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On Monday, April 4, 2022, the Judiciary returned to normal operations. The courts are fully operational, including jury trials. Check your local court's website for information about required health protocols.
Read the Administrative Order: Lifting the COVID-19 Health Emergency as to the Maryland Judiciary
District Courts will hear all landlord/tenant cases, including failure to pay rent and breach of lease cases. The District Court will schedule previously filed cases that have not been heard.
Warrants of Restitution - A warrant of restitution is a type of court order. This court order tells the sheriff/constable to carry out an eviction. If the court enters a judgment in a landlord/tenant case, then the court may authorize a warrant of restitution on a case-by-case basis. Learn more about warrants of restitution. Also, see the Maryland Courts website for information about extended deadlines for warrants of restitution related to landlord/tenant matters.
Local Orders - Your local District Court may have additional orders related to eviction. Check for local orders here.
Affirmative Defenses - The previously available defenses based on the Governor’s Executive Order and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Order are no longer available.
Hearings may be in person or held remotely. You can request to participate remotely.
Additional information is available on the Maryland Courts website.
If you cannot pay your rent, the first thing to do is talk to your landlord. You may be able to delay payment or work out a partial payment plan. Check your lease for payment options and deadlines. Also, consider contacting a rental assistance program in your area:
Maryland is not preventing landlords from increasing rent. during the COVID-19 pandemic, several counties and cities had moratoriums that prevented landlords from increasing rent under certain circumstances. These local moratoriums were temporary and most have expired. Please check the website for your county or city for the most up to date information.
Montgomery County - Rent may not increase more than 1.4%.
Courts will reschedule jury trials as promptly as feasible. Courts may give priority to criminal trials and other urgent matters.
Deadline for Offering Jury Trials to Defendants Extended - The days that jury trials could not be offered to defendants due to the COVID-19 health emergency do not count against the time remaining for the start of a criminal jury trial. The following dates do not count against the time remaining for the start of a criminal jury trial:
- March 16, 2020 - October 4, 2020
- November 16, 2020 - April 25, 2021
- December 29, 2021 - March 6, 2022
The days above will not be counted for the trial date deadlines found in Rule 4-271 (also called the Hicks rule). For criminal cases pending in the circuit courts on March 12, 2020 or initiated prior to the resumption of jury trials on October 5, 2020, the deadline for holding criminal jury trials will be suspended for an additional 30 days after jury trials resume.
Read the Administrative Order: Final Administrative Order on Jury Trials and Grand Juries During the COVID-19 Emergency
Filing deadlines and statutes of limitations were impacted during the previous court closure from March 16, 2020 - July 20, 2020.
New Cases – The Court extended the deadline to initiate new matters by the number of days that the courts were closed to the public due to the COVID-19 emergency.
- This applies to deadlines established by Maryland law or court rules about when you must file new matters in the Maryland state courts, including statutes of limitations.
- The deadlines are tolled or suspended by the number of days the courts are closed plus an additional 15 days.
- The number of days that the courts are closed means March 16, 2020 through July 20, 2020, which are the number of days that the offices of the clerks of the court are closed due to the COVID-19 health emergency. This time (March 16, 2020 – July 20, 2020) does not count against the time remaining to start a new case.
Pending Cases – The Court extended the deadline for hearings and other judicial proceedings in existing cases.
- Deadlines established by Maryland law or court rules in existing cases are tolled or suspended effective March 16, 2020 by the number of days the courts are closed plus an additional 60 days.
- The number of days that the courts are closed means March 16, 2020 through July 20, 2020, which are the number of days that the offices of the clerks of the court are closed due to the COVID-19 emergency. This time (March 16, 2020 – July 20, 2020) does not count against the time remaining to conduct judicial proceedings.
- Other deadlines remain in effect.
No Dismissals for Lack of Jurisdiction or Prosecution – Under normal circumstances the court may dismiss a civil case for lack of jurisdiction (failure to serve the defendant within a specific time) or lack of prosecution (failure to take any action within 1 year). The court will recalculate when cases are eligible to be dismissed for these reasons in light of the modified deadlines.
Read the Administrative Order: Final Administrative Order on the Emergency Tolling or Suspension of Statutes of Limitations and Statutory and Rules Deadlines Related to the Initiation of Matters and Certain Statutory and Rules Deadlines in Pending Matters During the COVID-19 Emergency