PASSING THE GAVEL
Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, 2013 – 2021 In 2021, I concluded my time as chief judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland. I thank the many people who worked with me to help move justice forward in Maryland. We accomplished so much
together, and we persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic with the Judiciary continuing to provide access to justice throughout. The future is bright for the Judiciary and it is certain that access to justice will continue to flourish and grow. I have full confidence that the positive changes we made will inspire all future chief judges to continue to move the justice forward in Maryland.
Chief Judge Joseph M. Getty, 2021 – 2022 In September 2021, I was humbled and honored to be appointed by Governor Larry Hogan as chief judge for the Court of Appeals of Maryland. Many of the Judiciary’s recent accomplishments are a direct reflection of the exceptional leadership portrayed by my predecessor then Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. When the gavel was passed to me, I made the commitment to continue the push for excellence in service to justice for Maryland through all levels of the courts. Specifically, I appointed the Joint Subcommittee on Post-COVID Judicial Operations to analyze the current use of remote technology and other court innovations for possible continuation in judicial operations to provide the highest level of service within the Judiciary.
Chief Judge Matthew J. Fader, 2022 – The success of the Judiciary’s mission depends on the united efforts of everyone reading this, because we all play a crucial part in the Judiciary’s success. That has always been so, but it has never been more evident than over the past 28 months. Recent times have been challenging, to say the least. But, under the leadership of Chief Judges Barbera and Getty, we have collectively responded with countless innovations and adaptations that allowed the Judiciary to continue core operations during the pandemic while, at the same time, furthering our commitment to equal justice. As a result of those efforts, we are stronger and better positioned to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
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The Maryland Judiciary provides fair, efficient, and effective justice for all.
The Maryland Judiciary advances justice for all who come to Maryland’s courts. We are an efficient, innovative, and accessible court system that works collaboratively with justice partners to serve the people with integrity and transparency.
1. Provide access to justice. 2. Be responsive and adaptable to changing community needs. 3. Communicate effectively with stakeholders. 4. Improve systems and processes. 5. Be accountable. 6. Assure the highest level of service. 7. Build partnerships. 8. Use resources wisely.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Court of Appeals of Maryland and Court of Special Appeals of Maryland Circuit Courts First - Eighth Circuit District Court 50th Anniversary - Letter from Chief Judge Morrissey District Court District 1 - 12 Administrative Office of the Courts Judicial Council and Committees Maryland Judiciary at a Glance
27 30 44 50 53
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Court of Appeals of Maryland and Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
T hroughout the COVID-19 pandemic, then Court of Appeals of Maryland Chief Judge Barbera rose to the occasion and led the Judiciary through a challenging time while never losing sight of the Maryland Judiciary’s goal to provide access to fair, efficient, and effective justice for all. As the world moves into a new phase of the pandemic, the Judiciary is reflecting on the lessons learned during the last two years and which initiatives implemented in the past year and a half will be adopted moving forward. On June 9, 2021, then Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera made her last public appearance on the bench. To mark the event, a celebration of her 37-year legal career immediately followed. The virtual event was sponsored by her Court of Appeals colleagues. Judge McDonald served as the master of ceremonies and was joined by current and former state leaders and colleagues who offered thoughtful anecdotes, words of praise, and best wishes. Governor Larry Hogan designated then Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Joseph M. Getty as the new chief judge on September 3, 2021, effective September 11. Soon after his appointment, Chief Judge Getty formed the Joint Subcommittee on Post-COVID Judicial Operations and named Chief Judge Matthew Fader, Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, as chair. The subcommittee was charged with reviewing and assessing the value of technology adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic to make recommendations for the continued use of those initiatives moving forward.
“All the courts throughout the country are looking at changes in operations to provide greater access to the courts and, because of COVID, we’ve turned a lot more to technology,” said Chief Judge Getty. “A primary goal for the courts moving forward is to take the lessons learned from the COVID pandemic and implement them to provide even greater access for Marylanders. It is incumbent upon us to evaluate what innovations, novel uses of technology, or other techniques adapted to meet these challenges are best available for incorporation as future best practices throughout the Maryland Judiciary.”
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The Judiciary’s Joint Subcommittee on Post-COVID Judicial Operations held two successful listening sessions in December 2021 that allowed members of the bar and the public to share feedback and suggestions as to which technology and changes adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be most beneficial. An internal survey requesting feedback on the success of those innovations garnered 1,800 responses and a series of external surveys issued by the subcommittee yielded hundreds of pages of responses from 94 different organizations. “COVID-19 has taught us that remote technology is a critical tool for ensuring that our courts continue to provide access to justice,” said then Chief Judge Fader, Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, who was elevated to Court of Appeals of Maryland by Governor Hogan in February 2022. “During this public health emergency, and thanks to the great efforts of staff across the Judiciary, we have been given an opportunity to explore and use innovative methods to deliver justice. I look forward to working with the other members of the Subcommittee to evaluate the novel uses of technology and other techniques we’ve adapted to meet the challenges of the pandemic to best serve the Maryland Judiciary moving forward.”
