The COVID-19 health crisis has changed the ways the Maryland criminal courts and other courts and agencies operate. Many courts and agencies have suspended services which affect the rights of those with pending cases, those with outstanding charges, and those who need to use the agencies to restore their licenses and start their life again.
At Carey Law Office, we hope everyone is healthy and continues to stay healthy. We are keeping current with the changing legal landscape. Here is what you should know.
The Maryland federal courts have their own website. There are numerous new orders that affect court proceedings such as:
- An order postponing all schedule court appearances, trials, settlement conferences, conference calls, hearings, and grand jury meeting scheduled between March 16, 2020 and April 24, 2020 – unless otherwise ordered. The filing deadlines for all cases which are due between these March and April dates are also extended.
- Electronic filings are still available.
- The federal court has issued an order postponing and continuing all misdemeanor, traffic, and petty offense dockets scheduled in the federal court district – through May 31, 2020.
State and county courts
Some of the state and county court changes include the following:
- The statutes and rules deadlines for hearing matters that are pending, including juvenile cases. are tolled or suspended as of March 16, 2020 – during the time the courts are closed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
- The individual circuit courts each have their own rules and orders governing cases and deadlines in their jurisdictions.
- Oral arguments are generally postponed though they may continue through electronic means.
- “All new protective, peace, and extreme risk protective order (ERPO) petitions will be handled by commissioners. Interim Orders remain in effect until action is taken by the court.”
Governor Larry Hogan has issued numerous executive orders. These orders include the extension of certain licenses, permits, registrations, and other government authorizations. Generally, any item due to expire during the state of emergency and renewable during the state of emergency will be extended up to 30 days after the state of emergency ends. Other deadlines, defaults, and time limits may also be extended on an agency by agency basis with the approval of the Governor.
Other orders apply to tax deadlines, telehealth, evictions, and many other civil and criminal matters.
Motor Vehicle Administration
All Maryland Department of Transportation branch offices and customer service offices are closed due to the COVID-19 crisis until further notice. This would appear to suspend any MVA hearings until further notice.
Things are difficult right now, due to the coronavirus. Carey Law Office is working remotely to protect you and our staff, but we are working. We are fighting to have people in jail released on bail or released for other reasons. We are preparing cases so that trials can be heard in a timely and fair manner when the justice system returns to “normal.” We are available to answer questions about your legal rights regarding criminal case and motor vehicle cases, along with the civil cases we handle. Our Client Portal is still online and operational.