Random Entry Screening Procedure
The District Court of Maryland for Montgomery County will institute in the month of April, 2016 a Random Entry Screening Procedure for all persons who enter the District Court for Montgomery County for the Rockville (191 E. Jefferson Street) and Silver Spring (8552 Second Avenue) locations.
Random Entry Screening Procedure
District Court Bench Bar Committee
The committee held its meeting on April 7, 2016.
Congratulations to the Court for putting on an excellent Meet and Greet program. It was well attended and everyone agreed it was very productive and helpful.
Judge Wolfe commenced the program by introducing the supervisors and key personal in different departments of the court system.
Their names and positions are noted below:
Judy Lohman, Admin Clerk
Kathy Hefner, Assistant Admin Clerk
Mary Moffatt, Division Chief - Criminal/Traffic
Bonnie Bell, Division Chief – Civil
Michael Warfield, Supervisor – Courtroom Clerks (Rockville)
Carolyn Creel, Admin Commissioner
Margaret Divico, Chief – Accounting
Jay Brown, Chief – Security
Diana Brown, Manager (Silver Spring)
Colleen Kenny, Supervisor – Courtroom Clerks (Silver Spring)
Deborah Wesley, Supervisor – Security (Silver Spring)
After the introductory session, the Judges broke into separate groups for interactive discussions with members of the bar regarding information on different court procedures and practices. Court policies and procedures were reviewed by the Judges to assist counsel in their practice and representation of their clients.
The session culminated in a happy hour at Bar Louie providing a more informal setting for the attendees to interact with members of the bench.
There was much useful information disseminated at the Meet and Greet sessions concluding the important new topics discuss below.
Attendees at the Meet and Greet received information regarding the new procedures for practitioners who appear in criminal and traffic cases in the District Court. The Court will be calling the docket. Please review the notice here.
The new procedures will begin on May 2, 2016. The major objectives of the new program are for the court to have better control over the dockets and court proceedings. This will result in more efficient processing of cases and less wasted time for the Court, attorneys, parties, and witnesses. Priority will be given to cases with privately retained attorneys, and trials should proceed on the scheduled date.
Security Screening was dealt with extensively in the last newsletter, including the link to the new security screening procedures and the random screening program. This program will be starting around the last week of April, so it is important for everyone to understand the new procedures which will be in place by the time you get this newsletter.
DISTRICT COURT PRACTICE POINTERS
• Dismissal Upon Stipulated Terms:
It was traditional in civil matters, that if the parties reached a settlement by the court date but were not able to either complete the settlement or finalize the settlement agreement, attorneys would ask for the case to be “passed for settlement”. It has been a long time since this procedure has been followed. Due to case management and docket control issues, cases can not be left open.
To address the concern about reaching a settlement under circumstances where the Defendant wants to settle, but does not want a judgment entered, and the Plaintiff wants to have the ability to enforce the claim if there is a default under the settlement, Rule 3-506(b) was created to permit the parties to enter into a settlement agreement without entering a judgment against the Defendant, but still protecting the Plaintiff in the event that the settlement is not complied with.
Rule 3-506. Voluntary dismissal
(b) Dismissal upon stipulated terms. If an action is settled upon written stipulated terms and dismissed, the action may be reopened at any time upon request of any party to the settlement to enforce the stipulated terms through the entry of judgment or other appropriate relief.
• Note the following in connection with 3-506(b) dismissal:
1. There is no comparable rule in Circuit Court, this rule is only applicable to District Court.
2. The rule requires that the settlement stipulation be on written stipulated terms. The parties should create a memorandum of the agreement rather than requesting it to be dismissed without any written agreement that is signed by the parties.
3. The action may be reopened at any time upon the request of any parties to the settlement to enforce the stipulated terms through the entry of judgment or other appropriate relief.
4. Even though the case is entered as dismissed on the docket pursuant to the stipulated terms, the court requests that once a settlement is performed, the other party file a pleading to that effect, so that the record will reflect that the settlement has been satisfied.
5. A suggested form for a dismissal under this rule can be found at:
Reginald W. Bours
Richard D. London
May 5, 2016
Committee Meetings will be held on the 1st Thursday of the month at 8AM in the Judges Conference Room in the District Court building, 191 East Jefferson St., Rockville, MD, unless otherwise noted.