Phase 4 of the Judiciary's Reopening Plan begins on August 31, 2020.
The courts are hearing ALL criminal cases EXCEPT jury trials. The court will also hear minor traffic matters.
- This can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so call the court and review the local court page before visiting a court location. Carefully review any documents and notices sent to you by the court.
- For criminal cases pending or begun on March 16, 2020 through July 30, 2020, the deadline to conduct preliminary hearings is August 30, 2020.
Case Search - There may be delays with updating hearing dates on Case Search. Contact your court or check your court's weekly docket.
Filing Court Documents - Clerks offices are open. Be aware that individual courts and jurisdictions may adjust phases depending on the current state of COVID-19 throughout Maryland. Check for local closure notices and updates.
- MDEC is available for electronic filing. Learn more about MDEC.
- Drop Box - Drop boxes may be available at court locations. Check your local court's website for more information.
- Virtual Drop Box - Non-MDEC jurisdictions (Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County) may still make "virtual drop boxes" available for filings through Phase 4. Check your local court's website for information about availability and additional details.
- Criminal jury trials that were scheduled to begin on or after March 16 were previously suspended due to the health emergency. Those criminal jury trials may resume. Trial dates will be scheduled beginning October 5, 2020, or later.
- Deadline for Offering Jury Trials to Defendants Extended - The days that jury trials could not be offered to defendants due to the COVID-19 health emergency do not count against the time remaining for the start of a criminal jury trial. The deadline for holding criminal jury trials will be suspended for an additional 30 days after jury trials resume on October 5, 2020, and ending on November 4, 2020, for cases that were pending trial on March 12, 2020.
Filing deadlines and statutes of limitations
New Cases – The Court extended the deadline to initiate new matters.
- Deadlines established by Maryland law or court rules about when you must file new matters in the Maryland state courts, including statutes of limitations, are tolled or suspended effective March 16, 2020.
- The deadlines are tolled or suspended by the number of days the courts are closed plus an additional 15 days.
- The number of days that the courts are closed means March 16, 2020 through July 20, 2020, which are the number of days that the offices of the clerks of the court are closed due to the COVID-19 health emergency. This time (March 16 – July 20) does not count against the time remaining to start a new case.
- More information, including an example, is available on the Maryland Courts website.
Pending Cases - The Court extended the deadline for hearings and other judicial proceedings in existing cases.
- 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 plus an additional 60 days.
- The number of days that the courts are closed means March 16, 2020 through July 20, 2020, which are the number of days that the offices of the clerks of the court are closed due to the COVID-19 health emergency. This time (March 16 – July 20) does not count against the time remaining to conduct judicial proceedings.
- These proceedings will be scheduled at a future date. Other deadlines remain in effect.
- See the Maryland Courts website for more information, including examples.