Suspension of Jury Trials

Back to COVID-19 Home


November 25, 2020 - Message to the Bar from the Circuit Court Regarding Return to Phase II Operations

Effective on Monday, November 30, 2020, the Circuit Court will return to Phase II of emergency operations. See Sixth Administrative Order Restricting Statewide Judiciary Operations Due to the COVID-19 Emergency, dated November 24, 2020. Four other orders accompany the main order, which are available on the Maryland judiciary website at The orders are effective through at least January 15, 2021.

Under the terms of the main order, the clerk’s office will remain open to the public for emergency purposes, but access to the courthouse will be limited to in-person hearing participants and others whose presence in the building has been previously authorized. The court is reducing the number of staff in the courthouse, so users can anticipate some delays in service. No other visitors are permitted, except domestic violence petitioners. The court will continue to conduct remote proceedings to the greatest extent possible. Jury trials in civil and criminal cases will not resume until at least February 16, 2021, although grand jury proceedings continue.

Those who have hearings or non-jury trials of any type scheduled through January 15, 2021, should assume their cases will remain on the docket for trial or a virtual status hearing. Many cases are already heard remotely, including family and civil cases, and they should not be affected by the latest rephasing. If your case was scheduled to be heard in-person, you should contact the judge to whom your case has been assigned to determine whether the case can be heard. The assigned trial judges will continue to offer any appropriate assistance in determining whether cases can be resolved without a trial before postponements will be granted.

All scheduling hearings and status conferences, including Rule 4-215 hearings and criminal pretrials, will continue. These hearings are now largely held remotely. Criminal pleas will continue, remotely whenever possible. Counsel are encouraged to continue operating under existing scheduling orders to the extent possible. Problems that may arise will be addressed on a case-by-case basis by the Administrative Judge.

Several matters continue to be problematic for the court, and members of the Bar can help in their resolution:

  • The court is still receiving filings of the same papers electronically and by other means, such as regular mail and the dropbox. This is confusing to the clerk’s office because it results in the same paper being filed multiple times. PLEASE ELECT THE MEANS BY WHICH YOU WISH TO FILE AND DO NOT USE ANOTHER MODE.

  • Please make sure to include a current email address on all papers filed.

  • Please be sure to electronically submit your paper exhibits at least one week before trial to the assigned trial judge. If no judge has been assigned, you may email them to

  • If an interpreter was requested for your case and is no longer needed, please notify the court immediately. Failure to do so may result in your liability for the interpreter’s fee.

Court users should continue to monitor further developments, and are invited to visit the court’s website, The Bar’s continuing cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Robert A. Greenberg
Administrative Judge