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gelcap-300x169A 41-year old Baltimore man recently pled guilty to participating in a drug distribution conspiracy, and he now faces more than a decade in federal prison for his actions.  Based on a recent press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office the defendant is looking at 12.5 years after the government and the defense agreed that a 150-month sentence would be appropriate.  The presiding judge in the Baltimore City federal courthouse will have final say over the sentence, but typically when both sides are in agreement the judge will go along as well.  It is unclear whether the parties entered into a binding agreement under Rule 11(c), but either way the judge would maintain discretion to approve or reject the plea based upon a final calculation of the sentencing guidelines and a review of the presentence report.

According to facts laid out in the plea agreement the defendant participated in a drug trafficking organization or DTO from at least September of 2018 until June of 2019 in Baltimore City.  The defendant also admitted to maintaining a stash house in Baltimore where heroin and crack cocaine were processed and stored.  Law enforcement agencies including the ATF, FBI and the Baltimore Police all participated in the investigation, which ultimately yielded a search warrant for the stash house.  The Anne Arundel County Police also participated to some degree in the case due to the cross proximity of the stash house to Anne Arundel County. Police seized over 200 grams of crack cocaine from the house, but it does not appear that any money or firearms were seized.  It is also not clear whether there were other individuals that were charged along with this defendant, but there had to have been other suspects in order for the government to establish sufficient evidence of a conspiracy.  Conspiracy charges are common in federal court, as it is often easier for the government to prove that a defendant planned and prepared to commit an illegal act as opposed to catching him or her in the act.  Under Maryland state law conspiracy is not a separate enumerated crime, but rather a common law misdemeanor that may be charged in almost any criminal case.

It certainly appears that an agreed upon sentence of 12.5 years for a non-violent drug offense involving far less than 1 kilogram of cocaine and no firearms or weapons would be excessive.  The agreement is a little easier to comprehend when factoring in the defendant’s prior record though.  According to Maryland casesearch, the defendant was convicted of first-degree murder back in 1999 and then narcotics distribution and possession of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime in 2011.  He received 12 years in each of these cases.  The first-degree murder case was resolved by a plea agreement to 12 years in prison, though he also received 12 years for handgun use in a crime in the same case.  These counts could have been run consecutive for a total of 24 years though it is not completely clear.  Either way the defendant has spent most of his adult life in prison, and now will spend another decade behind bars.  Regardless of his prior record, a 12 plus year sentence for mid-level drug trafficking seems unjust, and we can only hope that lawmakers continue to engage in criminal justice reform that reduces a defendant’s exposure in non-violent cases.

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714570_light_5-300x140A 26-year old Salisbury man is in custody after being arrested for burglary and motor vehicle theft last week.  The defendant was denied bail after seeing a district court judge, and will likely have to wait until his preliminary hearing in two weeks or his first appearance in the circuit court before having another opportunity to request a reasonable bail.  Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputies were originally called to a local car dealership to investigate a burglary, but later learned that a vehicle had gone missing after reviewing surveillance footage of the dealership.  The man apparently entered the dealership through an unlocked door used by a cleaning service, and then appeared to drive several vehicles around and off the dealership lot.  The man then settled on a Ford pickup truck and left the premises.

The sheriff’s office put out a BOLO or be on the lookout for the stolen pickup, and deputies spotted it a short time later on North Salisbury Blvd. near Naylor Mill Road.  Police performed a traffic stop and took the man into custody whereupon they recovered keys to 32 other vehicles.  All stolen property appears to have been recovered by police.  The man was booked for burglary in the second degree, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and theft from $1,500 to $25,000, which are all felonies charges.  While the district court has jurisdiction to handle the two theft charges, the burglary felony burglary charge must either be dismissed or forwarded to the circuit court by way of indictment or criminal information.

Under Maryland law, second-degree burglary is defined as breaking into a place of business with the intent to commit a theft, crime of violence or arson.  It has a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison or up to 20 years if the state can prove the defendant stole or attempted to steal a firearm.  While the statute prohibits breaking and entering of the business, a defendant does not actually have to break something in the literal sense in order to be charged.  Breaking can also mean crossing some sort of threshold like a fence (regardless of size) or an opened door.  Simply walking on to an open area of a business would without crossing any type of boundary would likely only be sufficient to support charges for fourth-degree burglary.  Burglary in the fourth degree is the only type of misdemeanor burglary in Maryland, and has a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison.  First and third-degree burglaries are both reserved for the breaking and entering of dwellings, and are generally treated more harshly in court than the other varieties.