On April 26, 2021, the Maryland Judiciary transitioned from Phase IV to Phase V of the Judiciary’s coronavirus phased reopening plan, allowing courts to resume full operations, including jury trials. However, due to the surge in Maryland of COVID-19 cases as a result of the highly contagious Omicron variant, the Judiciary re-entered Phase III under Chief Judge Getty’s administrative order. Effective December 29, 2021, all jury trials were suspended through February 8, 2022, and subsequently extended to March 6 through an additional order. Appellate courts in Maryland remained operational, but remote proceedings occurred at the chief judge’s discretion. In 2021, there were 623 appellate filings in the Court of Appeals and 1,226 direct filings in the Court of Special Appeals. As the Maryland Judiciary reflects on the many lessons learned during the COVID-19 health pandemic, judges, leadership, and Judiciary staff continue to work together to provide access to fair, efficient, and effective justice for all.
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Circuit Court for Dorchester County
Circuit Court for Wicomico County
Circuit Court for Somerset County
First Circuit - Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, Worcester
• When the courthouse restricted access to the public due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the Circuit Court for Dorchester County continued to serve its community by emailing marriage license applications with instructions on how to fill them out as well as the required documentation and costs as requested. Once the application was ready for issuance, at least one of the applicants was scheduled to come to the courthouse and they were sworn outdoors by either the clerk, chief deputy or licensing staff. The marriage license was then processed and mailed. If the ceremony was to occur within a week, the packet would be processed and taken out to the customer. Since July 25, 2020, this process has continued with the only modification being that the customer now enters the clerk’s office to await processing and issuance. After the Judiciary moved into Phase II of its five-phased progressive resumption of operations plan, the Circuit Court for Dorchester County began performing civil ceremonies outside. Ten ceremonies were performed from May 30 to July 31, 2021. • Though the Help Center in Dorchester County Court had to provide services remotely, they provided nearly 80 one- on-one remote meetings during fiscal year 2021 and returned to an in-person format on July 1, 2021.
distancing, many wedding ceremonies were performed outside in front of the historical courthouse, which was originally built in the late 1890’s. This enabled customers to invite guests to their weddings and provided a nice backdrop for photographs while keeping staff and the public safer inside the building because guests are no longer entering the courthouse.
• Circuit Court for Worcester County clerks and court employees participated in National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 5, 2021, to help raise awareness for heart disease.
• In an effort to minimize congestion in the Circuit Court for Wicomico County courthouse and maximize social
• Working in partnership with the courts in the First Judicial Circuit, Circuit Court for Worcester County created a
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circuit-wide position for a Forensic Child Custody Evaluator. The position is funded by a grant from the Administrative Office of the Courts Juvenile and Family Services division. The evaluator will conduct all court ordered forensic child custody evaluations in the First Judicial Circuit and travel to each of the four jurisdictions as necessary. This position, to be staffed by a licensed social worker or psychologist, will provide expert analysis in a standardized format to support the decisions of family judges and magistrates in contested child custody cases. • In spring 2021, the Circuit Court for Worcester County Drug Treatment Court (DTC) team worked with the local health department and offered onsite vaccines at the courthouse for any DTC participant or their family. DTC case management operations also went virtual in April 2020, but with the opening of the local health department for in-person behavioral health treatment, they resumed face-to-face case management services as of August 2021. Case management services are now offered in a hybrid format as well to meet the needs of clients who have conflicting work schedules or some other commitment that would make in-person services difficult. Since the inception of virtual hearings, the DTC team is now able to allow its participants to attend long-term treatment programs, and remain active with monthly virtual appearances in court. The drug court team was also able to resume random urinalysis collection in July 2021.
pro se petitioners are seeking guardianship of a disabled adult or child, and need legal assistance and advice regarding their petitions for guardianship. The clinic currently operates four hours per month and is being held remotely due to the COVID public health emergency.
Circuit Court for Worcester County
• In an effort to reduce the backlog of criminal cases resulting from the reduced operations of courts due to COVID-19, the Circuit Court for Worcester County created a process that allows a senior judge to hold settlement conferences with the prosecution and defense counsel in criminal matters close to settlement or trial. If a plea offer made after the review of cases was accepted, the case was immediately moved into a courtroom for a plea hearing and resolution. The court sought innovative ways to reduce backlogs of criminal cases related to COVID-19 to meet the goal of achieving time standards in each case despite restrictions imposed by the pandemic. The court resolved nearly 75% of the cases affected by the closure, including several dozen cases approaching the statutory deadline.
