Jury Trials Delayed Yet Again In Maryland

Chief Circuit Court Judge Cites COVID-19 Surge.


Annapolis, Md (KM) Jury trials are suspended until April 23rd, 2021. That decision was announced on Tuesday by Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ann Barbera. She said this is in response to the surge in coronavirus cases in the state..

“The surge in COVID-19cases during November is expected to be sustained through the winter, making it necessary for the Maryland Judiciary to remain in Phase II of its operations plan,:” says Judge Barbera, in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the public health emergency and adjust court operations as necessary to protect the safety of the public, judges and judiciary personnel. We will also ensure that as many of the Judiciary core functions continue to the extent the emergency conditions allow.”

Phase II is part of a five-phase plan for reopening the courts. Under Phase II, District and Circuit Courts can hear specific types of cases remotely or in-person, but jury trials will not be held until the Judiciary is able to enter Phase V.  Officials say courts can continue using technology for remote proceedings, either by video or telephone, but it can vary from location to location.

The Maryland Judiciary had resumed full operations with COVID-19 protocols  in place, , including jury trials, on October 5th, 2020. But with the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Judiciary scaled back to from Phase III on November 16th, 2020, and then to Phase II on November 30rjh, 2020.

Under Phase II, clerks’ offices in the District and Circuit Courts will remain open for emergency purposes, and by appointment for other matters.


But Kevin McManus