Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join BAMC
Bench Bar -- District Court
Share |
Annual Meeting &Law Day
Bench Bar -- Circuit Court
Bench Bar -- District Court
Community Outreach
Fee Dispute Resolution
Judicial Selections Panel
Lawyer to Lawyer
Lawyer Referral Service
Leadership Development Academy
Legal Ethics

Legislation

Membership Benefits
Mentor/Mentee
Nominations &Elections
Social
Softball
Specialty Bar Associations
Strategic Planning
Social Media/
Technology
Youth Courthouse Project

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 regular October meeting was conducted on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, before the Honorable Zuberi Williams, substituting for District Administrative Judge, the Honorable Patricia Mitchell.

Based upon agreement of the members, future meetings will be conducted on the Last Wednesday of each month, starting October 25, 2017.

Future Bench Bar Dates in 2017

     November 29

     December 27                   

In 2018

     January 31   

     February 28

     March 28

     April 25

Matters of Interest in Criminal and Traffic Cases: Our District Court is still awaiting the appointment of three new judges, and no interviews by the governor had been scheduled as of the date we met. The three newer judges appointed to the court [Judges Gelber, Koch and Sabett] have less than one year’s experience and are scheduled to attend training in November 2017.  There is a limitation on the number of “Visiting Judges” assigned each month. The Court continues to struggle with greater caseloads while understaffed and one product of this problem is that some courtrooms will have to be closed periodically.  Check the website for current scheduling information each month.

Mental Health Court:  In less than one year into its operation, MHC is already forced to put new people in a waiting list. There are 47 participants in the District Court program and 10 in Circuit Court.  The professional mental health staff was to be serving only a total of 50 persons.  Attorneys are reminded there is a strict application process to get into MHC, and that the State's Attorney's Office has veto power on new admissions.  Contact Maxine Curtis, 301-563-8890, or
maxine.curtis@mdcourts.gov.

Opening Drug Case Evidence: In August Judge Mitchell signed an administrative order that requires her prior personal approval and an appropriate order before sealed evidence containers can be opened in the courtroom on a given case.  This is because of the possibility of danger to court personnel, attorneys and others that could be exposed to toxic materials that might be airborne.  If there is a legitimate reason to open such containers, prepare a written motion and an appropriate order.

Emergency contact phone numbers:  Attorneys are expected to be on time and in the courtroom to check in with the Assistant State's Attorneys and court room clerks before each court day commences.  Attorneys should not use the telephone in or before court to check in.  If an attorney is expecting to be late, the following numbers should be used to notify the District Court.

Rockville Cases: 301-563-8867
Silver Spring Cases: 301-563-8520

Weather-related information about whether Montgomery County courts are open on a given day can generally be obtained by 6:00 a.m. on the website: http://www.courts.state.md.us/administration/closingsdelays.html

Determination of Indigency – Change of Law Effective 10-1-17  
Criminal Procedure, Section 16-210 has been amended to require District Court Commissioners to make a determination whether an individual is eligible for representation by the Public Defender in certain circumstances. Until then, staff of the Public Defender’s Office were required to review financial information and eligibility criteria.

Around October 1, 2017, there will be a new form called “Commissioner Application for Representation by Office of Public Defender” (DC-099), but Judge Mitchell informed us that last minute amendments on the form will make it unavailable until then.

One reason for this change is that persons being held for bond reviews are being required to provide eligibility information before release on bond. This law expands it, and makes available to potential indigent persons a 24 hour location, that is, a Commissioner’s office, where he or she can apply.

There is also a toll-free number for applicants to contact the Public Defender’s Office:  1-833-453-9799

Eligibility determinations by District Court Commissioners are emailed to the Public Defender locations.

 ~

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

November 29, 2017
December 27, 2017
January 31, 2018
February 28, 2018
March 28, 2018
April 25, 2018

Committee Meetings will be held on the 1st Wednesday 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.