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Jury trials in Maryland will resume beginning in April

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Posted at 5:43 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 17:43:56-05

ANNAPOLIS — Jury trials in Maryland will resume beginning in April.

On March 15, the Maryland Judiciary will begin Phase IV of its COVID-19 five-phased progressive resumption of operations plan.

Phase V full operations resume on April 26, including jury trials. The Judiciary has been in Phase II emergency operations since November 30, 2020.

Beginning March 15, the clerks’ offices in the circuit courts and District Court locations will be open to the public for all matters, though the number of people may be limited to achieve COVID-19 social distancing requirements.

COVID-19 health protocols remain in place in all courthouses and Judiciary buildings statewide, including the wearing of masks, no-contact temperature checks, a verbal or written COVID-19 health questionnaire, and social distancing.

These protocols apply to all people over the age of two, regardless of vaccine status.

The Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals will continue to be fully operational in Phases IV and V, with both appellate courts hearing all matters within their jurisdiction.

Oral arguments scheduled in the Court of Appeals and the Court of Special Appeals in April will be heard remotely, pending further orders of the chief judges of the two appellate courts for the resumption of in-person arguments.

In the circuit courts, the following items will be heard in Phase IV in addition to the case types heard in the preceding three phases: civil non-jury trials and de novo appeals; criminal post-conviction hearings and three-judge panel sentence reviews; family hearings and trials, including child support contempt cases; and fully operational dockets for Child in Need of Assistance (CINA), juvenile delinquency, and problem-solving court cases.

In the District Court, Phase IV now includes all civil and criminal matters, minor traffic matters, failure to pay rent cases, fully operational problem-solving courts, and red light, parking, speed camera, school bus, toll/MTA, other civil citations, including previously postponed matters.