Special Magistrate

LOCATION:  South Tower, 2nd Floor, Rm 2820

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

PHONE:  240-777-9054

General Duties

The functions of the Special Magistrate are: management of the motions practice for civil (domestic and non-domestic) cases and management of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.

The Special Magistrate reviews a variety of motions in civil and family cases and makes recommendations for ruling. Non-exhaustive lists of the specific civil and family motions reviewed by the Special Magistrate are as follows:

Civil (Non-Domestic) Motions Reviewed by the Special Magistrate:
  • Abate Interest
  • Access to Property
  • Admit Out-of-State Attorney
  • Alternate Service
  • Appoint Trustee/Receiver
  • Appropriate Relief
  • Attorney’s Fees
  • Body Attachment
  • Charging Order
  • Class Certification
  • Compel/Sanctions/Protective Order
  • Compensation for Auditor
  • Confessed Judgment
  • Confirm Arbitration
  • Default as to Discovery
  • Default as to Garnishments
  • Default and Dismissals Judgments
  • Deposit Funds into Court Registry
  • Dismiss
  • Extend Time to File an Opposition/Answer, etc.
  • Extend Page Limit/Time for Filing, etc.
  • Foreclosures
    1. Ratify Audits, Motions for Judgment Awarding Possession
    2. Auditor Report
    3. Reduce Bond, Show Cause Order
    4. Substitute Purchaser
    5. Judgement Awarding Possession
  • Forfeit Deposit
  • Forfeit Motor Vehicle
  • Friendly Suit
  • Interpleader
  • Intervene
  • Judgment (partial, renewal, by consent, garnishment)
  • Mechanic’s Liens
  • Mediation (appoint, modify and vacate orders)
  • Protective Order (not domestic violence)
  • Psychological/mental evaluations
  • Quash
  • Quiet Title
  • Reconsideration
  • Reconsideration of Dismissal (by Administrative Judge)
  • Resale of Property
  • Sanctions (as indicated above)
  • Show Cause Orders
  • Strike Pleadings
  • Structured Settlements
  • Substitute Trustee/Purchaser
  • Summary Judgment
  • Terminate Trust
  • Waiver of Prepayment of Fees
  • Withdraw Bond
  • Workers’ Compensation Commission (remands, extending time limits, dispositive motions)

Civil (Domestic/Family) Motions Reviewed by the Special Magistrate:

  • Admit Out-of-State Attorney
  • Alternate Service
  • Appoint Trustee
  • Compel/Sanctions/Protective Order
  • Default as to discovery
  • Dismiss
  • Domestic Violence (to set hearing only)
  • Extend Time to File an Opposition/Answer, etc.
  • Garnishment (contempt and defaults)
  • Independent Medical Exams
  • Intervene
  • Miscellaneous Petitions (e.g. Amendments to Birth Certificates and Marriage Licenses)
  • Money Judgments
  • Name Changes
  • Quash
  • Reconsideration
  • Return and release of documents or passports (from court registry)
  • Sanctions (as indicated above)
  • Shield and Sealing of Files
  • Strike Pleadings
  • Summary Judgment
  • Vacate Order for ADR, Extend Time for ADR
  • Waiver of Prepayment of Fees

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program

The Montgomery County Circuit Court offers litigants the opportunity to participate in mediation, which is a form of ADR in which a mediator assists parties in reaching a resolution before trial. Mediation can be ordered at any time during the pendency of any civil case, including family cases. If mediation is ordered by the court in either a civil or family case, the ADR coordinator will assign a mediator from the court-approved roster of ADR mediators. Mediators assigned to a case by the ADR coordinator must charge the “court rate” for the mediation. Parties and counsel may also select their own mediator from the court-approved roster of ADR mediators. If the parties select a mediator on their own, the mediator may charge the parties his or her private hourly rate for the mediation.

Mediation is ordered in most civil cases, including family cases. Mediation will not be ordered in domestic violence cases or cases in which the Court determines that ADR is inappropriate. Parties or counsel may opt out of mediation by informing the Court orally (in open court), or in writing.

The Special Magistrate’s Office coordinates all court-related referrals to ADR for civil, family, and medical malpractice cases. This includes generating the initial order and correspondence with facilitators and counsel, advising the Assignment Office regarding ADR outcomes, and entering data into the Court’s database for statistical purposes.

More information on the ADR Program