- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 25, 2020

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Judiciary will further restrict courtroom operations and reduce the types of cases that will be heard virtually or in person due to the surge in coronavirus cases.

Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera issued an order Tuesday night to return district and circuit courts in the state to Phase II of the judiciary’s reopening plan beginning on Monday. Jury trials, which were suspended two weeks ago, will continue not to be held, The Baltimore Sun reported.

District court Judges will still hear criminal, traffic, civil, domestic violence, peace orders, extreme risk protective Orders and landlord-tenant cases. In the circuit courts, civil, criminal, family, child in need of assistance and juvenile matters will move forward.

“COVID-19 cases in Maryland are increasing at a rapid pace and with the Thanksgiving Day holiday upon us, it is imperative that the Judiciary respond to the current health situation by restricting court operations further,” Barbera said in the judiciary’s news release.

The order was issued a day after an attorney called on the judiciary to postpone court hearings that do not involve a jailed defendant or domestic violence allegations.

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