Maryland Judiciary Annual Report 2021

District Court in Queen Anne’s County

District 3 - Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot

• The District Court in Caroline County has been working with the state’s attorney’s office to implement a drug diversion program, which will give first-time offenders the option to participate in the program in lieu of prosecution. • The District Court in Caroline County has a pre-trial mediation program with Mid Shore Community Mediation to help resolve civil conflicts between unrepresented litigants who reach a settlement agreement and are more likely to be satisfied with their experience with the court system. • The District Court and Circuit Court for Cecil County partnered to allow District Court cases to participate on a separate track within the Circuit Court Drug Court Program. The Cecil County Adult Drug Intervention Track has the capacity for 25 individuals. Participants receive a probation before judgment and are placed in the program as a condition of a District Court probation. If the participant is unsuccessfully terminated from the drug court program, the District Court handles the case as a violation of probation. • A Memorandum of Understanding between the District Court in Kent County and the Circuit Court for Kent County allows use of the District Court courtroom each Thursday for family law matters pending in the circuit court. • The Kent County Detention Center operates a pre-trial release program serving the Circuit Court for Kent County and District Court in Kent County . The program increased

capacity in light of COVID-19 from 20 people to 30 people who may be released with pretrial supervision based on a risk assessment tool. • Judge Frank M. Kratovil, District Court in Queen Anne’s County , sits as a judge for “Teen Court” which is a diversion program for minor offenses where juveniles have admitted guilt and are informally sentenced. Each offense has a specified range of sanctions including tours of the jail and payment of restitution. Students act as defense attorneys, prosecutors, and sanction-imposing jurors. Judge Kratovil alternates with Judge C. Lynn Knight, Circuit Court for Queen Anne’s County, and Magistrate Jean Meta to facilitate the program. • As part of the funding proposal Queen Anne’s County received from the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development for the County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, Maryland Legal Aid is providing legal assistance to Queen Anne’s County residents who have been affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. The court is providing Legal Aid with space in the courthouse during landlord/ tenant dockets and copies of the landlord/tenant dockets to assist with this program. This program is helping many residents in the community who need rental assistance due to the pandemic. • The District Court in Talbot County is also providing Legal Aid with copies of landlord/tenant dockets and space to meet with tenants facing eviction on court days.

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