CURRENT STATUS: Phase III

In response to the Omicron variant surge, effective Wednesday, December 29, 2021, the Maryland Judiciary reduced operations and reverted to Phase III of its five-phased reopening plan. The interim operational plan has been extended to March 6, 2022 pending further order. View the Extended Interim Administrative Order, Restricting Statewide Judiciary Operations in Light of the Omicron Variant of the COVID-19 Emergency issued by Chief Judge Joseph M. Getty on January 14, 2022.

View the details of each phase below.

Phase I

March 16 - June 5, 2020 at 4:59 p.m.

District Court

  • Bail reviews
  • Bench warrants
  • Emergency evaluations
  • Quarantine and isolation violations
  • Body attachments

District Court Commissioners

  • New extreme risk protective order petitions
  • New domestic violence protective order petitions (adult respondents)
  • New peace order petitions
  • Initial appearances
  • Applications for statement of charges
  • Acceptance of Bail bonds
  • Bench warrant satisfactions

Circuit Courts

  • Bail reviews
  • Bench warrants
  • Arraignments for detained defendants
  • Juvenile detention
  • Juvenile shelter care
  • Peace order petitions (juvenile respondents)
  • Emergency evaluations
  • Quarantine and isolation
  • Extradition
  • Body attachments
  • Extreme risk protective order appeals

Court of Special Appeals

  • Injunctive relief pending appeal
  • Appeals if lack of action would result in dispositive outcome
  • Appeals from quarantine and isolation matters

Court of Appeals

  • Certain election law matters
  • Mandamus
  • Certified questions of law
  • Quarantine and isolation

Phase II

Beginning June 5, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. through July 19, 2020 and
November 30, 2020 through March 14, 2021

Includes Phase One matters plus:

District Court:

Criminal and Traffic
  • Bail reviews and reconsiderations
  • Matters regarding locally incarcerated defendants (in accordance with April 14, 2020 order)
  • Trials for incarcerated individuals
  • Trials for other criminal actions alleging violent acts
  • Trials for alcohol-related motor vehicle cases
  • Guilty pleas with deferral of incarceration start date considered
  • Mental health evaluations and competency matters
  • Preliminary hearings
  • Hearings on petitions for violation of probation
  • Juvenile waiver hearings
  • Any other criminal proceeding that can be conducted remotely
Civil
  • Emergency evaluation petitions
  • Quarantine and isolation petitions
  • Body attachments
  • Temporary and final domestic violence, peace, and extreme risk protective orders
  • Temporary restraining orders
  • Any other civil proceeding that can be conducted remotely
Landlord/Tenant
  • Rent escrow actions, provided local inspection practices are capable of being conducted
  • Emergency breach of lease involving threat to person or property and associated warrants of restitution
  • Emergency wrongful detainer actions and associated warrants of restitution
  • Emergency tenant holding over actions and associated warrants of restitution
  • Processing of warrants of restitution for failure to pay rent actions
Problem-Solving Courts
  • Proceedings of drug, mental health, DUI, veterans’, and reentry courts.

District Court Commissioners

Commissioners shall continue to hear all Phase One matters, including after regular court hours for interim domestic violence protective, peace, and extreme risk protective order petitions.; continued acceptance of circuit court bail bonds.

Circuit Courts

Civil
  • Emergency habeas corpus matters
  • Temporary restraining orders
  • Scheduling conferences
  • Status conferences
  • On the record appeals
  • Matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both.
Criminal
  • Bail reviews, bail reconsiderations, and bench warrants including matters involving locally incarcerated defendants (in accordance with April 14, 2020 order)
  • Arraignments for detained defendants
  • Extradition cases
  • Competency, criminal responsibility issues not requiring witness testimony status, and discovery and Hicks issues
  • Deferred sentencing for non-incarcerated defendants
  • Pleas agreements without recommendations for incarceration
  • Motions that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both
Family
  • Scheduling conferences
  • Status conferences
  • Uncontested divorce and other uncontested matters
  • Domestic violence protective orders
  • Domestic violence, peace, and extreme risk protective order appeals
  • Family law emergencies that have been determined to require an expedited hearing
  • Emergency issues in guardianship matters
  • Temporary restraining orders
  • Default hearings
  • Exceptions not requiring witness testimony
  • Matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both
Child in Need of Assistance (CINA)
  • Shelter care hearings
  • CINA matters that are uncontested or can be heard by proffer including adjudications, dispositions, permanency plans, and permanency plan reviews.
  • Termination of parental rights that are by consent or proffer
  • Exceptions (uncontested, consented to, or requiring legal argument only)
  • Family Treatment/Recovery Court reviews
  • Guardianships under juvenile causes
  • Adoptions re: CINA and TPR youth
  • Matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both
Juvenile Delinquency
  • Detention hearings
  • Peace order petitions (juvenile respondents)
  • Arraignments and first appearances
  • Emergency delinquency matters
  • Adjudication with agreed to plea and/or by proffer
  • Disposition by consent or proffer
  • Disposition reviews
  • Delinquency juvenile treatment plans and reviews
  • Closure of probation and jurisdiction not requiring testimony
  • Juvenile expungements not requiring testimony
  • Juvenile permanency plans and reviews by consent or proffer
  • Juvenile waivers by consent and not requiring testimony
  • Exceptions no requiring witness testimony
  • Matters that can be heard remotely or without testimony or both
Problem-solving Courts
  • Proceedings of drug, mental health, family/dependence recovery, DUI, veterans’, juvenile drug, and truancy courts.

