Maryland Judiciary Annual Report 2021

Circuit Courts

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

8 | Maryland Judiciary

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