• The Circuit Court for Worcester County Guardianship Clinic continues to support the operations of the trust clerk when
SOMERSET COUNTY ADULT RECOVERY COURT HOLDS THIRD GRADUATION On May 28, 2021, the Somerset County Adult Recovery Court held its third graduation for three adult participants. Presiding over the event was Administrative Judge Daniel W. Powell, Circuit Court for Somerset County . Family members were able to watch the graduation remotely. “The Somerset Adult Recovery Court program is an adult drug court that helps individuals to focus on their recovery, supported by the life skills necessary to lift them from a person who committed a crime to a sober, employed, active parent and citizen,” said Judge Powell. On September 30, the Somerset County Adult Recovery Court recognized the accomplishments of its fourth class of Adult Recovery Court graduates during an in-person ceremony. Administrative Judge Powell presided. Friends and family were able to watch remotely as the two graduates, a married couple, were introduced by their treatment providers and expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the support and guidance provided. Both graduates were awarded certificates of completion
and recognized for their dedication to recovery. There are now 10 successful graduates of the Somerset County Adult Recovery Court program, which began in 2019. “It is a privilege to preside over the Somerset County Adult Recovery Court,” said Judge Daniel W. Powell. “Our participants would not have the opportunity to accomplish what they have without the support of so many. Thank you to the friends and family who have joined us today, the recovery court team, and the dedication
Administrative Judge Daniel W. Powell, Circuit Court for Somerset County, issued certificates to both the Somerset County Adult Recovery Court graduates on September 30, 2021.
and commitment of the participants.” The program held its first docket in January 2019 and has served over 30 participants since inception with a total of 10 graduates.
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Circuit Court for Talbot County
Circuit Court for Kent County
Second Circuit - Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot
Circuit Court for Queen Anne’s County
Circuit Court for Caroline County
• The Queen Anne’s Children’s Program also was converted to a remote platform after the physical meeting room previously used was closed to the public. The program was able to continue the schedule of two sessions per month via remote meetings for children to participate in professionally
• A Security Committee was formed to assess the security needs for the Circuit Court for Caroline County and to compile a prioritized list of suggested long-term and short- term improvements, assist in implementing those changes, and write a comprehensive and cohesive set of policies and procedures. The committee continues to meet regularly. In 2021, the committee applied for and received funding approval for an emergency intercom. • The Circuit Court for Queen Anne’s County expanded the Family Law Clinic from every Monday morning to include one Thursday evening each month. The Monday clinic is held at the courthouse and the Thursday clinic is held at the Talbot County Public Library in Easton. Lawyers have been very active in participating in these programs, which are currently being held remotely.
facilitated discussions about changes in their family circumstances during divorce/custody litigation.
• The Family Law Clinic in Queen Anne’s County was converted to a remote platform offering consultations with attorneys five days per week remotely with meetings facilitated by the family services coordinator. Additionally, individuals seeking assistance with family services matters were able to reach staff by phone and email to receive information regarding court forms and to receive forms and deliver documents without physical contact by collecting and depositing them in a drop box in the courthouse lobby.
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Administrative Judge Keith A. Baynes, Circuit Court for Cecil County, presided over the ceremony. “I am proud of every one of the graduates,” said Judge Baynes. “It is rewarding to see them grow, handle their addictions, and become productive members of the community.” During its 15-year history, 525 criminal court defendants have been placed in the CCADC program, which has a 43 percent graduation rate. “The participants, along with the others who have graduated our program, were ready to change their lives. We simply provided them with the support and resources to do it,” said Sheri Lazarus, Cecil County Adult Drug Court coordinator. “For our team, it’s not just a job, we care about the participants and want them to have as much success in their lives as possible. We want the program participants to live and experience life through a good, solid foundation of recovery.”
Circuit Court for Cecil County
CECIL COUNTY ADULT DRUG COURT CELEBRATES FOUR GRADUATES On April 23, 2021, four individuals were recognized for their successful completion of the Cecil County Adult Drug Court (CCADC) program during a graduation ceremony at the Circuit Court for Cecil County .
• Members of the Maryland Judiciary participated in a dedication ceremony renaming the Kent County courthouse for Judge George B. Rasin, Jr. The event was held outside on a beautiful spring afternoon in front of the courthouse located at 103 Cross Street in Chestertown, Maryland. Family, friends, and colleagues joined to memorialize the late Judge George B. Rasin, Jr. The effort to rename the courthouse was spearheaded by the Kent County Bar Association with support from the Maryland Judiciary. The Board of County Commissioners officially changed its name on December 17, 2019, but due to the ongoing pandemic, the dedication ceremony was delayed until May 14, 2021.
From left to right: C. Daniel Saunders, Kent County Bar Association; Judge Paul M. Bowman, Circuit Court for Kent County (Retired); Judge Gale Rasin, Circuit Court for Baltimore City (Retired); Kent County District Court Judge John E. Nunn III; Administrative Judge Harris P. Murphy; Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera; District Court of Maryland Chief Judge John P. Morrissey.
