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UPDATE -CIVIL LITIGATION DURING THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY

December 23, 2020

The following is a general overview of the update to the civil litigation court operations in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia in response to the worsening COVID-19 emergency – UPDATED AS OF 12/23/20. For more specific information, please contact one of our attorneys.

MARYLAND

STATE COURTS

The suspension of jury trials has been extended through April 23, 2021.
• The Courts will continue to hold non-jury Trials, Hearings, and Conferences mostly on a remote basis.
• Statutes of limitations were tolled by the number of days the courts were closed to the public [March 16, 2020 – July 20, 2020]. Furthermore, the filing deadline to initiate such matters has been extended an additional 15 days.

All COVID-19 administrative orders issued by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals can be found at: https://www.courts.state.md.us/coronavirusorders

FEDERAL COURTS

  • On June 22, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland entered Phase Two of its re-opening plan and resumed limited in-court proceedings, including jury trials.
  • However, effective November 16, 2020: All in-court hearings and proceedings are suspended indefinitely.

All COVID-19 administrative orders issued by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland can be found at: https://www.mdd.uscourts.gov/COVID-19

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

SUPERIOR COURT

  • Until further order, the Civil Division will not conduct jury trials. The Civil Division will conduct remote hearings, including evidentiary hearings and bench trials, in any case where it is appropriate.
  • Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, all deadlines and time limits in statutes (including statute of limitations), court rules, and standing and other orders issued by the Court that would otherwise expire before June 19, 2020, are suspended, tolled and extended during the period of emergency at least through January 15, 2021, with limited exceptions, including deadlines in orders issued after March 18, 2020.
  • The Court will provide at least 60 days’ notice before ending all suspension, tolling, and extension of deadlines.

All COVID-19 administrative orders issued by the Chief Judge can be found at: https://www.dccourts.gov/coronavirus

FEDERAL COURT

  • All jury trials scheduled to commence before January 11, 2021, are postponed and continued pending further order of the Court.

All COVID-19 administrative orders issued by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia can be found at: https://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/coronavirus-covid-19-response-informatoin-and-announcment

VIRGINIA

STATE COURTS

  • The Courts are encouraged to continue the use of remote proceedings, but each individual circuit court may submit plans for approval by the Supreme Court of Virginia to resume jury trials. As of this date, the plans of 27 circuit courts have been approved.
  • Statutes of limitation and case related deadlines are tolled during the continued period of judicial emergency. Once the emergency ends (currently December 13, 2020), the plaintiff will have an additional thirty two (32) days to file suit.

All COVID-19 administrative orders issued by the Supreme Court of Virginia as well as any additional guidelines and procedures specific to each county circuit and district court can be found at: http://www.courts.state.va.us/news/items/covid_19.pdf

FEDERAL COURTS

All COVID-19 administrative orders issued by United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia can be found at: http://www.vawd.uscourts.gov/court-information/covid-19.aspx

All COVID-19 administrative orders issued by United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia can be found at: http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/covid-19.html