New jury trials in Maryland will be postponed as the Maryland Judiciary responds to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Jury trials that were scheduled between Wednesday, Dec. 29 and Feb. 8 will be rescheduled, court officials announced Monday.
“In an abundance of caution and through consultation with state leadership, I have made the necessary decision to revert back to Phase III operations,” Court of Appeals of Maryland Chief Judge Joseph Getty said in a statement.
Jury trials that already have begun will be able to conclude. Clerks’ offices in the District Court and circuit courts will remain open and will “hear specific case types remotely or in-person.” Appellate courts will stay fully open unless the chief judge decides otherwise.
A number of case types will continue to be heard, including “in the District Court criminal, traffic, civil, domestic violence, peace orders, Extreme Risk Protective Orders and landlord-tenant cases,” a statement by the court system says. “In the circuit courts, civil, criminal, family, Child in Need of Assistance (CINA), and juvenile matters will continue to be heard.”
All court visitors and employees must wear a face mask, get their temperature checked and respond to a COVID-19 health screening questionnaire.
How the courts operate will change but the pursuit of justice will not, Getty said.
“Although reduced in operations, our courts will continue to remain open, ensure access to justice, and provide fair, efficient, and effective justice for all,” he said.