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Calvert County Courthouse Implements Phased Reopening Through Oct. 5, 2020

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – The rapidly evolving health emergency regarding the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) requires the Maryland court system to continually review and evaluate contingency planning efforts. The Calvert County Courthouse located at 175 Main St. in Prince Frederick will remain under restricted access, with new changes to operations and court proceedings effective 5 p.m. on June 5, 2020.

By order of Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, Administrative Order dated May 22, 2020, beginning 5 p.m. on June 5, 2020, there shall be a progressive, phased return to full operations by the courts in the Maryland Judiciary, court offices, administrative offices, units of the Judiciary, the Offices of the Clerks of the Circuit Court and the clerks’ offices of the District Court. The Courthouse continues to be restricted to emergency operations and closed to the public with limited exceptions, as outlined below, through Oct. 5, 2020, pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.

There are five phases described in the Administrative Order, each phase representing an increase in the level of operations by the courts in the Maryland Judiciary. The courts are currently in phase I with phase II commencing 5 p.m. on June 5. Phases I and II are detailed in this release and Phases III through V will be released prior to commencement date. Phase V is scheduled to commence on Oct. 5. Access to the courts and each of the phases are subject to modification by the Administrative Judge for the Circuit Court for Calvert County.

PHASE I: March 16, 2020 through 4:59 p.m. on June 5, 2020
The following emergency and urgent matters shall be scheduled or heard, either in person or remotely. The court shall notify all participants necessary to the proceeding:

• Bail reviews/bench warrants

• Arraignments for detained defendants

• Juvenile detention hearings

• Juvenile shelter care hearings

• Peace order petitions (juvenile respondents)

• Emergency evaluation petitions

• Quarantine and isolation petitions

• Extradition cases

• Body attachments

• Extreme risk protective order appeals  

For all other emergency matters including those listed below, the administrative judge or his or her designee will review the petition, determine whether it must be heard in person, or can be heard with remote electronic participation, or can be scheduled after the emergency period has ended, or can be resolved without a hearing, including, but not limited to:

• CINA matters, consistent with FCCIP Subcommittee of the Maryland Judicial Council recommendations of April 3, 2020

• Emergency delinquency hearings, including motions related to juveniles who are detained, committed pending placement, or committed, consistent with the Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the circuit courts sitting as juvenile courts to the COVID-19 emergency as it relates to those juveniles who are detained, committed pending placement, or in commitments, filed April 13, 2020

• Emergency habeas corpus petitions  

• Emergency issues in guardianship matters

• Domestic violence protective orders

• Appeals from peace orders

• Family law emergencies, including time urgent matters related to special juvenile immigrant status

• Temporary restraining orders

• Criminal competency matters

• Motions regarding:

  • Extreme risk protective orders
  • Domestic violence protective orders
  • Peace orders

• Contempt hearings related to peace or protective orders

• Matters involving locally incarcerated defendants, consistent with the Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the Trial Courts of Maryland to the COVID-19 Emergency as it relates to those persons who are incarcerated or imprisoned, filed April 14, 2020.

PHASE II: 5 p.m. on June 5, 2020, through July 19, 2020
Phase II represents an expansion of matters that can be heard by courts both remotely and on-site. Phase II shall include Phase I matters and the following matters listed below. To the extent that Phase II Matters may be handled remotely, courts are encouraged to do so. For any proceeding that will be held during Phase II, the court shall notify all participants necessary to the proceeding.

