COVID-19 Status Updates
Maryland Courts have resumed normal operations, however the changes implemented in phase five will continue:
- Mask wearing is optional and will not be required for anyone entering the courthouse.
- Appointments will still be required in the Licensing Department for civil marriage ceremonies.
- Schedule a virtual appointment with the Self-Help Office.
Learn more by selecting a specific case type below, or view the resumption of normal operations restart plan, the bar update on criminal processes or the response protocol for confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
- All cases will be heard remotely until further notice, subject to an advance request for a hybrid or in-person hearing. Requests for in-person hearings should include details for the judicial officer’s consideration.
- Termination of parental rights (TPR) hearings will be scheduled and may be remote, hybrid or in-person as is appropriate for the particular case and judge. Contact your assigned judge in advance for instructions.
- Establishment cases will continue to be heard in Room G-10. Cases will be heard Monday through Thursday. Dockets will be staggered between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
- DNA testing will resume on alternating Mondays.
- Contempt hearings will continue before magistrates. Dockets will be held every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday plus alternating Mondays between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
- The Child Support Office will collect child support money every Tuesday and alternating Mondays between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.
- Bail reviews will continue on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursday and Fridays at 2 p.m. before the chambers judge. Bail reviews will be conducted on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. before Judge Hennegan.
Resumption of Jury Trials
Civil jury trials will continue to be held. Jury selection will take place beginning at 9 a.m. at:
125 York Road
- Specially assigned protracted cases (i.e., medical malpractice cases) will proceed on their assigned trial dates. The trial judge, or his or her designee, will conduct jury selection on the first day of trial. The trial will start at the courthouse immediately following jury selection. Once selected, the jury will be assigned to a specific courtroom and instructed to report to the courthouse immediately. The jury will be sworn in when the trial commences.
- Other civil trials (i.e., one- or two-day auto torts) will be assigned to a judge the day before the trial date. Counsel will receive notification that their case will proceed to trial. Jury selection will take place on the morning of the first day of trial at the American Legion. The trial will start at the courthouse immediately following jury selection. Jurors will be instructed to report to a specific courtroom immediately after selection. Jurors will be sworn in when the trial commences.
- Backup cases (standby) will also be identified. Backup cases that do not proceed on the first day of trial will remain on the standby docket for an additional day. If the backup case is not reached, a postponement should be directed to the Lead Civil Judge.
Non-Jury Trial Related Matters
- All motions, administrative/district court appeals and other civil matters will remain on the dockets as scheduled.
- Afternoon dockets will continue in civil cases.
- All bench trials will proceed as scheduled.
- Civil settlement conferences—Requests for remote settlement conferences may be filed, but will only be granted for good cause.
Resumption of Jury Trials
Criminal jury trials will continue to be held. Jury selection will take place beginning at 9 a.m. at:
125 York Road
- Jury selection will be conducted by the trial judge, or their designee. Once selected, the jury will be assigned to a specific courtroom and instructed to report to the courthouse either the same day or the following day. The jury will be sworn in when the trial commences in the courthouse.
- All specially-assigned cases have been scheduled for trial. Back up cases have also been selected. If the backup case does not proceed on the first day of trial, it will remain on the docket for an additional day. If the backup case cannot be reached, a postponement should be requested before the Criminal Administrative Judge.
- Cases from the felony or misdemeanor dockets for which a request for jury trial is made should be ready for trial in case the designated primary and backup case do not proceed.
- Counsel must file voir dire and trial exhibits through MDEC at least two days prior to the trial date.
Non-Jury Trial Related Matters
- Criminal dockets will continue to proceed as scheduled at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1:30 p.m.
- Criminal motions will be set on dockets primarily in the afternoon.
- Contested juvenile waiver motions will be set on specialized dockets every other Friday.
- Non-jury trials will continue to be set.
- Plea dockets will be held on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Counsel wishing to schedule a plea hearing should contact the Criminal Case Manager, Brittany Jackson, at 410-887-2853 or email@example.com.
- Violation of probation (VOP) bench warrant hearings will continue to be heard on the video bail docket on the next court day after pickup. If the defendant is released, the video bail judge will coordinate a VOP hearing date with the assigned judge’s chambers. If the defendant is not released, the video bail judge will advise the assigned judge so chambers can schedule a hearing.
