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 District Court Bench Bar Committee meets on the first Thursday of each month unless special dates are required. The membership includes Kathy Knight, District Court Supervisor, SAO, John Lavigne, OPD Supervisor, a representative of the County Attorney, the Co-Chairs of the Committee and private attorneys who have registered as members.
Mental Health Court
The plans for implementing the Mental Health Court for the District Court in Montgomery County are proceeding to the contracting stage for the service and management providers. The Mental Health Court Office is taking over the Bar Association’s Attorney Lounge in the Rockville District Court house. The target for implementing the Mental Health Court is before the end of the year.
The District Court currently has two judicial vacancies to be filled. It is expected that two new judges will be appointed by the end of the year.
The Legislature enacted new laws that will have an impact on practice in the District Court. New legislation typically becomes effective on October 1.
A. Peace Orders & Protective Orders
There are new definitions for stalking, misuse of telephone or other electronic communication, revenge porn, and visual surveillance.
B. Criminal & Traffic
No pretrial release of sex offenders listed on Registries either local or another jurisdiction;
Extortion by use of immigration status;
Changes to possession of less than and more than 10 grams of marijuana;
Use of counterfeit and/or non functional air bags;
Use of implements of Dogfighting;
Tightening of conditions for Pretrial Release;
Providing alcohol to underage drinkers (Alex and Calvin’s Law); and
Mandatory Interlock device for certain DUI/Drug/Alcohol convictions (Noah’s Law)
New code sections for consumer debt collection. This primarily involves assigned consumer debt, and also amends the Statue of Limitations. (Court and Judicial Proceedings Sections 5-1201 to 1204).
Criminal & Traffic Dockets
The recently established changes in the procedures for calling the dockets are generally getting favorable responses from attorneys. Any constructive suggestions from the members of the bar will be sent to the court.
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: