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 3/9/2021. For more specific information, please contact one of our attorneys.
• 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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. An Order issued from the Virginia Supreme Court, dated July 8, 2020, specifically states:
“beginning on July 20, 2020 . . . there shall be no further tolling of statutes of limitations or other case-related deadlines.” “The tolling period as a result of the Judicial Emergency for such statutes of limitations and deadlines shall be limited to March 16, 2020 through July 19, 2020. This period of tolling shall not be counted for purposes of determining statutes of limitations or other case-related deadlines. If, for example, the circuit court entered final judgment on March 10, 2020, six days before the Judicial Emergency was declared, then the total number of days of the tolling period resulting from the Judicial Emergency shall not count toward the 90-day deadline for filing the petition for appeal under Rule 5:17(a)(1), and this deadline would be extended for a period of 84 days after the tolling period ends on July 20, 2020.”
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
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