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Notices to Criminal Counsel

Regarding Criminal Case Postponement

This notice is intended to address scheduling and postponement of criminal actions pending in the Circuit Court, as well as other procedures in criminal cases. It may be modified or supplemented in the future. 

Fines and court costs are to be paid by 4:30 p.m. on the day of trial or disposition in the Office of the Clerk, unless extended for "good cause" by the original trial judge.

Regarding Criminal Misdemeanor Cases

The Circuit Court has experienced significantly increased docket demands associated with handling misdemeanor criminal matters. As a result, the misdemeanor dockets are often overloaded, resulting in trial delays. Additionally, the misdemeanor caseload has had a significant impact on the Circuit Court’s ability to process other cases, particularly civil and domestic trials. As a consequence, the Court has explored modifications in the criminal misdemeanor case processing. Learn more about the individual processes below.

District Court Appeals

District Court appeals will be handled as a separate docket rather than mixed in with other misdemeanor cases. These will be scheduled every other Friday and will typically be assigned to the judge designated to hear criminal case postponements on that day.

Prayers for Jury Trials

The Circuit Court handles Prayers for Jury Trials (PJTs) on the following trial day in the Circuit Court. Next day case processing places an enormous burden on the administrative and clerical staff in both the District and the Circuit courts. If the PJT is not heard the following day in the Circuit Court, the target timing for hearings is within 45 to 60 days from the date the case is transferred to the Circuit Court. When a jury trial is elected, the Defendant shall be served with a Summons that sets the date for the next Court appearance. The Defendant shall sign the summons to verify receipt of the hearing notice.

"Good Cause" Defined

Examples of what constitutes “good cause” for day of trial include:

  • Trial Date Conflict—The first case set takes precedence (See Chief Judge Robert C. Murphy’s Revised Administrative Order for Continuances for Conflicting Case Assignments or Legislative Duties effective May 15, 1995.) Documentation establishing a trial date conflict must be provided.
  • Illness/Death—Serious illness of, or death in the family of, a party, counsel, or necessary witness
  • Vacations—Vacations scheduled prior to any assigned trial date; Requests for postponement must be made within 10 calendar days of notification of scheduled event
  • Counsel Has Another Scheduled Court Case—If counsel is scheduled for a matter before this court, but another trial in another court carries over to cause a conflict with the Baltimore County trial date
  • No Notice of Hearing—A party did not receive notice of the hearing or trial, through no fault of the party or their counsel
  • Facts or Circumstances Arising—Or becoming apparent too late in the proceedings to be corrected in advance of the hearing, and which, in the view of the Court, would likely cause undue hardship or a possible miscarriage of justice if the hearing or trial proceeded as scheduled

The following are generally not “good cause” examples for postponement:

  • Vacations scheduled after establishing a trial or motion date
  • Consent of the State and the defense with no substantive basis
  • No previous requests for postponement
  • Any matter known or which should have been known when the trial date became firm
  • New counsel has entered an appearance or a party wishes to change counsel
  • Plea negotiations ongoing
  • Law enforcement “officer training”
  • Discovery is incomplete or just provided
  • Investigation ongoing
  • Postponement requested to consolidate with a matter pending in the District Court as to which a jury trial may be prayed
  • A party or counsel is unprepared to try to case for reasons including, but not limited to, the party’s failure to cooperate with or maintain necessary contact with counsel

Contact

Office of the Jury Commissioner

County Courts Building
401 Bosley Avenue
Towson, Maryland 21204

Hours:

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Phone:

410-887-3596

Daily Call-in Numbers

The call-in numbers can be heard by calling 410-887-4390 after 4:30 p.m. on the day before your scheduled date.

410-887-4390

 
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