020. The rescheduling of cases remains fluid and dependent on the reopening of the Circuit and District Courts. The Circuit Court intends to reset cases closer to the date of reopening; however, it will continue to remain in compliance with CDC guidelines on gatherings. As such, this may affect the timing of jury trials. Upon reopening, the District Court for Baltimore County anticipates initially clearing its backlog of domestic violence protective order matters, criminal cases, and landlord-tenant docket.
Current Operations of the Circuit Court and District Court for Baltimore County
The Circuit and District Court of Baltimore County continue to operate with essential personnel, including judges. Click on the following link Circuit Court for guidance on the current operations of the Circuit Court, including criminal, family, juvenile, and guardianship matters.
Click on the following link for guidance on the current operation of the District Court, including bail reviews, bench warrants, body attachments, emergency evaluation petitions, and quarantine and isolation violations. Additionally, emergency matters will be reviewed by the District Court to determine whether the matter must be heard in person, by remote electronic participation, be scheduled after the emergency period ends, or may be decided without a hearing: protective orders, criminal competency, contempt hearings related to peace or protective orders, matters involving locally incarcerated defendants, and motions regarding ERPOs, protective orders, and peace orders.