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Circuit Court for Baltimore County
Third Circuit - Baltimore and Harford
• The Circuit Court for Baltimore County added an Adult Drug Treatment Court program in September 2021 to decrease drug-related crime by providing need-specific treatment for substance abusers. • The Circuit Court for Baltimore County added a new Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) screening process on October 1, 2021, that provides litigants in contested child custody cases with a trained and licensed social worker. The process involves a confidential intake interview conducted remotely, the responses to which are not available to counsel or the court. If the screening indicates a high level of IPV, a high danger assessment, a referral to a local domestic violence organization is completed. • On October 28, 2021, the Maryland Judiciary’s Equal Justice Committee (EJC), through its Community Outreach Subcommittee, hosted a virtual forum for Baltimore County on the topic of “Sentencing Alternatives for Defendants with Significant Drug and/or Alcohol Disorders.” The Community Outreach Subcommittee was joined in this effort by two local Community Partner organizations, the Baltimore County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Morning Star Baptist Church of Woodlawn, Maryland. The community partner organizations helped identify the topic, assisted in developing questions for the panelists and promoted the forum in the community.
Judge Vicki Ballou-Watts, Circuit Court for Baltimore County and Chair of the Equal Justice Committee (EJC) Community Outreach Subcommittee (lower left corner), is joined by Moderator Kimberly Y. Robinson, Esq. (upper right corner), community partner representatives, and panelists.
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Circuit Court for Harford County
JUDGE MAHONEY PRESENTS DRUG COURT GRADUATES WITH DONATED BOOKS
On March 26, 2021, Judge Kevin J. Mahoney, Circuit Court for Harford County , and Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library, presented copies of Charlie Mackesy’s book “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, & the Horse” to the four spring graduates of Harford County Circuit Court’s Adult Drug Court. “We had our first drug court graduation in October of 2020. I have been looking for an appropriate memento for our drug court graduates. Then, my wife and I gave a copy of ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox & the Horse’ to our grandson as a Christmas present. After reading the book, I thought its message of hope, bravery, and kindness would be an ideal gift for our drug court graduates,” said Judge Mahoney. “I contacted Mary Hastler simply for advice as to how to order books in bulk. Mary advised me that the library had a relationship with the Harford
Judge Kevin J. Mahoney, Circuit Court for Harford County, and Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library, presented copies of Charlie Mackesy’s book “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, & the Horse” to the four spring graduates of Harford County Circuit Court’s Adult Drug Court on March 26.
people involved in the court system and offered to have the Harford County Public Library purchase a bulk supply of the books to be given to the graduates. I have mailed copies to our four fall 2020 graduates.”
County Detention Center to provide library materials, but due to COVID that program had been put on hold. As a result, they were looking for new ways to partner with groups helping
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Circuit Court for Garrett County
Circuit Court for Washington County
Circuit Court for Allegany County
Fourth Circuit - Allegany, Garrett, Washington
• After the Maryland Judiciary moved into Phase V of its five-phased progressive resumption of operations plan, the Circuit Court for Allegany County conducted its first pandemic-era jury trial of 2021 in early May with a modified jury selection process. If the jury pool was 50 jurors or less, voir dire was conducted in the courthouse while still safely distancing jurors. To keep the number of people in the courtroom to a minimum, when jurors were excused or stricken for cause, they were directed to leave the courthouse. If the jury pool was larger than 50, the court used the Masonic Lodge, which is located near the courthouse, and can accommodate up to 100 jurors safely distanced. Holding jury selection on a separate day from the trial also allowed the case to start at the beginning of the court day, which worked well and is something the court will most likely continue. • Circuit Court for Washington County Juvenile Court was chosen as one of four juvenile courts in the United States to receive focused expert assistance to tackle the more difficult challenges those involved with juvenile justice courts face, from communities mired in crime and poverty to those facing systemic racism and housing insecurity. This project will provide the Washington County Juvenile Court with the expertise to analyze and tackle potential system reform in juvenile justice cases, work toward best practices,
and, hopefully, address racial equity issues, gang interdiction, and enhance family engagement. The main project is anticipated to be completed in late 2022. The collaboration with National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), however, will continue to meet informally thereafter, and perhaps would involve Washington County becoming a demonstration site. • The Circuit Court for Washington County Law Library was renovated to provide a secure office space for court staff. The space was previously a large, open room where staff cubicles intermingled with the library. The renovation created a separate office space for staff, added a mother’s lactation room, and made half of the area the Law Library and Court Help Center. By renovating and reorganizing this space, the court is able to provide a more accessible Law Library for self-represented litigants. The Guide and File system will be added to the public kiosks to assist self- represented litigants in completing court forms and Court- TV will be installed as an additional resource for individuals visiting the law library. • The Family Law Clinic in Washington County, currently open one day per week, was also moved to this area for additional resources to be made available to self-represented litigants meeting with the clinic attorney.
