BREAKING: Md. courts to return to Phase IV, jury trials to resume

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Judiciary has announced that operations will be moving to Phase IV of its five-phased reopening plan beginning Monday, March 15th, 2021.

Under Phase IV, clerks’ offices in the District Court of Maryland and circuit courts throughout the state will remain open to the public for all matters, though the number of people may be limited to achieve COVID-19 social distancing requirements.

We’re told COVID-19 health protocols will 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.

“With the reduction in the COVID-19 infection rates in Maryland and vaccines being provided systematically statewide, the Maryland Judiciary will move forward with its phased resumption plan. After expanding court proceedings and making a broader range of court services available to the public, the circuit courts will resume jury trials on April 26th,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. “Safeguarding the health of members of the public coming to the courts and other Judiciary facilities and the Judiciary personnel who serve them remains an essential priority. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 health emergency and respond when and if conditions require. We also will continue to make access to justice for all a reality as much as is possible during every phase of emergency operations.”

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.

For the latest updates on court operations in Maryland, click here.

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