As we continue to monitor COVID-19 news and court updates, MSBA brings you the latest from OAH and the Judiciary.
Office of Administrative Hearings – Update on Remote Hearings
While many of the courts are essentially closed, the Office of Administrative Hearings is actively conducting remote hearings and is seeking to expand their capacity to do so. The announcement below, which is also posted on the OAH website, specifically requires attorneys and litigants to opt in to the remote hearings through the website. OAH has asked MSBA to publicize this request so that these hearings can be rapidly scheduled and conducted.
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](http://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.
Maryland Judiciary – Two New Orders
The Maryland Judiciary issued two new Administrative Orders this afternoon.
- Rescinds April 24 Amended Administrative Order Further Clarifying the Emergency Tolling or Suspension of Statutes of Limitations and Statutory and Rules Deadlines
- Further clarifies the application of the Order, specifically, filing deadlines and statutes of limitations.
- New Cases: All deadlines established by Maryland law or court rules to initiate a case or an appeal in a Maryland state court are tolled or suspended effective March 16 by the number of days the courts are closed. The Chief Judge will issue an order providing the amount of time after the courts begin to reopen to initiate a case or an appeal and have the filing still considered to be timely.
- Pending Cases: Cases that were scheduled to be heard during the health emergency are generally postponed and will be heard at a later date, except for certain priority matters. Hearing deadlines established by Maryland law or court rules in existing cases are tolled or suspended effective March 16 by the number of days the courts are closed. Those hearings will be scheduled at a future date. Other deadlines remain in effect.
Rescinds the May 1 Third Amended Administrative Order on Expanding Statewide Judiciary Restricted Operations Due to the COVID-19 Emergency.
- Includes the newly Amended Order above in section (m).