This holiday season is a bonanza for those who do not want to go to work. The Thursday before Christmas in the dream scenario in that regard. The Maryland state court system – district courts, circuit courts, the Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals- were closed on Thursday and Friday and will be closed again this Thursday and Friday. If you had a court appearance on any of these days – which is possible because they were open dates during scheduling – you should have gotten notice. The only exception to this rule is district courts in Montgomery County and Baltimore City will conduct bail reviews via video. In other Maryland counties, the lesson is, do not commit any crimes during the holiday season. It is a holiday buzz kill for all of us and you might wait around for a while to get a bail review.
A part of the thinking about taking these days off was for the court system to take some burden off Maryland’s budget crisis, which is why Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Robert Bell also ordered state courts to close on these successive Fridays during the holiday season. But slowing down an already clogged court system takes its toll on the parties – and the lawyers – involved.