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Maryland courts extend closure, restricted operations to May 1

Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Justice Mary Ann Barbera

Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. (The Daily Record/File photo)

Maryland courts will remain closed to the public until May 1, Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera announced Wednesday in a new administrative order.

Barbera had previously announced that courts would be closed for everything but emergency matters until April 3 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the Maryland Judiciary to take further action to protect court visitors and Judiciary personnel,” Barbera said in a statement. “The courts remain committed in this challenging time to ensuring the public’s justice needs are met to the extent possible during this public health emergency.”

Emergency matters include bail reviews, domestic violence petitions, family law emergencies, juvenile detention hearings and search warrants. These matters will continue to be handled by courts, which are operating with limited staff.

Federal courts in Maryland are also closed to the public and operations at the Greenbelt courthouse have been suspended. The Baltimore courthouse remains open for emergency criminal, civil and bankruptcy matters affecting public safety and health or individual liberty.

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