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mask-5503422__480-300x200A Harford County man was recently arrested at a polling place in Jarrettsville for refusing to wear a mask while attempting to cast his ballot in the upcoming presidential election.  The 52-year old from Fallston was not taken into custody right away, but rather was allegedly asked to leave or put on a mask several times before police were called.  Even after deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office arrived, an arrest was not performed immediately.  Deputies spoke to the man for nearly 30 minutes, and reportedly arrested him as a last resort.  He was taken to the detention center and then was released on his own recognizance after meeting with the commissioner.  Officers charged the man with two offenses including trespass under criminal law 6.403 and failure to comply with a health emergency under section 14.3A.08 of the public safety code.  According to reports there was another man who refused to wear a mask, but willingly left the polling site after police arrived.

There are a few interesting legal issues related to this incident, but let’s start of by saying it is a true sign of the times that the headline to this post is not the least bit shocking.  Just think how you would have felt one year ago if you had read that a person was arrested for not wearing a mask at a polling place.  Regardless, the legal issues we will discuss involve the two charges.  The first issue is whether the man was charged with the appropriate trespass statute.  Under Maryland law, trespassing on private property carries a maximum sentence of 90-days in jail.  This charge is common in cases involving casino trespass related to the Maryland voluntary exclusion program, and other cases involving bars, stores and private homes where the individual has been told to leave or not to enter in the first place.  This particular incident occurred at a volunteer fire department, so the appropriate statute may have been for refusal or failure to leave a public building or grounds under 6-409.  Trespass on public or government property carries a higher 6-month maximum penalty, which means there is a right to trial by jury in the circuit court.

We know from previous posts about parties and gatherings that police will make arrests for violations of the Governor’s long-standing health emergency order.  The Governor has a wide range of powers during emergencies, but typically when we think of a state of emergency we think of riots, hurricanes or widespread power outages.  The health emergency provision is seldom used, but it does unequivocally grant certain powers to the Governor and the Court of Appeals that include requiring certain individuals to quarantine or isolate.  The language of the statute also reads that “If necessary and reasonable to save lives or prevent exposure to a deadly agent, the Governor may order individuals to remain indoors or refrain from congregating.”  The statute does not specifically address the ability of the Governor’s power to require masks, but does broadly allow for appropriate actions to be taken to protect the public.   It should be noted that a violation of the public safety code related to so called normal states of emergency carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine, while a violation for failing to comply with a health emergency order is 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

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police-378255_960_720-300x212Last week we posted on the Special Enforcement Zone that was established in anticipation of the H2Oi pop-up car rally, and after a wild weekend that made national news headlines the Ocean City Police have reported over 100 arrests.  According to a press release on Sunday, the last day of the rally, there were only minor issues reporting during the days but nighttime was an entirely different story.  Late Saturday night the Ocean City Police requested backup from numerous law enforcement agencies throughout Maryland’s Easter Shore after numerous individuals allegedly became unruly and destructive.  The Maryland State Police as well as the MTA Police, Natural Resources Police and even the state’s Incident Management Team responded to Ocean City to assist.  In addition to over 100 arrests, police also towed more than 350 vehicles and wrote over 1,000 traffic and criminal citations.  The Governor lauded the swift actions of law enforcement while condemning the alleged wanton disrespect for law enforcement displayed by many of the visitors.

In addition to the hundred plus arrests, there were also several injuries to civilians and police officers.  On Saturday night a Maryland State Police trooper was knocked unconscious while attempting to arrest a fleeing suspect.  According to a MSP press release the trooper fell to the ground upon “reaching the suspect”, which likely meant the trooper tackled the suspect after running at a high rate of speed.  The trooper sustained a laceration to his head and was treated at PRMC in Salisbury before being released the next morning.  The suspect was eventually taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, escape second degree and reckless endangerment.  Despite all charges being misdemeanors and no weapon being involved, the defendant was initially held without bail.  According to Vinelink he has been released on pre-trial supervision, and now must return to Maryland from Virginia for his trial date in January at the Snow Hill district court.