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Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County
Fifth Circuit - Anne Arundel, Carroll, Howard
• On Monday, May 24, 2021, the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County Drug Court celebrated National Drug Court Month with a ceremony to recognize the 50 graduates who successfully completed the program under COVID-19 restrictions. This was the program’s first in-person ceremony since December 2019. The Anne Arundel drug court program serves adult offenders who have committed crimes as a result of their substance use disorder and provides them with intensive supervision and treatment along with comprehensive judicial monitoring. Since the program began in November 2005, there have been 345 graduates. • Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County implemented an initiative to cross train clerks in the Civil, Family, Criminal, and Juvenile departments for courtroom clerk duties. The training increased the capacity to cover surges in courtroom cases, which eliminates potential wait time due to limited availability. Department staff also brings back the knowledge they obtain in court to their respective departments and vice versa, strengthening communication and interoperability in the entire organization. • Court staff has been archiving a backlog of over 8,500 boxes of historic records that were not processed for transfer to the Maryland State Archives. The project, which will eliminate the cost of off-site storage, is estimated to take
four years, and projected to save thousands of dollars each year as it will reduce the dependence on off-site storage and its associated cost.
The courthouse in Anne Arundel County established a clerk’s office Drop Box conveniently located near the court’s entrance way.
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• The courthouse in Anne Arundel County established a clerk’s office drop box conveniently located near the court’s entrance. During the height of the pandemic, court patrons were able to get paper filings to the court despite public counters being closed. As the pandemic lessens, the drop box continues to allow customers to deliver their documents without needing to go to a counter. This enables quick, easy access for paper filers. • The clerk’s office established an Ombudsperson program to provide staff with a peer to discuss issues or concerns regarding work, work environment, policies, and procedures. The Ombudsperson listens to the concerns and brings them to the attention of the clerk for any action deemed necessary to alleviate the concern. • The Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County celebrated two adoptions on November 18 during a private ceremony held virtually. Children were given gift baskets of items donated by court personnel. Judge William C. Mulford II, Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, presided.
operations with necessary safety measures undertaken by the court and supported the court’s mission of providing meaningful access to justice through a combination of in- person and remote court proceedings. • On April 14, 2021, Administrative Judge Fred S. Hecker, Circuit Court for Carroll County, along with Judge Colleen A. Cavanaugh, Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Judge Michael A. DiPetro, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, then circuit Judge Angela M. Eaves, Circuit Court for Harford County, and Judge Mary M. Kramer, Circuit Court for Howard County, took part in a one-hour, online panel hosted by the Family Law Committee of the Baltimore County Bar Association. The “view from the bench” panel discussion covered a wide range of family law topics, including what the fact-finder needs to know, how the courts are using parenting plans, and what types of cases courts expect to continue to handle remotely. In fact, the judges provided tips for conducting successful virtual hearings. This initiative served to fulfill the court’s mission of exchanging best practice strategies with members of the bar with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes in family law cases which make up the majority of the court’s civil caseload.
• Established in 2007 as part of the Circuit Court for Carroll County , the Carroll County Adult Drug Treatment Court seeks to reduce dependency through intensive court supervision that provides an alternative to incarceration for some criminal offenders. On May 19, eight graduates from the program’s 33rd graduating class were recognized for their successful completion of the program during an outdoor ceremony at the Carroll County courthouse. • The Circuit Court for Carroll County held a virtual town hall to discuss operating changes to courthouse procedures as a result of emergency operations during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project served to educate and inform members of the bar about efforts to balance court Judge Judge Fred S. Hecker, administrative judge of the Circuit Court for Carroll County (right), Tammy Lofink, Rising Above Addiction (center), and Sarah Hare, Carroll County Adult Drug Treatment Court alum (left), pose in front of a golf cart at the 5th Annual Robert D. Kirkland Memorial Golf Classic.
Circuit Court for Carroll County
• The Circuit Court for Carroll County increased Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations and access to justice in the Carroll County Clerk’s Office and the circuit court. The project was designed to give employees and guests with a disability and/or language barrier better access to the courthouse and to justice. Three additional disabled parking spaces were added to the rear of the courthouse annex, making for a total of six. Three of the parking spaces for the disabled will be reserved for disabled employees and the additional three parking spaces for disabled guests.
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In collaboration with the county government, a new sidewalk was installed along Greenwood Avenue that is ADA compliant, allowing for individuals with or without disabilities to travel safely from the overflow parking lot to the circuit or District Court on a sidewalk instead of the road. The policy permitting those with a disability to have a choice to enter via the rear of the courthouse or the front, depending on preference, was also modified. • Scams undermine the trust that the community has with the courts. By being proactive and making efforts to educate the public, the Circuit Court for Carroll County has been able to educate the community on how to identify a scam, specifically for citizens at senior citizen centers, business associations, assisted living communities, and other community groups who might be targeted by scammers. • On October 1, Rising Above Addiction partnered with Carroll County Drug Treatment Court to host the 5th Annual Robert D. Kirkland Memorial Golf Classic. Proceeds benefited Rising Above Addiction, Carroll County Drug Treatment Court Development Fund, and Robert D. Kirkland Scholarship. The scholarship and golf classic are named after Robert Kirkland who passed away on March 15, 2017. He was
a court liaison for Mountain Manor Treatment Center and a respected member of the community.
