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COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates and Guidance

The County is taking a number of actions to keep residents safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Find status information for County operations and services.

The Circuit Court

Current Status:

Closed

Circuit Court

The Circuit Court for Baltimore County will be closed on Friday, July 3rd in observance of Independence Day.

COVID-19 Status Update

The Circuit Court for Baltimore County has been generally closed to the public, with limited exceptions, since March 17 due to the COVID-19 emergency. Although the Court has continued to process many matters remotely, in-person appearances have been very limited.

As the public health landscape changes in Maryland, the courts have implemented a graduated plan to resume normal court operations. Based upon the Administrative Order issued by Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera on May 22, Maryland Courts are entering Phase II of a five phased re-start program on Friday, June 5, at 5 p.m. View all Administrative Orders.

The primary concern in reopening the Circuit Court is to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, counsel, litigants, and those who enter the courthouse. A substantial case backlog exists, given the length of the court closure. As we work to address this backlog, we must manage the workflow within the courthouse in a manner consistent with existing Executive Orders, public health recommendations, and restrictions or recommendations imposed by County Executive Olszewski.

The Circuit Court has adopted a five-phase restart plan to address the case backlog as the court restores normal operations. The phases are structured based upon consideration of a variety of factors, to include:

  1. the urgency of the matter;
  2. the ability to handle the matter utilizing a remote platform;
  3. the complexity of the proceeding, particularly the need for witnesses and exhibits;
  4. the length of the matter; and
  5. the need for jurors.

The phases are designed to assist in scheduling matters, both remotely and within the courthouse, to enable social distancing, and to protect the health and welfare of judicial employees, attorneys, parties and members of the public.

Health Screening upon Entry

As the court enters Phase II, the courthouse remains generally closed to the public, with limited exceptions. Courthouse entry is limited to employees, and to parties, counsel, witnesses, and credentialed members of the press appearing for a matter scheduled on the docket.

All persons who enter the building are subject to health screening questions and thermal temperature checks. Entry will be denied if a person exhibits signs or symptoms of illness or has been exposed to COVID-19 within the past seven days. All persons will be required to wear face masks when entering the courthouse. Social distancing measures will be enforced, and signage will be posted to note capacity limits in courtrooms and waiting areas.

Circuit Court Re-Start Plan

Details of the Circuit Court plan are contained in the Start-Up Plan Following COVID-19 Emergency Closure (PDF). This Plan details the types of matters that will be heard in each Phase and the projected dates for movement between Phases. Policies governing courthouse access and health and safety measures during the court re-start plan are set forth in Administrative Order 2020-132: Order Governing Courthouse Access and Restrictions During COVID-19 Phased Reopening (PDF).

View the Bar Update on Criminal Processes During COVID-19 Start-Up (PDF).

Jury Duty Remains Suspended

Jury trials remain suspended until October 5, 2020. Projected dates for movement between Phases will be reevaluated based upon public health data and advice.

Revised Criminal Case Postponement Policy

The Circuit Court has adopted a new written postponement policy to assist in rescheduling criminal matters when the Court resumes regular operation. A criminal postponement form has also been adopted to simplify the process

Foreclosures and Evictions

The current administrative stay on foreclosures of residential property, foreclosures of the right to redeem residential property sold in a tax sale, residential evictions, and executions on residential real property under levy or lien has been extended by Administrative Order (PDF) of Chief Judge Barbera until July 25, 2020.

Drop Box for Filings

A drop box will be available at the entrance to the Circuit Court that is accessible from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to accept any paper filing that is not required to be made electronically through MDEC.

Additional Information

If you have a question as to whether your case has been reset, please check the status on the Maryland Judiciary Case Search, or contact the Central Assignment Office at 410-887-3497, or Civil Assignment Office at 410-887-2660.

General Information

Photograph of the Circuit Courts Building.

Baltimore County Courts Building
401 Bosley Avenue
Towson, Maryland 21204
Phone: 410-887-2139
Email:baltcocc@mdcourts.gov

The Circuit Court for Baltimore County is the trial court of general jurisdiction. This means it is the designated court to hear:

  • Major Civil Cases (over $30,000 in controversy)
  • All jury trials, criminal or civil
  • Criminal Cases
    • Felonies
    • District Court Appeals and Jury Trial Requests
  • Juvenile and Family Law Cases

The Circuit Court also serves as a forum for appeals from the District Court of Maryland and certain administrative agencies (known as Judicial Review of agency decisions).

The Maryland Constitution and Maryland State law are the sources of the Circuit Court’s authority, powers and jurisdiction.

The Circuit Court operates from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the exception of Court Holidays.

Note: Baltimore Circuit Courts are a separate judicial jurisdiction from those of Baltimore City.

Handicapped and Foot Traffic Access

Due to a construction project the entrance to the County Courts Building has been altered.

  • Foot traffic will be directed to the temporary steps next to the building's entrance on Chesapeake Avenue.
  • Handicapped persons should enter by the ramp on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the building.
  • There is handicapped metered parking on both Pennsylvania and Baltimore Avenues.

Contact Court Offices

Contact information for Court offices is available online.

Daily Docket

The Daily Docket is updated between 4 and 4:30 p.m. each day for the next day's docket.

Case Transcript Request

Complete a transcript request form online for a CD or typed transcript of a court case.

Cell Phone and Tablet Policy

Cell phones, tablets and similar electronic devices are permitted in the Courthouse, provided that the device clears security. Possession and use of cell phones and other electronic devices may be limited or prohibited in designated areas of the Court facility.

Security Protocol

The Circuit Court for Baltimore County requires all employees, visitors, litigants, witnesses and attorneys to pass through a security checkpoint at the main entrance. Uniformed police officers on official duty, have a separate protocol.

 
Revised June 15, 2020         

 

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