For most family law cases, a uniform timeline must be applied. If the parties are unable to agree on some or all of the issues and the case is not ready for trial, the court prepares a pre-trial order setting the next date for the pre-trial settlement conference and setting out what must be concluded before the next pre-trial conference. If a pre-trial settlement conference is to be continued because a party or counsel failed to comply with disclosure requirements or other planning orders, the court may impose penalties under Rule 2-508(e). The court may also schedule a separate hearing to assess appropriate sanctions. All civil cases, with the exception of complex and simplified cases. At the time of the appointment conference, the magistrate may prepare any other interim order necessary to expedite the case or facilitate the settlement. Requests for emergency assistance must be made in writing. With the exception of cases filed under the Domestic Violence Act, no request for emergency assistance will be granted unless a plea for permanent redress was made at the same time as or prior to the urgent request. The court maintains a panel of pro bono lawyers who act as moderators on the day of the planning conference. Moderators meet with the parties and/or legal counsel at the request of the judge conducting the nomination conference to assist the parties in resolving some or all of the issues. There is no charge for the parties. Moderators are not continually involved in the case. The court or lawyer prepares all consent decisions resulting from a facilitated settlement.
Under Title 17 of the Maryland Rules, moderators are not entitled to a service fee. To act as moderators, individuals must be approved by the administrative judge and meet the criteria set out in Rule 17-206. The court will meet with the lawyer and/or the parties to facilitate a settlement of the case. All parties and their lawyers are ready to discuss all aspects of their case with a view to reaching a possible settlement. The parties to each civil case must agree and agree on different deadlines for case management within the model timelines for each type of case. Once this objective has been achieved, they must submit to the Court a draft plan for the administration of civil affairs and an order. A template for a civil case management plan can be found on the Presiding Judge`s page on the Circuit`s website. Once the deadlines have been approved by the president of the court, they must be strictly adhered to by the parties, unless the parties have agreed otherwise and approved by the judge. Failure to comply with deadlines may result in sanctions on the part of the court, including the award of attorneys` fees, the removal of pleadings and/or the dismissal of the action.
The Court sets a standard time limit for disclosure after a planning conference for different types of cases, i.e. two to three months for a standard family law case. Initial hearings and requests for documents must be submitted within 30 days of the order of the appointment conference. If there are good reasons and with the consent of the judge or the DCM Commissioner, the standard time limit may be extended or shortened if the parties reach an agreed investigation schedule or if exceptionally simple or complex cases merit different deadlines. Undisputed family law cases that were previously referred to the pending auditors are now being heard at the courthouse, particularly in sessions devoted to uncontested cases. Counsel and parties should stick to the following: If the court finds sufficient allegations and support through affidavits or testimony about alleged harshness, it may attempt to expedite an appointment conference, a pending light hearing, or both. The expedited hearing or scheduling conference must be established no later than two weeks after the date of the hearing order, unless another appropriate schedule can be agreed upon that adequately reflects the concerns of the parties. At the MCC, the case management judge will determine whether everyone has filed their documents on time and whether the parties have attempted to resolve the case. Even if the matter is not yet settled, you can still try to reach an agreement.
The judge will try to help you choose a good trial to work on a settlement. See the Alternative Dispute Resolution section for more information on how to resolve your case. Differentiated case management requires that civil cases be marked as complex, streamlined or general. Each type of case has a template time to try. To prepare for trial, you need to gather all the evidence you want the court to consider to prove your case (and refute the other party`s case). We are improving online instructions for civil investigations. If a case has been specifically assigned, requests for extension must be addressed to the specifically designated judge. The standards for the continuation of oral proceedings remain the same as for cases that have not been specifically assigned. A hearing on the merits of the case will only be scheduled if the pre-trial settlement conference does not resolve all outstanding issues in the case and all discoveries, investigations, reports, individual accounts and a joint statement on matrimonial and illegitimate property have been submitted. The objective of this Directive is to schedule a hearing only for cases that are ready for trial. The court strives to facilitate the settlement as early as possible in the case in order to save the parties from unnecessary costs and delays. By setting a date for the hearing on the merits, only after all the above points have been completed, the court can more accurately predict the number of cases to be heard, determine the appropriate number of judges, and the parties and lawyers can be sure that their case will be brought before the court on the scheduled day.
Family law matters dealt with under a conference planning order may be reset by conference call between the parties/counsel and the office of assignment within 15 days of the adoption of the decision for the appointment conference, if both parties agree and without the need to request an extension. The schedule reset conference must take place within 30 days of the date of the original dial-in conference. If the parties/lawyers do not agree, a request for continuance must be made in writing. The planning conference will give the magistrate the opportunity to determine whether an unrepresented litigant in a family law case who is a minor parent needs the assistance of a lawyer. The court may notify the minor parents if they are not represented. The court may allocate payments between the parties. At the appointment conference, the magistrate will also discuss with the lawyer or the parties whether further preliminary orders might be appropriate in the case. .