• On July 13th, then Court of Appeals of Maryland Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera and District Court of Maryland Chief Judge John P. Morrissey joined Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, as well as state and local officials, to cut the ribbon on the new courthouse for the Circuit Court for Howard County . Despite the pandemic, the 238,000 square foot facility was completed on time and on budget through Howard County’s first public-private partnership. The new courthouse replaces the county’s 175-year-old historic courthouse. In addition to a four-story atrium surrounded by open balconies and a 680-space parking garage, the new courthouse is outfitted with a state-of-the art rooftop with enough solar panels to power the courtrooms and produce 1.17 million kilowatts of energy a year. “This commodious and welcoming building speaks volumes about the future of Howard County,” said then Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. “I am delighted that the Circuit Court for Howard County has a new home that will provide access to justice and serve the needs of the people for decades to come.”
On July 13th, then Court of Appeals of Maryland Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera joined Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, as well as state and local officials, to cut the ribbon on the new courthouse for the Circuit Court for Howard County.
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Circuit Court for Montgomery County
Circuit Court for Frederick County
Sixth Circuit - Frederick and Montgomery
• Frederick County Adult Drug Court held a bike giveaway for individuals in need of transportation. The bikes were provided and given away by the parole and probation office. One recipient has been crossing a main highway on foot to get to work each day. This bicycle will allow him to get to work more quickly and much more safely. The second recipient lives on the outskirts of the city and her treatment provider is located on the opposite side of town. After relying on rides, this will provide some independence. “The drug court team was so excited to learn of the bike donation, and truly appreciates the very welcome contribution to our participants,” said County Administrative Judge Julie Solt, Circuit Court for Frederick County . “Transportation is frequently an issue, and the bikes help answer that need. The generosity of the community and our justice partners is most welcome and appreciated. We are thrilled and thankful.” • For a second year, circuit courts in Maryland celebrated a virtual National Adoption Day. Judge Joan E. Ryon, Family Judge in Charge, Judge Anne K. Albright, and Judge James A. Bonifant, Administrative Judge, presided over the adoptions of eight children. Judge Michael J. McAuliffe also participated remotely by pre-recorded video. Foster-care frontline workers were recognized with a “Heroes to heroes” shoutout. The judges of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County presided over the adoptions of eight children on Friday, November 19, 2021. The celebration was held remotely, and is a collaboration between court, Child Welfare Services,
Legal Aide Bureau, and community partners including CASE and Adoptions Together. The eight adoptees are among the 23 foster children adopted in the county in 2021. More (left to right) Paul Wolford, supervisor of the Problem-Solving Court Program, Circuit Court for Frederick County, David Nolte, drug court client, Lori Schulhoff, drug court parole and probation agent, and Rachel Brumback, field supervisor 1.
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than 122,000 children and youth across the country are in foster care waiting for a forever family. In addition to getting the adoption cases procedurally ready for finalization, the National Adoption Day committee met weekly to make this a truly special event and their efforts included securing keynote speakers, obtaining donations for commemorative gifts, and working with technical services to plan a glitch-free, entertaining presentation for the adults and children in attendance. • Montgomery County is the latest jurisdiction, and among the largest to date, to implement the Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC) case management system, which modernizes court processes and makes case filing more convenient for attorneys and litigants. On October 25, with the support of JIS, electronic filing became mandatory for attorneys representing clients in civil and criminal cases in the District Court in Montgomery County and in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County , as well as for any appellate filings that originate in Montgomery County. Electronic filing remains optional for self-represented litigants.
individuals battling addiction, many with extensive criminal histories, have graduated from the program. There are currently 64 participants, and it is estimated that 50-60% of them will graduate. • On Thursday, July 15, 2021, the Maryland Judiciary’s Equal Justice Committee, through its Community Outreach Subcommittee, hosted its first community forum, which was the virtual forum for Montgomery County on the topic of juvenile justice. • On May 19, Montgomery County Adult Drug Court celebrated recovery with its 30th graduation ceremony. Seven graduates were recognized for their dedication and hard work, bringing the total number of people who have successfully completed this very challenging program to 244 in its 17-year history. Judge John M. Maloney, Circuit Court for Montgomery County, presided. Senior Judge Nelson Rupp Jr., Circuit Court for Montgomery County, and Senior Judge Joseph M. Quirk, Circuit Court for Montgomery County attended as well. The judges took turns presenting diplomas and congratulating each graduate for their continued commitment to sober living. (left to right) Rockville Councilmember Beryl L. Feinberg, Judge Debra L. Dwyer, Circuit Court for Montgomery County, and Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton address an audience at the Rockville to Remember Lives Lost to Opioid Epidemic Ceremony.
“The Maryland Judiciary continues to improve access to justice through its technology infrastructure and to provide innovative ways to serve the public,” said now retired Court of Appeals of Maryland Chief Judge Joseph M. Getty. “I commend the judges, court staff, and Judicial Information Systems for all their work to move Montgomery County to the next level of service with electronic filing.” With the launch of MDEC in Montgomery County, nearly all of Maryland’s jurisdictions are now operating via MDEC, with the exception of Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. The Judiciary’s goal is to bring MDEC to every state court in Maryland. District Court Operations provided in-person support for Montgomery County Odyssey training for Go Live.