Most defendants who are arrested in Ocean City for misdemeanors or traffic offenses will be scheduled for trial at the Ocean City district court on 65th Street and Coastal Highway, but the influx of arrests means that the Snow Hill district court will have to shoulder some of the case load for a few months.  Defendants who are facing offenses that carry more than 90 days in jail have the option to request a jury trial at the circuit court, but this is not always a wise decision in Worcester County.  The defendant in this particular case faces a 60-day maximum sentence for the disorderly conduct charge, but 3 years in prison for the escape and resisting arrest charges.  Second degree escape is a common charge in Maryland due to its broad definition; a defendant who is on home detention can be charged with second-degree escape for violating the terms of the monitoring agreement, as can a person who fails to show up to a jail facility to serve a sentence.  In this particular case the defendant was charged with escape for departing from custody without the authorization of the arresting officer, which is similar to resisting or interfering with arrest.  The state will likely have to drop at least one of these charges at or before trial.  Reckless endangerment, which is defined under Maryland law as engaging in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another or discharging a firearm from a vehicle, is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.  At this point there does not seem to be adequate evidence for the state to prove reckless endangerment, and it is unnerving that he was charged in the first place for this serious misdemeanor.  Running from the police after being placed under arrest may be illegal but it is a major stretch to say that running creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury for the officer who is giving chase.  If the chase took place in a vehicle it would be a different story, but fleeing on foot should never be charged as reckless endangerment.

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graphics-882726_640-300x207When a defendant agrees to go on probation his or her actions will be under a microscope until the supervision terms ends.   Unfortunetly, the success or failure of a probation sentence is not always up to the defendant.  Probation officers have a great deal of power and control over their defendants, and some have a tendency to abuse this power.  There are certainly fair and reasonable officers throughout Maryland, but some make it so difficult for a defendant that a violation is bound to occur.  Regardless of what type of officer is assigned to the case though, there will likely be violation paperwork filed if a defendant is charged with a crime or a serious traffic offense while on probation.  All defendants who are on probation are required to immediately inform their officer upon being charged with a crime or traffic offense that carries a possible jail sentence.  Civil citations such as possession of marijuana under ten grams or open container of alcohol do not count as crimes, and will not be the basis for a violation of probation.  One of the exceptions is an open container charge in Ocean City, as city law provides a potential 90-day jail upon conviction.  A defendant who does not report a new charge could face an additional violation for failing to inform the officer, but this will likely be overshadowed by the offense itself.

Once a probation officer receives notice that a defendant has picked up a new offense, he or she will send the judge an informative that describes the new offense.  Some probation officers will include a recommendation whether to issue a summons for the defendant to appear in court or a warrant to be issued, but the decision is completely within the discretion of the judge.  The less severe the new charge is, the higher the odds are that the judge will issue a summons or show cause order for the defendant to appear in court.  Any defendant that is arrested on a violation of probation warrant will still have the opportunity to file a motion for bail review.  If a warrant has been issued for a violation but the defendant has not yet been served or arrested, it is advisable to contact a lawyer.  A violation of probation lawyer can file a motion to convert the warrant into a summons, and these motions are especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Maryland judges have been more likely to consider converting warrants into summonses in order to limit the amount of COVID-19 exposure to defendants and to the jail population.  There is never a guarantee that a particular judge will grant a motion, but filing promptly is key.  We do not recommend waiting to file this type of motion, as this would likely result in missed probation appointments and the potential for a new violation to be filed for absconding.  Absconding (missing more than 1 appointment) is a non-technical violation and is not subject to the JRA limitations on potential jail sentences.

A violation of probation hearing will likely be scheduled prior to the new case being resolved.  When this happens the state and defense typically ask for a postponement in order for the new case to be worked out.  This becomes a problem when the defendant is being held in jail on the VOP, which is why requesting a bail review right away is important.  Anyone who is charged with a new offense while on probation should think twice about pleading guilty to the new charge, as this would almost certainly result in being held in violation.  Any guilty, Alford or no contest plea, even if the defendant receives a probation before judgment or PBJ, would be sufficient to prove a violation.  Too many defendants make the mistake of accepting a time served or PBJ offer, and then face harsh punishment when they go back to their violation judge.

