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Postponements in Family and Civil Cases

If you need to request a postponement due to a documented medical emergency or death of a family member or a postponement in a hearing on a petition for protection from abuse/protective order, please read the "Medical Emergency or Protective Order" section.

Self-represented litigants can utilize the Family Law Self-Help Center or Statewide Self Help Center for legal assistance in filing a motion for postponement, a motion to appear by telephone, a motion to shorten time or other family law matters. Self-represented litigants may, but are not required to, use the forms in the "Forms" section at the end of this document.

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MEDICAL EMERGENCY or PROTECTIVE ORDER

Family Law Case: If you need to request a postponement or permission to appear by telephone due to a documented medical emergency or death of a family member or a postponement of a hearing on a petition for protection from abuse/protective order hearing, please immediately call the Postponement Coordinator at (410) 222-1136.

Please note that for requests to postpone or appear by telephone due to a medical emergency, the Court will request medical documentation specifying that you are unable to attend Court.

Civil Case (not family law): If you need to request a postponement or permission to appear by telephone due to a documented medical emergency or death of a family member, please immediately call the Postponement Coordinator at (410) 222-1285 and press 5.

Please note the Court will request medical documentation specifying that you are unable to attend Court.

REQUEST TO POSTPONE A HEARING

I want to postpone a:

Scheduling Conference

Show Cause Hearing in a Family Law Case

Other Hearings OR a Scheduling Conference or a Family Law Show Cause Hearing where All Counsel/Unrepresented Parties DO NOT Agree to Postpone

ALL MOTIONS TO POSTPONE

When to file:

All motions

How to file:

All motions

  * Please see below for information on how to "walk through" a motion.

NOTE: Although electronically filed motions to postpone need only be walked through if the hearing is less than ten (10) days away, the filing MUST still comply with the Maryland Rules in regard to the amount of time the opposing party is allowed to respond. Meaning, that the ten (10) day procedure described above will only apply if the motion is joint/consent OR an order shortening time to respond is granted. Motions that are not timely filed to allow all other parties sufficient time to respond, either per Rule or Court order, may not be considered by the Court.

Walk Through Procedure for Family Law Motions to Postpone/Requests to Appear by Telephone

Self-Represented Party – In order for a self-represented party to walk through a motion, the party must appear at the Civil Clerk’s Office (room 100) at 1:30 p.m. Monday to Friday to file the motion. When the party files the motion, he/she must tell the clerk that the motion needs to be walked through. The party will then proceed to the 2nd floor to meet with Jennifer Cassel regarding the postponement.

*If a self-represented party is a registered MDEC e-filer, the party may follow the instructions for attorneys on how to walk through motions.

Attorney – To walk through a motion, an attorney must first electronically file the motion through the MDEC system. The attorney must then:1) call the Clerk’s Office at (410) 222-1431 or appear in the Clerk’s Office (suite 100) with the envelope number of the electronic filing and 2) meet with Jennifer Cassel Monday to Friday at 1:30 p.m. Her chambers is on the on the 2nd floor.

Walk Through Procedure for Civil (not Family Law) Motions to Postpone/ Requests to Appear by Telephone

Self-Represented Party – In order for a self-represented party to walk through a motion, the party must appear at the Civil Clerk’s Office (room 100) and file the motion. When the party files the motion, he/she must tell the clerk that the motion needs to be walked through the Postponement Coordinator.

*If a self-represented party is a registered MDEC e-filer, the party may follow the instructions for attorneys on how to walk through motions.

Attorney – To walk through a motion, an attorney must first electronically file the motion through the MDEC system. The attorney shall then call the Clerk’s Office at (410) 222-1431 or appear in the Clerk’s Office (suite 100) with the envelope number of the electronic filing. After conferring with the Clerk’s Office, the attorney shall promptly notify the Postponement Coordinator of the filing of the motion and the date of the scheduled hearing.

Joint/Consent Motions

For all motions to postpone, an agreed upon reset date must be included in the motion. This date must be cleared with the opposing counsel/unrepresented party and the Assignment Office, (410) 222-1422. Even if the other party objects to the postponement, a cleared reset date must still be included.

Contested Motions and Motions for which Consent of All Other Counsel/Unrepresented Parties is not Obtained

MOTIONS TO SHORTEN TIME TO RESPOND

Self-Represented Party –- In order for a self-represented party to walk through a motion to shorten time, the party must appear at the Civil Clerk's Office (room 100) and file the motion. When the party files the motion, he/she must tell the clerk that the motion is a motion to shorten time that needs to be walked through for ruling to the designated judge.

The party filing the motion to shorten time SHOULD NOT leave the courthouse after filing the motion. The Civil Clerk's Office will forward the motion to the judge for consideration. The party may be asked to wait in the main hallway until further instruction (e.g., the judge may wish to speak to the party and opposing counsel/unrepresented party, the party may receive a copy of the Order ruling on the motion to shorten time, etc.). If the motion is granted, the Court may Order the party to ensure appropriate service of the Order and any other documents as directed by the judge.

Self-represented litigants may, but are not required to, use the motion to shorten time in the "FORMS" section below.

* If a self-represented party is a registered MDEC e-filer, instead of filing the motion to shorten time in the Clerk’s Office, the party will e-file the motion and then appear in the Clerk’s Office with the envelope number. All other instructions indicated above are the same.

Attorney – To walk through a motion, an attorney must first electronically file the motion through the MDEC system. The attorney must then appear in the Civil Clerk's Office (room 100) with the envelope number of the electronic filing. After appearing in the Clerk's Office, the attorney shall appear in the chambers of the designated judge. For motions to shorten time related to family law postponements or family law requests to appear by telephone, the attorney shall appear in the chambers of the Family DCM Judge. For motions to shorten time related to all other filings, the attorney shall appear before the chambers' judge.

If the motion is granted, the attorney shall ensure appropriate service of the Order and any other documents as directed by the judge and ensure that the Postponement Coordinator is promptly notified of the filing of the motion to postpone and the specifics of the order shortening time to respond.

FORMS (for use by Self-Represented Parties)

Motion for Postponement
Motion to Shorten Time