Carroll County courts have closed to the public due to the coronavirus, court officials have said.
Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland Mary Ellen Barbera has ordered all courts in the Maryland Judiciary, court offices, administrative offices, units of the Judiciary, and the Offices of the Clerks of the Circuit Courts closed to the public through May 1.
Judiciary operations will continue to the extent practicable, the release reads. Except for certain matters, such as domestic violence, extreme risk protective orders, peace orders and emergency evaluation petitions, all matters scheduled to be heard between March 17 and May 1 are postponed pending further order of the chief judge of the Court of Appeals.
Heather DeWees, clerk of the Circuit Court of Carroll County, said she supports the chief judge’s decision.
“I think it is important that we balance the safety of our citizens and staffs with the services the courts provide to to the public. I appreciate that Chief Judge Barbera closed the courts to the public to combat the spread of coronavirus in our state and communities," DeWees said.
The Clerk’s Office just implemented a new process that allows employees to email some of the judges’ orders to the public instead of mailing them, according to DeWees, which will enable some employees to work from home.
Breaking News Alerts
“Like most administrators, I’m praying for the health of my employees and their families,” DeWees said. "I’m hoping that everyone does their due diligence in order for this pandemic to come to a quick end so that we all can conduct business as usual.”
If someone is unsure whether their case will be heard, call the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office at 410-386-8710, call District Court at 410-871-3500 or visit the Maryland Judiciary’s website at mdcourts.gov, the District Court’s website at courts.state.md.us, or the Carroll County Circuit Court’s website at CarrollCountyCircuitCourt.org.
Anyone who thinks they or a family member might be showing coronavirus symptoms can call the Carroll County Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline, which is available 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. seven days a week at 410-876-4848, or contact their doctor. The hotline is also open the weekend of March 14.
Updates on the number of Maryland cases and other important information can be found on the health department’s COVID-19 webpage at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19/.