April 3, 2020
187 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
New orders address deadlines, jury service, and electronic filing amid COVID-19 health emergency
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – In response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 public health emergency, the Maryland Judiciary has issued two new orders and revised an existing order further restricting court operations.
Effective March 16, statutory and rules deadlines related to the initiation of court matters that are required to be filed in Maryland, including statutes of limitations, are tolled or suspended. Additionally, all statutes and rules deadlines to hear pending matters, including, but not limited to juvenile matters, are tolled or suspended.
This new order will control statutory and rules deadlines, except for the deadline for scheduling of criminal jury trials. The new Administrative Order on Expanding the Statewide Suspension of Jury Trials and Suspending Grand Juries also issued today will govern those trials.
As per the jury order, jurors will not be called for service until further notice. All civil and criminal jury trials in the circuit courts that were scheduled to begin after March 16, 2020, are suspended. If a trial date is scheduled at least six weeks from the date identified by Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera as the conclusion of the COVID-19 emergency period, it will remain scheduled. Additionally, all grand juries will be suspended until further notice.
Lastly, the existing order that restricts court operations due to COVID-19 has been expanded to allow jurisdictions to handle certain proceedings remotely. It also permits jurisdictions that do not have electronic filing capabilities through the Maryland Electronic Courts, known as MDEC, including Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County, to do so using new virtual drop boxes. At the court’s discretion, the three jurisdictions may determine to process and handle emergency and urgent matters electronically.
To review the orders in full, go to: https://mdcourts.gov/coronavirusorders.