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courtroom-898931_1280-300x226Federal law enforcement has made fentanyl a major priority, and last week a 26-year old Baltimore County man was sentenced to a decade in prison for possession with intent to distribute the deadly narcotic.  According to the statement of facts in the guilty plea, a Woodlawn man fled from Baltimore County Police after they tried to initiate a traffic stop.  During the pursuit officers allegedly observed the suspect throwing objects out of his car window as he fled.  Eventually police caught up with the suspect and search incident to arrest produced a digital scale and a baggie with 40 grams of fentanyl.  Had law enforcement stopped there the man would likely have been prosecuted in state court, but a search of his home pursuant to a warrant produced far more incriminating evidence.  Police ultimately discovered 3 kilograms of fentanyl and a loaded .380 caliber handgun.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office stated in its press release that this amount of fentanyl would be enough to kill 1.5 million people.  The suspect was also prohibited from possessing firearms based on a previous drug conviction in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County.  He also had an earlier drug possession conviction in Baltimore City and a probation before judgement for driving on a suspended license.

The facts of the case were not especially unique and from what we can see the defendant was not alleged to have been an interstate drug trafficker, but the federal government still elected to prosecute this case.  For the last several years the feds have picked up gun and drug cases arising from Baltimore City, but with the sheer amount of fentanyl plus a gun being involved it is no surprise this Baltimore County case went federal.  Most of the time a defendant would much rather be prosecuted in Maryland state court, as the sentencing guidelines are typically lower and there is parole.  However, under these circumstances the defendant likely would have received a similar sentence in state court, as he would have been subject to three Maryland mandatory sentence provisions.  Anyone who is found to be in possession of more than five grams of fentanyl faces a mandatory 5 years in prison.  Additionally, the possession of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime carries a 5-year minimum prison sentence under state law.  The Woodlawn man may have also been subject to charges for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon/ person with a drug conviction under 5-601.  This offense also carries a 5-year mandatory sentence that cannot be suspended unless the prior offense had been closed for more than 5 years.  Closed means probation and parole must have been completed.

The Blog will continue to follow cases traditionally prosecuted in state court that are picked up by federal law enforcement.  A general rule is that any convicted felon who is arrested with a gun in Baltimore City could face federal prosecution, but now it is clear the feds are branching out to the County and other Maryland jurisdictions.  Based on this press release it is also clear that federal law enforcement agencies are actively pursuing anyone involved in fentanyl distribution.  If you have been charged with a gun or drug crime anywhere in Maryland or Florida call criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Herbst anytime at 410-207-2598.  Benjamin specializes in charges for drug possessiondrug distribution, possession with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or disqualified person.  He offers free consultations and is available to defend clients from the Eastern Shore to Western Maryland.

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police-850054_960_720-300x212Ocean City has seen a dramatic increase in violent crime since welcoming tourists over the past few weeks, and government officials are extremely concerned.  The most serious incidents seem to be clustered around the Boardwalk in the southern part of the 8-mile stretch of beach, but arrests are up throughout the city.  Two weekends ago, the Ocean City Police Department reported 129 arrests compared to 95 during the same time last year.  This increase is even more alarming considering there are fewer visitors this summer due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  In response to the rise in violence, the police department has committed to increasing law enforcement presence by as much as 25 percent around town and on the Boardwalk.  The department will have to hire new officers to keep up with the demand, which will come at a considerable expense to Maryland’s only beachfront town.  The process of hiring new officers will also have to be accelerated due to the immediate demand, but the mayor’s office is confident the city council will be supportive.

