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Md. federal courts postpone all proceedings through March 27

U.S. District Chief Judge James K. Bredar

U.S. District Chief Judge James K. Bredar. (Submitted photo)

One day after announcing the suspension of all jury trials effective Monday, federal courts in Maryland are postponing all proceedings set to begin next week in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. District Chief Judge James K. Bredar issued a revised standing order Friday afternoon postponing all civil, criminal and bankruptcy proceedings scheduled to occur between March 16 and March 27.

The court will remain open for emergency criminal, civil and bankruptcy matters, according to the order, and electronic filing and drop boxes for paper filings remain available.

The order applies to court appearances, hearings and conference calls, grand jury meetings, naturalization and admission ceremonies, and misdemeanor and traffic dockets. The presiding judge in a case can issue an order directing that a proceeding go forward before March 27.

Filing deadlines will be extended to 14 days from Friday, according to the order, unless the presiding judge sets a different date.

Bredar previously issued an order delaying all jury trials, civil and criminal, until April 24. That delay was incorporated into Friday’s order.

On Thursday afternoon, Bredar said the court was looking at “how we can and should slim down our court operations.” A planning committee has been meeting twice daily to discuss response.

Maryland state courts have suspended all jury trials between March 16 and April 3.

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