• On September 13, the city of Rockville kicked off “Rockville Goes Purple,” its annual Opioid Awareness Campaign, which seeks to shine the spotlight on the impact of opioid addiction and create community awareness. The program featured a keynote address by Judge Debra L. Dwyer, Circuit Court for Montgomery County, who also presides over the Montgomery County Adult Drug Court. During the Montgomery County Adult Drug Court’s 17-year history, more than 200
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Circuit Court for Charles County
Seventh Circuit - Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s
• A tent was assembled in front of the Circuit Court for Calvert County courthouse to allow for COVID-19 screening prior to courthouse entry. A Seek Scan Thermal Imaging System was procured to allow for noncontact temperature screening. The initiative reduced COVID-19 exposure at the courthouse, which allowed the court to continue serving the community under the restricted guidelines set by the statewide administrative orders. The tent was installed in June 2020, removed July 2021, and reinstalled in December 2021. • On October 28, Calvert County Adult Drug Court recognized the hard work and determination of six participants with a hybrid graduation ceremony. Judge Mark S. Chandlee, Circuit Court for Calvert County , presided. Graduates and their immediate family members were permitted in the courtroom, while additional guests watched via Zoom. • The Circuit Court for Charles County implemented a “Show Me Something Good” campaign, which provides employees in the clerk’s office an opportunity to participate in a charity monthly. On the last Friday of every month, employees submit a charity of their choosing that is then selected at
random every year for a donation. Over $6,500 has been collected for charity from the dress down campaign with a $2 or more donation per participating employee each month.
Judge Mark S. Chandlee, Circuit Court for Calvert County, and the six Calvert County Adult Drug Court graduates on October 28, 2021.
• The Circuit Court for Calvert County utilized the Calvert County Fairgrounds Banquet Hall for remote courtroom use. This initiative allowed for the continuation of court proceedings while maintaining social distancing in accordance
20 | Maryland Judiciary
CIRCUIT COURT FOR ST. MARY’S COUNTY HOLDS OPEN HOUSE TO PREPARE FOR JURY TRIALS Administrative Judge Michael J. Stamm, Circuit Court for St. Mary’s County, and Clerk of the Court Debra Burch held an open house to discuss the resumption of jury trials on April 21, 2021. Also in attendance were Commissioner Todd Morgan, two representatives from the local health department, several public defenders and local attorneys as well as attorneys from the state’s attorney’s office. In order to review the accommodations that would be used during COVID-19 for jury selection, the court staff set up a remote recording unit and performed a test recording from each of the tables and rows of juror chairs as well as the back of Naval Air Station Patuxent River Drill Hall, where chairs will be set up for the public and members of the press during jury selection. Judge Stamm and court staff answered questions, allowed individuals to listen to with guidelines. Access to this location allowed for the court to proceed with backlogged cases. Jury selection and Grand Jury hearings were also held at this location. • On April 1, Administrative Judge Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, Circuit Court for Prince George’s County , held a virtual town hall, which was one of several over the course of the pandemic. The meeting, hosted by the Prince George’s County Bar Association, focused on the resumption of jury trials and included a report from the Family Law Division. Also in attendance from the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County were Judge Nicholas E. Rittal, Judge John P. Davey, and Judge Daneeka V. Cotton. • Prince George’s County Family Justice Center, an initiative of the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County , received a nearly $1 million grant award from Department of Justice Office for Violence Against Women to enhance operations and increase its physical reach within Prince George’s County. • The Special Projects Committee of the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County , under the leadership of Administrative Judge Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, hosted a Breast Cancer Walk to promote inclusiveness and spread awareness about early detection, prevention, and the power of community support. During the event, circuit court employees walked in honor of breast cancer survivors. Additionally, the event honored survivors of other forms of cancer that affect many people and families. Employees wore circuit court polos, pink attire or the specific color of the cancer they plan to represent. Participants walked around the courthouse complex and through downtown Upper Marlboro before returning to the atrium entrance of the courthouse.
the playback from CourtSmart, and demonstrated to counsel how to mute the microphones on the tables if they wished to have a private conversation with their client. Administrative Judge Michael J. Stamm, Circuit Court for St. Mary’s County, and Clerk of the Court Debra Burch, held an open house to discuss the resumption of jury trials on April 21, 2021.
• On February 18, five participants of the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County’s problem-solving courts were recognized for successfully completing their respective programs: one from the re-entry court, two from adult drug court, and two from veterans court. Judge Lawrence V. Hill, Jr. of the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County presided over the program’s fifth virtual graduation ceremony. Among the 125 attendees were local dignitaries representing the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, and the city council. The Office of the County Executive presented a certificate of recognition and citations to the graduates acknowledging their accomplishments. The program is a voluntary supervised, sanction and incentive based, 18-month comprehensive initiative that assists people with their transition into the community with intensive supervision and case management.
