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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

The most recent meeting of the year was conducted on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 before Judge Rand Gelber, substituting for the District Administrative Judge, the Hon. Patricia Mitchell, who provided an Agenda.


Matters of Interest in Criminal and Traffic Cases


Possible Plea Docket for Certain DUI cases:
Judge Mitchell has been able to secure a Silver Spring courtroom on Tuesday afternoons for a docket at 1:30 p.m.  This would most likely be used by private attorneys to enter guilty pleas that might include relatively uniform and favorable offers from the State’s Attorney’s Office.  For example, the State might offer a plea to impaired for first offenders regardless of breath test providing interlock was a condition of probation.


The Silver Spring location might eventually be expanded to add one in Rockville, but there is no courtroom space at this time.  


The State’s Attorney’s Office is considering its policies and the District Court would like the private bar to participate in a meeting to review ideas, comments and ideas.  Send your ideas to bourslaw@gmail.com, and look for the Weekly Bar Blast for a special meeting to hear comments from members.  The District Court values our input on this idea.


Mental Health Court:  
The Court has been able to obtain 6th Floor Space in the Rockville District Court to consolidate a number of new and existing employees of the Montgomery County Health & Human Services.  This will permit centralization of most Mental Health Court clinicians and management personnel, and provide more convenient access to services by MHC clients.


The contact person for Mental Health Court admissions remains Maxine Curtis: 301-563-8890; maxine.curtis@mdcourts.gov


Docket Calling Concerns
Defense attorneys have expressed concern that some judges are asking the State “what they are ready to call” in criminal and serious traffic dockets.  Judge Mitchell states that the Court is aware that this can create an appearance of lopsided-ness or favoritism and will endeavor to stop this type of solicitation.  The object is that the Court intends to call the docket independently.
Judge Gelber agreed and also noted that a persistent problem is that private attorneys need to be ON TIME.  That means be there before the judges arrive at 9:00 a.m. so that they can discuss cases with the Assistant State’s Attorneys and courtroom clerks.


Bond Hearings
HB 388 created a new crime for violating [certain] conditions of release, Criminal Procedure 5-213.1, that was effective October 1, 2018.  See, September Newsletter. This law may necessitate judges incorporating greater detail in bond conditions to put defendant on notice of specific persons to stay away from and/or specific residential and employment places to stay away from.  The Court is expecting that more time will be required in bond hearings as a result.


Extreme Risk Protective Orders – HB 1302 Public Safety Article 5-601, et. seq.
Judge Mitchell noted in the written agenda the following:


District Court has exclusive original jurisdiction over all respondents, including juveniles.


Procedurally similar to protective & peace orders


Courtroom 512 – Rockville; Courtroom 302 Silver Spring (402 Tues. am)


Note – higher burden of proof – clear & convincing evidence


Note – if law enforcement seek interim order, the officer is then the “petitioner” for temporary and final hearing.


https://mdcourts.gov/sites/default/files/court-forms/dcerpo001br-102018wm.pdf  (link to information brochure)


Other Important New Legislation discussed, and attorneys should read:
Firearms Transfer Bill – HB 1646 Crim. Proc. 6-234; Criminal law 4-303; Pub. Safety 3-207(i) & 5-202(c)


State will provide written notice of person charged with disqualifying, domestically related crime.


Upon guilty plea/conviction court must advise orally/in writing that def. prohibited from possessing a regulated firearm.


Important to review this with clients before a plea


Sale/transfer must occur within 2 days


Written notice from court will be on the Trial Summary sheet


Domestic Violence Amendments
Petitioner can seek permanent protective order if petitioner was granted an interim, temporary OR final (and meets the other prerequisites).


Definition of “abuse” under FL4-502(b) now includes revenge porn as defined in Criminal Law 3-809


New Crime – Sextortion; amendments to Revenge Porn;  see, Criminal law 3-709 
It’s a crime to cause a person to engage in “sexual activity” by threatening to accuse the person of a crime (more details); cause injury, emotional distress, economic damage, property damage etc.


Also illegal to cause another to engage in production of a visual that shows intimate parts


Also illegal to distribute visual representation of another identifiable person displaying intimate parts or engaged in sexual activity – under listed circumstances.


Civil Matters


Statute of Limitations
Several Years ago, the Legislature adopted Courts and Judicial Proceedings section 5-1202 to protect consumers from extending the Statute of Limitations beyond the statutory period by acknowledging or making a payment on a consumer debt beyond the expiration of the initial period. An amendment was passed last session to clarify that this provision does not preclude a debtor and creditor from entering into an agreement or written payment plan prior to the expiration of the period, that may extend beyond the expiration.


Failure to Pay Rent Actions
Real Property Article Section 8-401 now expressly permits service of process by PPS/Cert. Mail for nonresidential L&T repossession cases.


Jury Demand
Parties to distress actions and wrongful detainer actions may request a jury trial if the amount in controversy qualifies.  (Real Property 8-118.1; 8-601; 14-132)


General


New Forms
New and revised forms can be viewed/printed at this site:
http://courtnet.courts.state.md.us/district/forms/newandrevised.html

CO-CHAIRS

Reginald W. Bours
Richard D. London

MEETING DATES

 Nov. 28, 2018
Dec. 26, 2018
Jan. 30, 2019
Feb. 27, 2019
Mar. 27, 2019
Apr. 24, 2019
May 29, 2019

Committee Meetings will be held on the last Wednesday of the month at 8AM in the 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.