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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

Docket Changes
Beginning April 3, the Court will conduct PI's and PTSU violations on Monday mornings in courtroom R-513 and discontinue PI's and PTSU violations on Thursday mornings in R-513.   The switch from Thursday to Monday is to accommodate the needed meetings between clinical and court personnel on Thursday morning for Mental Health Court.  PTSU violations and PI's on Tuesday mornings in R-513 will remain unchanged.

Mental Health Court:
Counsel with cases referred to this docket should come to court with all of their paperwork completed in advance, rather than during court time. Counsel should attend the initial Mental Health Court hearing but further appearances by counsel are not necessary for routine status hearings after their client is in the program.

Drug Treatment Providers
Judge Wolfe indicates that the Court has recently been receiving evaluation and treatment reports from facilities that are not approved by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  These will not be accepted. Attorneys should make certain the program they are using is approved.  See the following link:

http://bha.dhmh.maryland.gov/Pages/Index.aspx

Judiciary Closing Dates:
There is a statewide Judicial Conference June 12, 13 and 14. Hearings will not be scheduled for those dates. The court will only be conducting emergency matters.

Continuance Requests and Motions
Once again the court is requesting attorney cooperation with continuance requests and motions.

 a. Put the pending court date under the case number.

 b. State what the conflict is with the court date, what the good cause is for the continuance request, and provide continuance dates. The continuance dates requested should be 60 to 90 days out, on the appropriate civil day for the case. Completion of discovery will not be a good cause if the attorney has not acted diligently in conducting discovery, unless the attorney is dealing with a late Notice of Intention to Defend.

Settlements:
Rule 3-506(b) Settlements should be documented in writing, or put on the record in court.

If a settlement involves only an exchange of checks and/or releases or other settlement documents, the court is willing to permit a continuance for exchange of checks and/or releases or other settlement documents and the parties should file a dismissal once the conditions are fulfilled. If there is a last minute settlement, it is acceptable to notify the clerk to put a note on the file so that the court will be aware why the parties are not present. This should always be followed up with a writing.

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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:
http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/forms/civil/dccv021.pdf

Co-Chairs

Reginald W. Bours
Richard D. London

 

Meeting
Dates

April 6, 2017 -- MEETING CANCELLED

Committee Meetings will be held on the 1st Thursday of the month (September - May) at 8AM in the Judges Conference Room in the District Court building, 191 East Jefferson St., Rockville, MD, unless otherwise noted.