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COVID-19 Orders and Procedures

The Court has issued several orders in recent days as the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated certain changes to Court operations.  This web page will be updated as additional changes are made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  On May 22, 2020, the Court issued a COVID-19 Procedures Order proceeding the Court into Phase One of its recovery plan.  On June 17, 2020, the Court issued an order proceeding the Court into Phase Two of its recovery plan, effective June 22, 2020.
 

Proceedings and Filing Deadlines

Use of Face Coverings or Masks

Discovery in Civil Cases

Restrictions on Visitors to Courthouses

Misdemeanor, Traffic, and Petty Offense Dockets (CVB Dockets)

Clerk's Office Operations

Bankruptcy Information

CJA Vouchers

Instructions for Remotely Attending Public Hearing

 
 
Proceedings and Filing Deadlines:
The Court has issued Standing Order 2020-11 concerning court operations under the exigent circumstances created by COVID-19. This Order supersedes Standing Order 2020-07, effective June 6, 2020.  Unlike previous iterations, this order does not generally postpone and continue all non-emergency proceedings and extend all filing deadlines.  Instead, current dates and deadlines set in individual cases, as modified by Standing Order 2020-07, will be presumed effective, unless otherwise ordered by the presiding judge.  Please review the order for additional details.

As detailed in Standing Order 2020-07, all civil, criminal, and bankruptcy proceedings in the District of Maryland, including court appearances, trials, hearings, settlement conferences, conference calls, naturalization and admission ceremonies, and grand jury meetings now scheduled to occur from March 16, 2020, through June 5, 2020, are POSTPONED and will be rescheduled at a later date, unless otherwise ordered by the presiding judge in an individual case directing that a particular proceeding will be held on or before June 5, 2020.
 
In addition, all filing deadlines for all cases originally set to fall between March 16, 2020, and June 5, 2020, are EXTENDED by eighty-four (84) days, unless otherwise ordered by the presiding judge in an individual case.  Please review Standing Order 2020-07 for additional information and details.  Please also see Discovery in Civil Cases for more information on civil discovery deadlines.
 
The Court remains open for emergency criminal, civil, and bankruptcy matters related to public safety, public health and welfare, and individual liberty.  Electronic filing through CM/ECF remains available, and self-represented litigants may deposit and date-stamp papers in the drop boxes at each courthouse between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Please click here for instructions on how to remotely attend a public hearing.

If you need assistance with accessing court documents and are not able, or cannot afford, to use PACER.gov, please call (410) 962-2600 or (301) 344-0660 during regular business hours for assistance.

Use of Face Covernings or Masks

The Court has issued Amended Standing Order 2020-10 requiring the wearing of face coverings or masks for all persons seeking entry to, or occupying, any U.S. Courthouse in this District.  Such face coverings or masks must completely conceal the wearer's nose and mouth at all times.  Any visitor seeking entry to the Courthouse without a mask will be provided a mask by the Court.  If the Court is unable to provide a mask for any reason, the visitor will be asked to contact by telephone the office to be visited to explore alternatives to entering the Courthouse.

 

Discovery in Civil Cases

The Court has issued a COVID-19 Pandemic Procedures Order exempting the conduct of discovery in civil cases from the suspension of deadlines set forth in Standing Order 2020-07, unless otherwise ordered by the presiding judge, and provided the parties agree to continue and that the conduct of discovery does not involve conduct by counsel or the parties that would contravene public health orders or directives.  Please review the order for additional information and details.

 
Restrictions on Visitors to Courthouses:
The Court has issued Standing Order 2020-14 concerning restrictions on visitors to the courthouses.  Members of the public are no longer permitted to enter the courthouse except for litigants with scheduled proceedings, counsel of record, investigators or employees of counsel, credentialed press, jurors and observers of in-court proceedings.  This Order does not affect access to the drop boxes for each Division.  All persons seeking entrance to these facilities should expect to be screened for flu-like symptoms, including possibly fever tested, and may be denied entry.

If you need assistance with accessing court documents and are not able, or cannot afford, to use PACER.gov, please call (410) 962-2600 or (301) 344-0660 during regular business hours for assistance.
 
Misdemeanor, Traffic, and Petty Offense Dockets (CVB Dockets):
The Court has issued a COVID-19 Procedures Order POSTPONING AND CONTINUING all Central Violations Bureau proceedings (misdemeanor, traffic, and petty offense dockets) scheduled in this District through August 31, 2020.  
 
Clerk's Office Operations:
The Clerk's Office intake counters are closed in both courthouses.  The Clerk's Office remains open to the public through telephone and filings may be made via the drop boxes located in the lobby of each courthouse.  The drop boxes are available between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Electronic filing through CM/ECF remains available.  If you need assistance with accessing court documents and are not able, or cannot afford, to use PACER.gov, please call (410) 962-2600 or (301) 344-0660 during regular business hours for assistance.

Please see this COVID-19 Procedures Order regarding the submission of courtesy copies to the Clerk's Office.

CJA Vouchers:

The Court has issued a COVID-19 Procedures Order regarding the submission of vouchers by Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel Attorneys.