Court of Special Appeals

  • Fully operational
  • The court will hear all matters in its jurisdiction.
  • Most hearings will be held remotely.
  • Mediation conducted by COSA ADR Division may be handled remotely.

Court of Appeals

  • Fully operational
  • The court will hear all matters in its jurisdiction.
  • Hearings will be held remotely.

Phase III 

July 20, 2020, through August 30, 2020 and
November 16, 2020 through November 29, 2020 and
December 29, 2021 through March 6, 2022

Includes Phase One and Two matters plus:

District Court

Criminal and Traffic
  • Same as Phase two
  • Any other matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both
Civil
  • Temporary and final domestic violence, peace, and extreme risk protective orders and petitions during court hours
  • Any other matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both
Landlord/Tenant
  • Tenant holding over actions and associated warrants of restitution
  • Any breach of lease actions and any associated warrants of restitution
  • Any wrongful detainer actions and associated warrants of restitution
  • Processing of warrants of restitution for failure to pay rent actions

District Court Commissioners

  • Fully operational including the continued acceptance of circuit court bail bonds

Circuit Courts

Civil
  • Emergency evaluation petitions
  • Quarantine and isolation petitions
  • Body attachments
  • Motions requiring witness testimony
  • Settlement hearings
  • Attorney disciplinary hearings
Criminal
  • Motions
  • Expungements
  • Violation of probation hearings
  • Non-jury trials
  • Jury prayer status hearings
  • Sentencings previously deferred
Family
  • Resume handling of temporary domestic violence protective order petitions during court hours
  • Motions requiring witness testimony
  • Pendente lite hearings
  • Contempt proceedings
  • Adoptions
  • Guardianship - non-emergency
  • Child support matters: establishment
  • Settlement hearings
  • Court-ordered mediations
Child in Need of Assistance (CINA)
  • All matters and motions that are contested and/or require testimony
  • Exceptions hearings requiring witness testimony
  • Contested TPR proceedings
Juvenile Delinquency, with priority scheduling for those juveniles: turning 21 within 90 days of the beginning of Phase III; returning from placement; with issues with permanency plans; closures of cases; and possible placement on the juvenile and/or adult sexual offender registries
 
  • Juvenile expungements
  • Juvenile permanency plans and reviews, if not contested or by proffer or both
  • Exception hearings
  • All matters that are contested and/or requiring testimony
  • Motions
  • Juvenile and adult sex offender registration matters
  • Waiver hearings, including to and from Juvenile Court

Court of Special Appeals

Same as Phase two.

Court of Appeals

  • Hearings may be held in person or remotely

Phase IV

Beginning August 31, 2020 through November 15, 2020 and
March 15, 2021 through April 25, 2021

Includes Phase One, Two and Three matters plus:

District Court

Criminal and Traffic
  • All criminal matters
  • Minor traffic matters
  • Begin scheduling dockets that begin during Phase Five for:
    • Red light
    • Parking
    • Speed camera
    • School bus
    • Toll/MTA
    • Other civil citations including previously postponed matters
Civil
  • All civil matters
Landlord/Tenant
  • Failure to pay rent
Problem-solving Courts
  • Fully operational

District Court Commissioners

  • Fully operational
  • Continue to accept circuit court bail bonds through Phase Four.

Circuit Courts

Civil
  • Non-jury trials
  • De novo appeals
Criminal
  • Post-conviction hearings
  • Three-judge panel sentence reviews
Family
  • Hearings and trials
  • Child support contempts
Child in Need of Assistance (CINA)
  • Fully operational
Juvenile Delinquency
  • Fully operational
Problem-solving Courts
  • Fully operational

Court of Special Appeals

Same as Phase Two.

Court of Appeals

Same as Phase Two.

Phase V

Beginning April 26, 2021 through December 28, 2021

District Court

Fully operational

District Court Commissioners

Fully operational

Circuit Courts

Fully operational, including jury trials in criminal and civil case types.

Court of Special Appeals

Fully operational

Court of Appeals

Fully operational