Montgomery County lawyers will have to wait to be able to file their cases electronically.
Maryland’s MDEC — Maryland Electronic Courts — system has been rolled out in the most of the state, most recently in Baltimore County this year. But additional requirements have pushed the launch in Montgomery County, the biggest jurisdiction to date, into late 2020.
As of early 2019, MDEC was expected to launch in Montgomery County this month. But according to a spokeswoman for the Maryland Judiciary, that date is now Oct. 21, 2020.
“A new date was set for Montgomery County because of the additional programming and testing required for the new differential case management system protocols,” Nadine Maeser said via email. “These protocols, which have not been utilized elsewhere in the state, are designed for Montgomery County and the other larger jurisdictions.”
Montgomery County is also piloting “electronic case initiation” for juvenile case filings and ultimately all electronic criminal cases, Maeser said, adding that it requires “a significant amount of new code” and represents “a considerable upgrade” to the system.
The 21 counties currently live on MDEC will receive upgrades to their systems to allow them to use the new programming.
Prince George’s County is now projected to get MDEC in 2021. No launch date is available for Baltimore city, which will be the last Maryland jurisdiction to launch e-filing.
No one from the judiciary was available last week for an interview about the delay.