- The Criminal Administrative Docket, which consists of the daily video bail and bench warrant hearings and postponements, will no longer be split between two judges.
- Trials and hearings already scheduled as remote proceedings will be heard remotely.
- Newly scheduled trials and hearings will be conducted in-person.
- The Office of Family Support Services will be transitioning back to in-person services.
- Requests for remote trials and hearings may be made but will only be granted for good cause.
- Subpoena hearings will resume to in-person.
The following hearings and conferences will continue to be held remotely:
- Scheduling conferences
- Pre-hearing contempt conferences
- Mediation (in-person is available upon request)
- Uncontested divorce hearings
- Special Immigrant Juvenile Status hearings
- Settlement Court—Requests for remote settlement conferences may be filed, but will only be granted for good cause.
Guardianship is the legal process by which the Court:
- Determines an individual, by virtue of being a minor or having been judged by the Court to have a disability prohibiting him or her from being able to manage his or her own affairs, is in need of protection and
- Appoints another individual as its agent to protect their health, safety, and financial well-being of the minor or disabled person
A Petition for Guardianship may be filed for an adult alleged to have a disability or for a minor. To assist individuals with navigating the guardianship process within Baltimore County, the Circuit Court has established a Guardianship Differentiated Case Management (DCM) Plan. The Guardianship DCM Plan outlines the policies and procedures of the Baltimore County Circuit Court, pursuant the applicable state statutes, from the commencement of the guardianship action though its resolution.
All Adult Guardianship Petitions, Petitions for Person and Property of Minor and Petitions for Property of Minor are processed by the Trust Department. Pro Se petitioners are directed to file either in person or by mail to the Trust Department. Attorneys and registered MDEC users must file via MDEC. Note: Petitions for Guardianship of Person of Minors are processed by and should be filed with the Family Division.
The policies and procedures of guardianship actions in the Circuit Court are implemented by the County Administrative Judge, Guardianship Lead Judge, the Guardianship Bench, the Trust Clerk and the Guardianship Case Manager. Contact the Guardianship Case Manager, Jessica Labenberg, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 410-887-2759.
Training and Reporting Requirements
Individuals pursuing guardianship are required to complete training requirements prior to, and immediately following, their appointment. The training requirements serve to ensure guardians understand their legal responsibilities and know where and how to access resources. Both the Court and the guardian owe a fiduciary duty to the disabled person/minor. As such, guardians are required to inform the Court annually of the personal and financial well-being of the disabled person/minor. The Court, in turn, is responsible for ensuring guardians comply with the below listed requirements:
- Due prior to appointment as a guardian—Prospective guardians are required to complete an orientation program for court-appointed guardians. All prospective guardians must complete a Certificate of Completion.
- Due within 60 days after appointment as a guardian
- Newly-appointed guardians of property must complete and submit an Inventory and Information Report. Guardians are provided a copy of the Report from the Trust Clerk at the time the Appointment Order is mailed.
- Newly-appointed guardians of the person/property are required to complete a Maryland Courts guardian training program, which is available online and periodically offered in person at the courthouse. Guardians will receive an order with instructions on how and where to access or attend the training program. All guardians must submit a certificate of completion.
- Due within 60 days from the anniversary of appointment:
- Annual Report of Guardian of Disabled Person and Annual Report of Guardian of Minor—To be completed by individuals appointed as the Guardian of the Person. This Report is used to update the Court on the current care and well-being of the individual under guardianship, as well as advise the Court of planned future care issues or modifications to the guardianship that may be needed. The Trust Clerk annually provides the Report to guardians.
- Fiduciary’s Account—To be completed by individuals appointed as the Guardian of Property. Guardians are to complete all sections regarding the description and value of assets, expenses and income to the guardianship estate. The Trust Clerk annual provides the Fiduciary’s Account to guardians.
Forms and Resources
The Maryland Judiciary provides resources for:
- Prospective guardians, court-appointed guardians and interested persons involved in a guardianship action can access guardianship forms, such as the annual reports and pleadings, they may need to communicate with the Court.
- Families and friends of individuals diagnosed with a disability or illness who may wish to explore less restrictive alternatives to guardianship
- Maryland Judiciary Case Search
Circuit Court for Baltimore County Clerk’s Office—The Trust Clerk is located on the second floor and is available to accept in-person filings to guardianship matters for individuals who are not registered MDEC users, as well as provide information regarding any filing fees that may apply.
