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U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland Coronavirus Timeline

Chief Judge James K. Bredar of United States District Court for the District of Maryland took steps starting with a Standing Order issued March 11 and continuing through his own series of orders steadily demonstrating the severity of the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, March 11

  • The Court issues Standing Order 2020-02 that restricted certain persons’ entry into a federal courthouse or probation office, e.g. persons who had been in certain countries or regions (including the State of Washington; New Rochelle, New York; China; and Italy) within the last fourteen days; and persons who have been asked to self-quarantine or have been diagnosed with the virus.

Friday, March 13

  • The Court issues an Amended Standing Order 2020-03 that postponed and continued all civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin on that date through April 24; postponed all other civil, criminal, and bankruptcy scheduled to occur between March 16 and March 27 (unless a presiding judge in an individual cases orders otherwise); extended by fourteen days all filing deadlines set to occur between March 16 and March 27 (unless a presiding judge in an individual case orders otherwise); directed “that this Order does not toll any applicable statute of limitations;” reminded that electronic filing remains available and that self-represented litigants may file papers in designated drop boxes, and provided “that the Court will remain open for emergency criminal, civil, and bankruptcy matters related to public safety, public health and welfare, and individual liberty.”

Monday, March 16

  • The Court again amended Standing Order 2020-03, stating that due to the unavailability of a grand jury, “the 30-day time period for filing an indictment is TOLLED as to each defendant during the time period March 16, 2020 through March 27, 2020.”
  • The Court amended Standing Order 2020-02, adding to the regions or countries covered by the March 11 version of that Standing Order.

Wednesday, March 18

  • After noting it was hearing only emergency matters, the Court suspended all in-court proceedings in the Southern Division Courthouse in Greenbelt and ordered “that all emergency criminal, civil, and bankruptcy matters related to public safety, public health and welfare, and individual liberty arising in the Southern Division shall be heard in the Northern Division U.S. Courthouse in Baltimore, Maryland.”

Friday, March 20

  • Finally, on March 20, the Court issued its Standing Order 2020-05, extending its earlier suspensions of activities. The Court re-iterated its earlier postponement of all jury trials, and now also ordered that all other civil, criminal, and bankruptcy proceedings scheduled to occur from March 16 through April 24 are postponed and will be rescheduled (again, unless a presiding judge in an individual case directs that a proceeding occur on or before April 24). The Court also again extended filing deadlines, ordering that deadlines set to occur between March 16 and April 24 are extended by forty-two days, “unless the presiding judge in an individual case sets a different date.” And the thirty-day time limit for indictments is now tolled through April 24.
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