Beginning April 26, all of Maryland’s courts will resume full operations, including civil and criminal jury trials, according to the court’s website. However, social distancing and preventative health measures will be observed.
Currently, the courts are in stage IV of the phased reopening plan which means that courts are hearing non-jury trials and contested hearings in civil, family and juvenile matters and that clerk’s offices are open to the public.
Criminal trials with trial dates from Nov. 16, 2020 through Feb. 12, 2021, where the jury was not selected were suspended and will be rescheduled as soon as possible beginning April 26. A Baltimore criminal defense attorney can provide more details.
Civil jury trials were suspended from Nov. 16, 2020 through April 23, 2021. Civil cases where a jury has been selected and the jury trial date begins April 26, 2021 or later will proceed but are subject to the court’s need to prioritize criminal or other urgent actions. Consult an Ocean City criminal defense attorney for more information.
The reopening doesn’t mean that measures aimed at preventing the transmission of COVID-19 will be ignored. Before entering a court building, you must answer COVID-19 screening questions; allow staff to check your temperature; wear a face mask or covering; and maintain social distancing. These protocols apply to all persons over the age of two regardless of vaccine status.
If it is determined that you cannot enter the court, court officials will provide information or other ways to handle the matter.
Even with the reopening, courts are encouraged to conduct legal proceedings via remote means which means that if your hearing can be held remotely, you will receive instructions by mail or you may be contacted by a court clerk. If you are not able to participate via remote means, contact the court as soon as possible so that suitable arrangements can be made.
In addition, you can request that your hearing be handled remotely. Your Baltimore criminal defense attorney can provide more information.
The Maryland courts adopted a five-phase plan in March 2020 for reopening because of the global pandemic, suspending many activities. The courts resumed full operations, including allowing jury trials to go forward, on Oct. 5. But a month later, on Nov. 5, they scaled back to Phase III and then on Nov. 30 went back even further to Phase II as COVID-19 cases continued to rise across the state.
Because of the longstanding suspension of court matters as a result of the global pandemic, many of the normal deadlines for legal issues were also moved back. Consult a Baltimore criminal law attorney for more details.
The Law Office of Thomas J. Maronick is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh criminal defense attorney needs. The consultation is free.
We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410-881-4022 or through the website for a free consultation.