CIVIL:
• Emergency evaluation petitions 

• Quarantine and isolation petitions

• Emergency Habeas Corpus petitions

• Body attachments

• Temporary restraining orders

• Scheduling conferences

• Status conferences

• On the record appeals

• Matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both

CRIMINAL: 

• Mail reviews, bail reconsiderations, and bench warrants including matters involving locally incarcerated defendants, consistent with the Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the Trial Courts of Maryland to the COVID-19 Emergency as it relates to those persons who are incarcerated or imprisoned, filed April 14, 2020

• Arraignments for detained defendants

• Extradition cases

• Matters addressing competency; criminal responsibility issues not requiring witness testimony status; and discovery and Hicks issues

• Deferred sentencing – for non-incarcerated defendants

• Plea agreements without recommendations for sentences of incarceration; deferred sentence matters; and motions that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both
 

FAMILY:

• Scheduling conferences

• Status conferences

• Uncontested divorces and other uncontested family law matters

• Domestic violence protective orders

• Domestic violence, peace, and extreme risk protective order appeals

• Family law emergencies that have been determined to require an expedited hearing, including time urgent matters related to special juvenile immigrant status

• Emergency issues in guardianship matters

• Temporary restraining orders

• Default hearings

• Exceptions hearings not requiring witness testimony (uncontested or consented to or requiring legal argument only)

• Matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both 

JUVENILE COURT
CINA (DEPENDENCY):
Priority scheduling for those juveniles turning 21 within 90 days of the beginning of Phase II.

• Shelter care hearings 

• CINA matters, including, if not contested and/or by proffer, adjudications, dispositions, permanency plan, and permanency plan reviews

• Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) by consent and/or by proffer

• Exceptions hearings (uncontested or consented to or requiring legal argument only)  

• Family Treatment/Recovery Court review hearings

• Guardianships under juvenile causes

• Adoptions concerning CINA and TPR juveniles

• Matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both

JUVENILE (DELINQUENCY): Priority scheduling for those juveniles turning 21 within 90 days of the beginning of Phase II; returning from placement; with issues with permanency plans; closures of cases; and possible placement on the juvenile and or adult sexual offender registries.

• Juvenile detention hearings

• Peace order petitions (juvenile respondents only)

• Arraignments and first appearances

• Emergency delinquency hearings, including motions related to juveniles who are detained, committed pending placement, or committed, consistent with the administrative order guiding the response of the circuit courts sitting as juvenile courts to the COVID-19 emergency as it relates to those juveniles who are detained, committed pending placement, or in commitments, filed April 13, 2020

• Adjudication with agreed to-plea and/or by proffer (6) disposition with consent and/or by proffer

• Disposition reviews

• Delinquency juvenile treatment plans and reviews

• Closure of probation and jurisdiction of Juvenile Court not requiring testimony

• Juvenile expungements not requiring testimony

• Juvenile permanency plans and reviews, if not contested or by proffer or both

• Juvenile waivers, if consented to and not requiring testimony

• Exceptions hearings not requiring witness testimony (uncontested or consented to or requiring legal argument only) 

• Matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both

PROBLEM-SOLVING COURTS: Including drug, mental health, family/dependency recovery, DUI, veterans, juvenile drug and truancy courts. Any other matters that can be scheduled, heard or resolved in accordance with Section (i) of the Administrative Order on the Progressive Resumption of Full Function of Judiciary Operations Previously Restricted Due to the COVID-19 emergency, filed May 22, 2020, are encouraged to be taken up by the circuit courts during Phase II. Phase III is scheduled to commence on July 20, 2020. Prior to July 20, an update relative to Phase III will be released to the public.

All other matters, including jury trials are hereby postponed through the end of the COVID-19 emergency, unless otherwise scheduled for telephone and/or video hearings when practicable by the Circuit Court for Calvert County.

Essential court personnel will be available to the public by telephone between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Maryland Electronic Court (MDEC) continues to be available for electronic filing and is required to be used for all MDEC counties. For pleadings not required to be filed electronically, filings will be received by mail and may be received via drop box installed in the rear parking lot of the courthouse.

Any questions or concerns relative to cases or proceedings should be directed to:

• Circuit Court: 410-535-1600
• District Court: 443-550-6700

The county continues to share the latest updates surrounding Calvert County’s response to COVID-19 through a virtual resource center on its website, including any precautionary measures, guidance and closures at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus.

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