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Differentiated Case Management (DCM) Office

LOCATION:   North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3121

HOURS:  Monday-Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm

PHONE:  240-777-9358

What is DCM?

Differentiated Case Management (DCM) emerged as a best practice for courts in the early 1990s concurrent with the development of time standards for the resolution of cases by organizations such as the American Bar Association (ABA). DCM provides a structured and active approach to caseload management to drive the early and appropriate resolution of the 90 percent or more cases not requiring a trial, while preserving adjudication time and court and public resources for those cases that do require a trial.

DCM is characterized by the early differentiation of cases entering the justice system in terms of the nature and extent of judicial/justice system resources they will require. Each case is assigned to the appropriate case track that allows for the performance of pretrial tasks and allocates the appropriate level of judicial and other system resources, minimizing processing delays. Established mechanisms avoid multiple court appearances and assure the timely provision of resources for the expeditious processing and resolution of cases on each track.

What are Tracks?

DCM by Case Type

The majority of cases filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court are categorized as criminal, civil, family, or juvenile cases. The DCM plans listed below provide insight into the caseload management system for the Montgomery County Circuit Court. The processing of each case type and the assignment of cases to a specific “Track” are solely within the discretion of the Administrative Judge.

Every effort is made to update the DCM plans to reflect legislative, rule, and policy changes. Any questions regarding the Court’s Differentiated Case Management plans, track assignments, or the policies and procedures contained within each plan, should be directed to the DCM Coordinator, Rick Dabbs, at 240-777-9358.

  • Criminal: These cases allege violations of the law and are filed by the State’s Attorney’s Office or the Attorney General’s Office.
  • Civil: These cases are what we think of as “lawsuits” brought by counsel or self-represented litigants. They include many different types of cases, such as: contract disputes, personal injury (motor vehicle accidents and medical malpractice), professional malpractice, employment/workplace disputes (discrimination, wrongful discharge, worker’s compensation, and union disputes), real estate actions (foreclosures, community association and neighborhood association disputes, construction disputes, and adverse possession claims), business/corporate actions, and technology disputes.
  • Family: These cases are also filed by private counsel on behalf of litigants or self-represented individuals. They include adoptions, divorce, annulments, child custody, child support, division of familial property, domestic violence petitions, name change requests, amendments to birth certificates, and marriage licenses.
  • Juvenile: The State’s Attorney’s Office and the County Attorney’s Office file juvenile cases, which include delinquency, child in need of assistance (CINA), supervision, and termination of parental rights (TPR) cases.
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