Phase 4 of the Judiciary's Phased Reopening Plan began on August 31, 2020.
During this phase, courts are hearing all family law matters. Some hearings may be conducted remotely. Note that phases may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Call the court and review the local court page before visiting a court location. There may be a delay with updating hearing dates on Case Search.
Additionally, all Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) and Juvenile Delinquency cases will proceed in the normal course, though there may still be some scheduling delays.
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.
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.
Suspension of deadlines does not apply to current court orders regarding custody and visitation schedules, and child support orders.
Scheduling Orders - If you have a scheduling order in a family law case and you want the court to consider changes to that order, submit a motion to the court. The court will consider your request.
No Dismissals for Lack of Jurisdiction or Prosecution - Under normal circumstances the court may dismiss a civil case for lack of jurisdiction (failure to serve the defendant within a specific time) or lack of prosecution (failure to take any action within 1 year). The court will recalculate when cases are eligible to be dismissed for these reasons in light of the modified deadlines.
Read the Administrative Order: Second Revised Administrative Order on the Emergency Tolling or Suspension of Statutes of Limitations and Statutory and Rules Deadlines Related to the Initiation of Matters and Certain Statutory and Rules Deadlines in Pending Matters