Crime spikes hardly come as a surprise in Ocean City during the summer months, as upwards of a quarter million tourists flock from D.C., Maryland, and neighboring states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia to vacation.  But the crime spikes are typically related to traffic and non-violent offenses.  Underage drinking and open container citations are especially common in Ocean City, and those who receive these citations are often surprised to learn they can have criminal consequences.  Carrying an open container is a crime under the Ocean City municipal code, which makes it punishable by up to 90 days in jail.  DUI is also common, as well as other alcohol induced offenses such as disorderly conduct and trespassing.  Alcohol and peer pressure also motivates the younger crown to indulge in shoplifting and other theft crimes, and arrests for possession with intent to distribute marijuana and narcotics majorly spike to meet the demand of those heading to OCMD to party.  These offenses come with the territory of a popular summer vacation spot with a booming nightlife, and they are crimes the police and Worcester County judicial system can easily keep under control.  The problem lately is that a large number of recent arrests have been for extremely violent offenses such as first-degree assault involving knives and firearms, and the last thing city and county officials want is for their cash cow tourist industry to suffer as a result of the town being labeled as unsafe.

Five suspects were recently arrested for a felony assault and weapons charges stemming from a fight that broke out on the Boardwalk, and all are being held without bail at the Worcester County Detention Center.  They are all scheduled for preliminary hearings at the district courthouse in Ocean City, but their cases will eventually be forwarded to the circuit court in Snow Hill.  Portions of the brawl were caught on video, and the incident received media attention around the state.  Apparently, late night crime has become so common on the Boardwalk that some business owners have become increasingly concerned about staying open late.  Fed up bar and restaurant owners have already started closing earlier than in years past in response to the violence.

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ambulance-5272148__480-300x200A 23-year old woman was arrested last week after she allegedly stole an ambulance from the West Annapolis Fire Station and then crashed it into a van.  The sole occupant of the van was flown to shock trauma with serious injuries, while the ambulance thief fled the scene of the accident on foot.  As a result of her fleeing the scene the young woman was not arrested until the next day, and is now out of custody after being released on her own recognizance.  She is facing charges for theft over $100,000, rogue and vagabond and motor vehicle theft.  Unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and theft over $100,000 are both district court felonies, and trial has been scheduled in October.  The woman has also been charged with reckless driving, negligent driving and driving without a license.  She may face additional charges for leaving the scene of an accident involving injury.  Reports did not offer an explanation of what prompted the woman to steal the ambulance as fire fighters were training when the vehicle was initially taken.  There is also no indication of what exactly caused the accident, though the woman did receive a citation for running a red light.  All told, this is a pretty bizarre scenario and whichever Anne Arundel County judge hears the case will likely not be too pleased with the defendant.

While the defendant does not appear to have a prior criminal record other than a drug possession case on STET, she may face an uphill battle in the fight to stay out of jail and keep her record free of a criminal conviction.  This is especially true if she ends up being charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident.  Despite being classified as a traffic offense and only carrying a 1-year maximum jail sentence, leaving the scene of an accident with bodily injury is an offense that prosecutors and judges take extremely seriously.  The defendant’s record of committing traffic offenses is lengthy, and she does not appear to have had a valid license recently.  There are numerous prior traffic cases in multiple different jurisdictions including Baltimore City, Prince George’s County and Anne Arundel County.  Ultimately her prior record of traffic convictions may come back to hurt her when her trial date comes around in the Fall.

The Blog will continue to follow this strange case, and may post a follow up article in the near future.  It is hard to think of a reasonable explanation why a person would steal an ambulance.  There may be valuable equipment in emergency vehicles, but we’re not talking about items you can simply sell at a pawn shop or trade at a local flea market.  Also, it is nearly impossible to elude law enforcement in a stolen ambulance, as they are easily recognizable and always GPS equipped.  There may in fact be more to this story but a logical explanation is unlikely.  As regular readers of our Blog are well aware, there are not always logical explanations to the behaviors of those leading up to an arrest.

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graphics-882726_640-300x207Last Friday evening the Chief Judge of Maryland’s highest court issued an updated administrative order, which established a plan to reopen state courthouses this summer.  The previous order stated that the courts would be closed to the public through Friday June 5, but offered little guidance to how the courts would reopen that following Monday.  It was no surprise that a more comprehensive order would be forthcoming, and the only thing left in doubt was the timing.  Reopening in so called “phases” has become a sign of the times, and the courts are adopting this approach moving forward.  There will five phases according to the order, and they will gradually go into effect over the course of the next five months.

