COVID-19: Maryland Laws, Policies and Legal Resources
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency has prompted sweeping new laws and policies in the state of Maryland as well as at the federal government level. The new legal and policy landscape has drastically impacted every aspect of life in Maryland. Courts and essential government services are fully or partially closed and every week Gov. Hogan seems to issue a new order.
Maryland Court Closing & COVID-19 /Coronavirus Information All state courts in Maryland have been “closed to the public” since Monday, March 16, 2020 and they will remain closed to the public until further notice. Learn more...
County Government Services Impacted by COVID-19 and the Coronavirus Counties have made adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we provide links to each Maryland county coronavirus response information. View Information for counties.
Keeping track of this constantly evolving web of multi-level law and policy can be overwhelming. This page is designed to provide Marylanders with a comprehensive summary of ALL relevant coronavirus laws and policies as they develop and how they impact you.
Below you will find summaries of all the various court and government service closing across the state of Maryland as well as links to topic-specific pages on things like employment law, evictions and mortgage relief, and answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 laws.
A comprehensive guide to the all the latest stay at home rules.
Learn about all the new laws and benefits programs for Maryland workers during the coronavirus shutdown including expanded unemployment, medical leave, privacy laws, and health insurance.
A summary of legal protections and relief programs for Maryland tenants and homeowners struggling to make their house payments because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Summary of how Maryland is handling important family law issues and court proceedings such as child custody arrangements and domestic support obligations.
Find out how all the new policies and court closings will potentially impact pending and future personal injury cases in Maryland.
A summary of the new laws designed to protect consumers form predatory business practices such as price gouging and fraud.
Find out how the Maryland courts are dealing with criminal law and procedure during the coronavirus shutdowns and how these changes might impact your criminal matter.
A summary of how the coronavirus is impacting immigration and naturalization proceedings in the U.S.
A summary of the COVID-19 tax law changes in Maryland and at the federal level including filing extensions and more.
All state courts in Maryland have been “closed to the public” since Monday, March 16, 2020 and they will remain closed to the public until further notice. This includes all levels of the Maryland state court system: District Courts; Circuit Courts; and both levels of appellate courts.
This does NOT mean that the courts in Maryland are completely shut down and not doing anything. The courthouses are still being staffed by “essential personnel” and the courts are continuing to hear certain types of emergency proceedings. Below is a list of the types of high-priority cases that are still being processed in Maryland courts:
- Bail Review Hearings
- Bench Warrants
- Criminal Arraignments
- Emergency Evaluation Petitions
- High-Risk Protective Orders
- Family Law Emergencies
Personal injury cases are not considered emergency or high-priority cases. This means that any hearings, trials or other court proceedings in personal injury cases are NOT being heard right now. Scheduled hearings or events in personal injury cases will not be heard while the courts remain closed to the public. Hearings or events in personal injury cases will be rescheduled when the courts reopen.
When the courts eventually reopen to the public, there will likely be system-wide scheduling changes for everything on the calendar. So let’s say the courts reopen May 1st if you have a jury trial or a hearing scheduled in May or June (after the reopen) it will probably get pushed back so that the courts can hear all the matters that got canceled during the closure. Are we sure of this? No. So much is still up in the air.Filings, Deadlines & Statutes of Limitations
Despite the closings, you can still file documents and pleadings in the Maryland courts. This applies not just to pending cases, but new cases can still be filed also. Documents can be filed electronically through the MDEC system or filed by mail. In-person filings are also still being accepted, although you will have to use the court’s overnight drop-box for this.
During the extended court closures, the official “filing date” date rules will be adjusted as follows:
- MAIL: the “filing date” will be the postmark date
- DROP BOX: the “filing date” will be the prior business day
Filing deadlines in all pending cases will continue to apply. Unless otherwise ordered in your specific case, you will still have to meet all deadlines for filing motions and other documents. Deadlines for filing have NOT been universally extended or postponed.
All statute of limitations deadlines for filing personal injury cases will also continue to apply during the court shutdown in Maryland. Other states, such as Pennsylvania, have globally extended statute of limitations deadlines, but Maryland has not. This means that if the statute of limitations in your personal injury cases is about to expire, you still have to get your case filed right now.Information & Updates from Maryland Judiciary
The Maryland Judiciary is continuing to adjust its closing policies and other procedures. Below are links to the Maryland Judiciary information pages that will give you the latest notices and policies:
- Coronavirus Court Closure Updates
- Individual Court Notices – by County
- Administrative Court Orders
- Judiciary News Releases
COVID-19 UPDATE: New order extends court closures to June 5
COVID-19 UPDATE: New order addressing deadlines and jury service
COVID-19 UPDATE: Revised Policy on Interim Orders
COVID-19 UPDATE: Court Closed Until May 1
COVID-19 UPDATE: Foreclosure and eviction cases will not move through the courts amid COVID-19
COVID-19 UPDATE: Circuit courts in Maryland will process land record filings amid COVID-19
COVID-19 UPDATE: Maryland state courts reduce staffing in courthouses, continue to hear emergency court matters
Maryland Judiciary Responds to Coronavirus (COVID-19): Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera
We anticipate that the coronavirus shutdown is going to significantly depress the pre-trial settlement value of personal injury claims across the board. The negative impact on settlement values will be the result of 2 primary factors: (1) decrease in treatment; and (2) acceptance of lowball offers.
 Decrease in Treatment
One of the main driving factors that increases the settlement value of a personal injury case is the amount of medical expenses. The more medical treatment and expenses a plaintiff incurs, the more their case is going to be worth in settlement. The coronavirus panic has prompted doctor’s offices and medical treatment facilities across the state to close their doors.
This means that if you’re getting ongoing treatment or physical therapy for injuries in connection with a personal injury claim, that treatment may get interrupted for an extended time period. The less treatment you receive the lower your claim is usually worth in the eyes of the insurance company.
 Acceptance of Lowball Offers
The second and more significant reason the coronavirus panic may bring down settlement values is that the economic hardships caused by the shutdown will make claimants more likely to accept lowball offers. The coronavirus shutdown is little crushing the U.S. economy and has triggered an acute and alarming recession. Massive numbers of people are losing their jobs and being financially ruined by the shutdown. This extreme financial desperation will likely motivate personal injury claimants to accept lowball settlement offers rather than hold out for fair value.
Insurance companies and their adjusters are very much aware of the impact that financial desperation has on acceptance of low settlement offers. Anytime there is a widespread economic recession, insurance adjusters attempt to leverage the situation and this will be no exception. We are already seeing lowball settlement offers on pending personal injury claims.
The increase of lowball offers from insurance adjusters combined with an increase in the rate of acceptance of these offers will result in a universal downward trend in settlement values.County Government Services Impacted by COVID-19 and the Coronavirus Counties have made adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we provide links below to each Maryland county coronavirus response information