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Circuit Court Bench Bar Committee 

     Please be advised that by Rules Order dated March 2, 2015, the Court of Appeals adopted new Rule 1-501, effective March 15, 2015, changing the name from “master” to “Family Magistrate.”
ADD new Rule 1-501, as follows:
(a) Designation
     The Administrative Judge of a county shall designate as “family magistrates” for that county the masters for juvenile causes and masters in chancery assigned to hear actions and matters in the categories listed in Rule 16-204 (b). An order designating a family magistrate shall state whether the individual is to perform the functions of a master in chancery, a master for juvenile causes, or both.
(b) Effect of Designation
     The powers, duties, salary, benefits, and pension of a master are not affected by the individual’s designation as a family magistrate. A master serving as a family magistrate shall comply with Rule 16-814, Maryland Code of Conduct for Judicial Appointees, and is required to file a financial disclosure statement in accordance with Rule 16-816.
(c) Rules of Construction
     Rules and statutes that refer to a master in chancery, master for juvenile causes, or master apply to a family magistrate, as appropriate. Statutes and provisions in the Constitution of Maryland that refer to a magistrate shall not be construed as referring to a family magistrate.
     Cross reference: For references to “master” see Code, Business, Occupations & Professions Article, §10-603; Code, Courts Article, §§2-102, 2-501, 3-8A-04, 3-807, 3-1802; Code, Family Law Article, §1-203; Code, Land Use Article, §4-402; Code, State Government Article, §19-102; Code, State Personnel and Pensions Article, §§21-307, 21-309, 23-201, 27-201, 27-304, and 27-402; and Rules 1-325, 2-504.1, 2-510, 2-541, 2-603, 9-208, 9-209, 11-110, 11-111, 11-114, 11-115, 14-207.1, 15-206, 15-207, 16-202, 16-306, 16-814, 16-816, and 17-206. For references to “magistrate,” see Maryland Constitution, §41-I; Code, Courts Article, §2-607; Code, Criminal Procedure Article, §9-103, Code, Health-General Article, §§10-1301 and 10-1303; Code, Natural Resources Article, §10-1201; and Code, State Government Article, §§16-104 and 16-105.
     Source: This Rule is new.

     The Clerk of the Court, Barbara Meiklejohn, brings the following matters to your attention: 
     This Drop Box is provided for filings made between 4:30 p.m. and midnight on days when the court has been open.  These filings will be retrieved when the court opens on the next business day.  If filing criteria is met, the filing will be regarded as having been filed on the previous business day, provided that any required Certificate of Service reflects the Certificate of Service date as being no later than the previous business day.
     If an interpreter is no longer needed, please contact the clerk’s office ASAP so that we will not be charged a fee. (The Clerk’s Office needs 48 hours to avoid a cancellation fee.)
     The Clerk would like to know of any concerns, questions or suggestions you might have regarding her departments and/or procedures. Phone: 240-777-9464; email:
     As a reminder, the BAMC’s Circuit Court Bench-Bar Committee will serve as a vehicle by which an attorney member of the Bar may informally and anonymously express a comment regarding a judicial member of the Circuit Court bench.  In this regard, the Bench-Bar Committee, through its chair or other designated committee or subcommittee members, whom receive a comment about a judge through a telephone call or correspondence, then will exercise its discretion to determine whether the comment is of an appropriate nature to communicate to the subject judge, in an anonymous manner. The BAMC is fortunate to have judges and attorneys who value informal avenues of communication that enhance the opportunity to reduce conflict between attorneys and judges, and improve both the access to, and the administration of, justice in Montgomery County.
     If you have any concerns to bring to the Committee’s attention, please feel free to contact any Committee member or Co-Chairs David C. Merkin at (301) 762-9200 or; or Michael A. Taylor at (301) 251-2772,


David C. Merkin
Michael A. Taylor


Committee Meetings

April 1, 2015
May 6, 2015
June 3, 2015
     Meetings will be held at 8AM on the 1st Wednesday of the month in the Administrative Judge's Conference Room, on the 3rd floor of the North Tower of the Circuit Court building, unless otherwise noted.