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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

If you provide legal services to indigent Veterans, please see this information regarding Enrolling in VA Healthcare.

The next will be on the usual “last Wednesday,” October 30, 2019, at the usual time and place.

NEW DIVISION CHIEF:

A new Criminal/Traffic Division Chief has been hired to replace Mary Moffett, who retired after many years of service.  The new Chief is Camille Blake.  She started on August 28th.  She comes to us via Anne Arundel District Court.  She has worked for over 18 years for the District Court of Maryland in various counties.

EXPUNGEMENT CLINIC:

 In collaboration with Legal Aid, the Office of the Public Defender, and the State’s Attorney’s Office, the District Court held its first expungement clinic on the afternoon of July 17th.  The turnout was good even though the event was not widely advertised.  We are holding our second clinic on Wednesday, November 13th

MENTAL HEALTH COURT:

Mental Health Court continues to expand and accept new applicants.  If you have a client with pending District Court criminal case, who is a Montgomery County resident that suffers from a mental illness, please reach out to Maxine Curtis, the Mental Health Coordinator at Maxine.curtis@mdcourts.gov to initiate the referral process.   Mental Health Court will be holding its’ fourth graduation ceremony on Thursday, October 17 at 1:30 in Courtroom 412 in Rockville District Court.  They anticipate graduating 8 participants. 

NEW COMPETENCY DOCKET:

Mental Health Court started a competency docket.  The docket is held every Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 in Courtroom 612 in Rockville District Court.  Once a defendant is committed to the Department of Health as incompetent to stand trial, their case is set on a the competency docket 6 months from their date of the commitment, if they are charged with a crime that carries more than 6 months, or on an earlier docket, if their charges carry less than 6 months.  When the Court is notified by the treating facility that a defendant is now competent, the defendant case is added to the next upcoming competency docket for a competency hearing and bond review hearing.  A clinical member of the Mental Health Court team coordinates with aftercare treatment and release plans with the various mental health facilities.

SERIOUS TRAFFIC CASES:

The Court continues to experience difficulty with resolving serious traffic cases within the 180 day target date.  Continuance requests will be granted for good cause.  Inconvenience or self-imposed calendaring conflicts are not viewed as good cause, so please plan accordingly.   

MDEC

  •  Go Live will be President’s Day weekend
  •  Wiring in progress (should ensure wi-fi in the building)
  •  Equipment will be delivered in the next few months
  • Local sign-up/registration for attorneys, introductions & trainings for court, justice partners etc. will       be about 90 days before the “Go Live” date - - so…right around the holidays(!)

LANDORD & TENANT

 Plaintiff/Landlord’s attorney should be sure that the suing entity is one that has legal capacity under the rules. In addition, the real party in interest must sue; owner of property not the management company.

 Small work group convening September 9 to identify how Legal Aid attorneys can expand their presence in L&T cases. More to come.

TESTIMONY BY TELEPHONE

Rule 3-513

Although allowed by rule (subject to certain parameters - ), it is rarely permitted.

We do not have an adequate communication format to facilitate adequate witness/party testimony by phone.

There is no broadcast mechanism for the incoming caller to use.

There is no technological method to ensure that testimony is fully captured on the record.

The caller must call on an individual’s cell phone which can then be placed by the microphone on the bench to be heard. The only way everyone can hear is to gather around the microphone at the bench – and there remain the issues listed below.

There is no reliable way to ensure that the called is properly under oath.

There is no reliable way to ensure that the caller is in an appropriate physical location to provide testimony.

There is no reliable way to ensure that the caller isn’t being coached – verbally, non-verbally, in writing, through other silent communicative methods.

There is no way for the judge to evaluate the witness’s demeanor, etc..

CO-CHAIRS

Mary Katherine Knight
Richard D. London

MEETING DATES

October 30, 2019
November 27, 2019
December 18, 2019
January 29, 2020
February 26, 2020
March 25, 2020
April 29, 2020
May 27, 2020

Committee Meetings will be held on the last Wednesday of the month at 8AM in the 5th Floor Judges Conference Room in the District Court building, 191 East Jefferson St., Rockville, MD, unless otherwise noted.

Contact Us
Bar Association of
     Montgomery County, MD

27 West Jefferson St.
Rockville, MD 20850
Ph: 301-424-3454
Our Mission

We provide access to, and improve the administration of justice in our ever-evolving community. We offer valuable benefits, services and opportunities to our members. We advance the delivery of quality legal services by our members.