According to the order we will be in phase 1 until Friday June 5 at the close of business.  Phase 1 has been officially in effect since March 16, which seems like ages ago.  With respect to criminal cases, both the circuit and district courts of Maryland have been closed except for emergency hearings such as bail reviews, habeas corpus motions and emergency evaluation petitions.  Domestic violence protective orders and peace orders have been heard by district court commissioners, but there have been no final evidentiary hearings set in front of judges.  Phase 2 will begin at the close of business on June 5, and last through July 19. Courts will still be closed to the public during phase 2, but the circuit courts will begin to hear guilty pleas and deferred sentencing matters, so defendants will be permitted inside the courts.  It does not appear that the courts will hear any pleas that may result in a defendant being sentenced to immediate incarceration during phase 2.  The juvenile courts will still operate more or less on an emergency basis, and will not hear reverse waivers or dispositions that require testimony.  The district courts will begin to hear guilty pleas in phase 2 with no incarceration or deferred incarceration, and also preliminary hearings with agreed resolutions.  The overall theme of phase 2 is beginning to move cases that do not require witness testimony or that will result in immediate incarceration.

Monday July 20 appears to be a big day in the Maryland court system, as phase 3 will begin and the courthouses and the clerk’s offices will officially be open to the public.  They courts are still working on exact guidelines to limit capacity and promote social distancing, so it won’t simply be a free for all at 8:30 on the 20th.  The circuit courts will begin to hear cases with witness testimony including bench trials, pleas, violation of probation hearings, evidentiary motions and jury trial prayer status conferences.  The juvenile courts will begin to hear waiver hearings, dispositions and adjudications, and the district court will be permitted to conduct trials for incarcerated defendants and defendants facing DUI charges and charges involving violent acts such as assault in the second degree.  Phase 4 will begin on August 31, and mark the beginning of the minor traffic dockets in district court, as well as all other non-jury trials.  Things are scheduled to completely return to normal on October 5, when phase 5 begins and the circuit court resumes jury trials.

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1380109_the_maryland_state_house-300x229A coalition of people including lawmakers and religious leaders recently filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Maryland governor’s stay at home order that has been in effect for several weeks.  The order required the shuttering of all non-essential businesses and banned gatherings of more than 10 people under all circumstances.  Even as talk of reopening the state has picked up steam, there is no firm end in sight and business owners are beyond restless.  The lawsuit, which was filed in the Baltimore City federal courthouse, challenges the constitutionality of the governor’s order.  This is not the first lawsuit of its kind, as federal judges in numerous other jurisdictions have heard similar motions.  There is no timetable as to when a ruling will come down in this particular motion, but the Attorney General’s Office is not backing down.  Reports indicate the AG submitted a memo of law citing prior decisions where federal courts have denied similar challenges to state executive orders.  Case law is pretty clear that governors have broad authority to act during public health emergencies, and at this point there is nothing in the Maryland order that seems reversible.

By the time a federal judge issues a ruling in this case the motion may be moot, as reports seem to indicate that the number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 has plateaued in Maryland.  Still, we could be weeks away from a reopening that would satisfy the group that filed the motion.  The governor and other state officials recently introduced a three-phase plan that would begin with an opening of lower risk business and entities such as small shops, outdoor gym and fitness classes, outdoor recreation facilities, and limited attendance outdoor religious gatherings.  Phase two would include medium risk businesses and entities such as indoor gyms, childcare centers, restaurants and bars (with restrictions), indoor religious gatherings and elective medical procedures.  The final phase includes high risk activities such as entertainment venues, high capacity bars and restaurants and larger gatherings among people.

Anyone who reads through Maryland’s roadmap to recovery PDF will see that there is no mention of the judiciary or any courthouse guidelines.  The judiciary is an independent branch of government, and as such may not legally be able to be controlled by the governor’s office.  Thus far, the judiciary has been acting alongside the governor’s office in closing down to the public, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming weeks.  Maryland state courts are currently only operating on an emergency basis, and are closed to the public.  As of now the district and circuit courts around the state are scheduled to open to the public on June 7, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty whether this will actually happen.  If the courts do open on the first Monday in June there are also no firm details on what the courthouse experience will look like.  It certainly will not be business as usual, with packed courtrooms and long lines at security.  Many court clerks are still holding off on resetting cases that have been postponed, as some cases have been rescheduled numerous times due to fluid nature of the reopening date.

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