December 27, 2021
187 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Maryland Judiciary reverts operations to Phase III in response to Omicron variant surge
Clerks' offices statewide remain open
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Maryland Judiciary announced today, effective Wednesday, December 29, 2021, it will reduce operations and revert to Phase III of its five-phased reopening plan in response to the Omicron variant surge. The interim operational plan will last until February 8, 2022, pending further order. Clerks’ offices in both the District Court of Maryland and circuit courts throughout the state will remain open to the public. The Court of Appeals of Maryland and Court of Special Appeals of Maryland remain fully operational, but the chief judge may determine whether to hold proceedings in person or remotely. In Phase III, the District Court and circuit courts will hear specific case types remotely or in-person, but jury trials will not be held until the Judiciary is able to re-enter Phase V of its reopening plan. Jury trials that have already commenced will proceed to conclusion. All jury trials scheduled between December 29 and February 8 will be rescheduled. Marylanders who are currently serving as jurors are encouraged to contact the local circuit court.
“As throughout the pandemic, the health and safety of the public, judges, and judiciary staff remains our top priority,” said Court of Appeals of Maryland Chief Judge Joseph M. Getty. “In an abundance of caution and through consultation with state leadership, I have made the necessary decision to revert back to Phase III operations. Although reduced in operations, our courts will continue to remain open, ensure access to justice, and provide fair, efficient, and effective justice for all.”
The new administrative order, Interim Administrative Order of December 27, 2021 Restricting Statewide Judiciary Operations in Light of the Omicron Variant of the COVID-19 Emergency, is posted to the Maryland Judiciary’s website at mdcourts.gov/coronavirusorders.
Visit the Maryland Judiciary’s website at https://www.mdcourts.gov/coronavirusphasedreopening to view the case types being heard in Phase III, which include in the District Court criminal, traffic, civil, domestic violence, peace orders, Extreme Risk Protective Orders, and landlord-tenant cases. In the circuit courts, civil, criminal, family, Child in Need of Assistance (CINA), and juvenile matters will continue to be heard.
Individuals who have business with the courts should check the Judiciary’s website, www.mdcourts.gov, or call the clerk’s office for information before arriving at a courthouse location.
All court visitors and employees are required to wear a face mask, submit to a no-contact temperature check, a verbal or written COVID-19 health screening questionnaire, and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Find more information on COVID-19 and court operations online at https://www.mdcourts.gov/coronavirusinformationforpublic.