Circuit Court for Prince George’s County
2021 Annual Report | 21
Circuit Court for Calvert County
Circuit Court for St. Mary’s County
County , who is also an adoptive parent, as the keynote speaker. Prince George’s County Police Officer Alexander Strachan performed a violin solo to honor families and guests during the momentous and joyous occasion. • The Truancy Reduction Court in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County held its first in-person social activity since the COVID-19 public health emergency began. A group of participants travelled to Bladensburg Waterfront Park for a 45-minute boat tour of the Anacostia River. The group enjoyed beautiful weather and a brief history of the area as they floated along the shore in a large pontoon boat in August 2021.
• Circuit and County Administrative Judge Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, Circuit Court for Prince George’s County and the Seventh Judicial Circuit, and Judge Judy L. Woodall, Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, family coordinating judge and chair of National Adoption Day, who is an adoptive parent herself, presided over “All You Need Is Love,” a National Adoption Day virtual ceremony on November 18. Pictured Left: (top to bottom) Circuit and County Administrative Judge Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, Circuit Court for Prince George’s County and the Seventh Judicial Circuit; Lisette A. DuPree, information technology project management coordinator; Judge Peter K. Killough, Circuit Court for Prince George’s County; Judge Makeba Gibbs, Circuit Court for Charles County; Tamara L. Burke, C.A.S.E Center for Adoption Support and Education; Angelique Williams, Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated Prince George’s County Chapter; Gloria Brown Burnett, Department of Social Services; Judge Judy L. Woodall, Circuit Court for Prince George’s County.
Students begin to board the pontoon boat in Bladensburg Waterfront Park for a tour of the Anacostia River.
The ceremony recognized new adoptive families and featured Judge Makeba Gibbs, Circuit Court for Charles
22 | Maryland Judiciary
Elijah E. Cummings Courthouse
Eighth Circuit - Baltimore City
• On August 9, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City unveiled a mosaic of the late U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings at the Circuit Court for Baltimore City Elijah E. Cummings Courthouse. Nearly 50 people varying in age, race, and gender, including alumni and personal friends of Congressman Cummings, participated in the creation of the mosaic. The three-by-five-foot “Living Messages” mosaic features the likeness of the late Congressman Elijah E. Cummings along with his quote, “Our children are the living message we send to a future we will never see.” It was crafted by Art with a Heart and commissioned by alumni of the Elijah Cummings Youth Program (ECYP) as a way to honor the legacy of the late congressman. Remarks were given by Congressman Kweisi Mfume, Seventh Congressional District of Maryland; Mayor Brandon Scott of Baltimore City, Administrative Judge Audrey J.S. Carrión, Circuit Court for Baltimore City; then Judge Karen Chaya Friedman, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, and former Chair of the Elijah Cummings Youth Program; Ms. Nadia West, alumnus Elijah Cummings Youth Program; Ms. Randi Pupkin, founder of Art with a Heart; Ms. Jennifer Cummings, daughter of the late Congressman Cummings. The speakers shared the impact the late congressman had on each of their lives and how his leadership continues to serve as inspiration.
(left to right) Kathleen St. Villier Hill, director of the Elijah Cummings Youth Program; Maya Cummings, Widow; Randi Pupkin, founder, Art with a Heart; Nadia West, alumnus Elijah Cummings Youth Program; Jennifer Cummings, daughter; Administrative Judge Audrey J.S. Carrión, Mayor Brandon Scott, then Judge Karen Chaya Friedman, and Congressman Kweisi Mfume.
2021 Annual Report | 23
Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse
for their achievements over the past two years, except for one graduate who was honored over Zoom. Then Judge Karen Chaya Friedman, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, and presiding judge of the ceremony, opened the ceremony by congratulating the graduates who, along with their family and friends, filled the socially distanced folding chairs typically reserved for jury selection during COVID-19. • The Circuit Court for Baltimore City held its 15th annual National Adoption Day celebration on Saturday, November 20. Circuit Administrative Judge Audrey J.S. Carrión, Circuit Court for Baltimore City and the Eighth Judicial Circuit, Judge Emanuel Brown, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, and Judge Michael DiPietro, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, presided over the ceremony. • On April 15, approximately 140 attendees tuned in via Zoom to listen to Circuit Administrative Judge Audrey Carrión, Circuit Court for Baltimore City , host a virtual town hall meeting. The Bar Association of Baltimore City hosted the town hall meeting and included Baltimore Circuit Court judges Melissa Phinn and Lawrence Fletcher-Hill.
Baltimore Ravens Cornerback Marlon Humphrey addresses Baltimore City Adult Drug Treatment Court graduates. Seated on stage are then Judge Karen C. Friedman, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Administrative Judge Audrey J.S. Carrión, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, U.S. Congressman Kweisi Mfume, and Richard Barton, program director of the office of Problem-Solving Courts.
• On October 18, inside the expansive War Memorial building, 35 Baltimore City Adult Drug Treatment Court graduates, who were dressed in blue caps and gowns, were recognized
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