Pursuant to Maryland Rule 16-914, all guardianship documents are sealed except for Orders applicable to Rule 10-108, such as:
- Order Appointing Guardian
- Letters of Guardianship
- Orders Assuming Jurisdiction over a Fiduciary Estate other than Guardianship
- Modifications to the orders listed above
Note: If you are not a party to a guardianship case you must petition the Court for access to documents other than those listed above.
- Initial detention hearings will continue to be held remotely until further notice.
- All delinquency matters other than initial detention hearings will now be presumed to be in-person subject to advance requests for hybrid or remote proceedings.
- Requests for remote hearings should include details for the judicial officer’s consideration.
- Delinquency dockets before magistrates will continue with morning sessions handled in-person until further notice.
- Contested hearings may be specially scheduled and will be presumed to be in-person subject to advance requests for hybrid or remote proceedings.
The Circuit Court is the designated court to hear:
- All jury trials, criminal or civil
- All matters pertaining to divorce, custody, child support and visitation
- Criminal cases—Including felonies, District Court of Maryland appeals and certain administrative agencies (known as Judicial Review of agency decisions) and jury trial requests
- Major civil cases over $30,000 in controversy
- Major felony cases
- Juvenile and family law cases
- Both the Circuit and District Court have mutual jurisdiction over civil matters where the amount in dispute is between $10,000 and $20,000, and all domestic violence petitions
The Maryland Constitution and State law are the sources of the Circuit Court’s authority, powers and jurisdiction.
The Circuit Court is closed on Court holidays.
- Accessibility—There is handicapped metered parking on both Pennsylvania and Baltimore Avenues. Handicapped persons should enter by the ramp on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the building.
- Criminal Case Postponement—The policy concerning postponement requests in criminal cases assists in rescheduling criminal matters.
- Drop Box for Filings—A drop box is available at the entrance to the Circuit Court to accept any paper filing (during business hours) that is not required to be made electronically through MDEC.
- Security—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.
Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices in Court Facilities
- All electronic devices may be inspected by court security personnel.
- Security or other court personnel may confiscate an electronic device for misuse.
- The taking, recording, or transmitting of photographs, videos, or other images by cell phone or any other device is prohibited in the court facility at all times, unless the court expressly grants permission in a specific instance.
- All electronic devices must remain off and inoperable inside the courtroom unless the court expressly grants permission in a specific instance.
- Attorneys and other court personnel are permitted the reasonable and lawful use of electronic devices provided that the device makes no audible sound, is positioned so the screen is not visible by the trier of fact or witnesses, is not used to record and is not used to communicate with any other person during the proceeding without express permission of the court.
- An electronic device may not be used in a manner that interferes with court proceedings or the work of court personnel or that violates any court order.
- Security and other court personnel are not liable for any damage, misplacement or loss to electronic devices confiscated or collected.
Any individual who willfully violates Maryland Rule 16-208 or any reasonable limitation imposed by the County Administrative Judge or the presiding judge may be found in contempt of court and may be subject to sanctions in accordance with the Maryland Rules in Title 15, Chapter 200.
Provide Your Feedback
- Customer Service Survey—Please take five minutes to tell us about your recent experience at a Maryland court.
- Suggestions—If you have suggestions regarding any improvements to our court or physical facilities, send them via mail to our Court Administrator, Stephanie Medina, or via email to email@example.com.
Become a Notary Public
The fee is $11 for the Secretary of State and $11 for the Clerk of the Court.
- The address of residence determines which County will issue the commission.
- An application must be made through the Secretary of State. Call 410-974-5521 to request applications.
- Upon notification from the Secretary of State, you will be directed to the Circuit Court to be sworn in.
Search the table below to find contact information related to a specific division or case type. Please note that no office of the Court, can provide you with legal advice.
|Division/Case Type||Contact Information|
|Birth/Death Certificates||Search State records|
County Courts Building, Second Floor
District Courts—Responsible for
|Legal Aid Bureau||410-296-6705|
|Licenses (Business, Marriage, Notary Publics/Oaths)||410-887-2607|
|Plea Hearing Scheduling|
|Public Defender Office||410-324-8900|
|Reduced Fee Program|
|Register of Wills||410-887-6680|