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Maryland court offices to open to public March 15, resume jury trials on April 26

The Maryland court system will move to “Phase IV” of its COVID-19 reopening plan on March 15, opening state court offices to the public and expanding the types of cases heard in circuit and district courts.

The Maryland Judiciary announced in a new release that starting Monday, clerks’ offices in the state’s circuit and district courts will be open to the public, although social distancing requirements still will be enforced and the number of people allowed inside may be limited.

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On Monday, Maryland district courts will begin hearing all civil and criminal matters, as well as failure to pay rent cases and civil citations. Circuit courts also will expand the types of cases heard to include civil nonjury trials, child support contempt cases and three-judge panel sentence reviews.

The state had been operating in Phase II of the court system’s reopening plan since Nov. 30, around the time new coronavirus cases began spiking last fall and into the winter before they began subsiding in February.

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The Judiciary also announced that it will resume full operations April 26, allowing for full jury trials as part of its “Phase V” reopening plan.

“With the reduction in the COVID-19 infection rates in Maryland and vaccines being provided systematically statewide, the Maryland Judiciary will move forward with its phased resumption plan. After expanding court proceedings and making a broader range of court services available to the public, the circuit courts will resume jury trials on April 26th,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera.

For more information on the reopening plan, visit mdcourts.gov/coronavirusinformationforpublic and mdcourts.gov/coronavirusphasedreopening.

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