|Location:||Montgomery County Circuit Court
North Tower 1st floor, Rm 1280
|Hours of Operation:||8:30 am - 4:30 pm|
- Roles & Responsibilities
- How Cases are Scheduled
- Scheduling of Specific Case Subtypes
- Postponing a Case
- Emergency Motions
- Scheduling a Motion for Hearing
- Judge Assignments
- To Be Assigned (TBA) Calendar
Handling each case properly and quickly is not only important to the parties involved in the case, but also it is crucial for the efficient operation at Montgomery County Circuit Court, which handled over 30,000 filings of cases in fiscal year 2015. The Court’s Assignment Office plays one of the most critical functions of the court: scheduling hearings, trials, and special event dates for the Judges and Family Magistrates of the Court, maintaining the schedules, and ensuring that these events are scheduled according to the Court’s Differentiated Case Management (DCM) Plans.
If you have questions about a scheduled court event, you can find information about the case using the On-line Maryland Judiciary Case Search or call the Montgomery County Circuit Court Assignment Office at 240-777-9000. When you call the Assignment Office, please have your Circuit Court case number and name of the case available. The case number is usually a 4-6 digit number followed by a D (District Court Appeal), C (Criminal), V (Civil), or FL (Family Law). Please note that juvenile matters are confidential, and access to juvenile case information is limited. We will be happy to assist you.
For the Court’s hearing schedule, go to Court's Daily Schedule.
The Differentiated Case Management (DCM) process expedites cases by assigning them to different tracks. Each track has mandatory guidelines for certain milestones on the case (e.g., Scheduling Hearing, Discovery, Trial); adherence to these milestones is closely monitored.
Criminal, civil, and family cases are assigned to the appropriate DCM track at the filing of the case. Tracks are determined by the parties and are based on the complexity of the issues and the amount of trial time needed.
Based on DCM guidelines, each case is assigned a Scheduling Hearing, Status Hearing, and/or Settlement/Pre-Trial Hearing. Depending on the issues and the case type, the judge or family magistrate will distribute scheduling orders that schedule deadlines for discovery, motions, and pre-trial statements to be filed.
- Civil Trial dates (Tracks 2 and 3) are scheduled at the Status Hearing or Settlement/Pre-Trial Hearing. The trial dates are normally scheduled within 60-90 days from the scheduled hearing.
- Criminal Jury Demands and Appeals (Track 1) are assigned a trial date at the Pre-trial hearing. Criminal Indictments and Information (Tracks 2, 3, & 4) are assigned a trial date at the Rule 4-215/Scheduling Hearing.
- Family Trials or hearings are normally scheduled at the Scheduling Hearing or Settlement/Status Pre-Trial Hearing held before one of the Family Magistrates of the Circuit Court.
- Juvenile Hearings are scheduled automatically at the time of filing. Dates may be adjusted within the mandatory guidelines at the Pre-Trial Hearing.
- Other cases that are not on a scheduling track will be sent to the Assignment Office for scheduling when all parties have filed an Answer (a written response to the original filing). Assignment Office staff will confirm time estimates, when possible, schedule the case for the next available date on the court’s calendar, and mail a notification of trial/hearing to all parties.
- Bench Warrants
Upon receiving bench warrant returns (for failure to appear) from the Sheriff's Office, the Assignment Office coordinates necessary court actions for the Duty Judge’s consideration at 1:30 pm each day. Judges specifically assigned to a bench warrant/body attachment can direct the defendant to the Duty Judge with instructions about bond, or schedule the bench warrant/body attachment hearing before him/herself for that same day.
- Civil Motions Assignments
When a request for hearing is filed with a motion in a civil case in Tracks 0, 2, or 3 the Assignment Office schedules the hearing: regular civil motions on Mondays through Thursdays and contested Register of Wills motions on Fridays.
- Civil Trial Assignments/Special Assignments
- Complex Cases – Cases in Track 4 Criminal, Civil, Business & Technology and ASTAR
- Criminal Indictments/Information
- Criminal Jury Demands and Appeals
- Juvenile Cases
Civil trials are scheduled in accordance with the Civil DCM Plan at a Settlement/Pre-Trial Conference (Tracks 3, 4, 5 and 6) or Status/Pre-Trial Conference (Track 2). The court case must be ready for trial, and a Joint Pre-Trial Statement must be filed. The Judge clears a trial date with the attorneys and/or parties in the courtroom, which will not be changed without further order of court. Administrative Appeals, District Court Appeals (on the record), and any specially assigned civil trials are assigned to judges on a rotating basis and are scheduled according to Maryland Rules of Procedure.
Complex cases are automatically assigned on a rotating basis to the judges sitting in the Criminal, Civil, Business & Technology, and ASTAR (complex science/medicine) rotations. An original scheduling order is produced setting the track guidelines. The assigned judge’s staff schedules all necessary events with the parties and/or counsel and notifies the Assignment Office of all scheduled events for posting in the Court’s system.
When the State’s Attorney’s Office initiates a criminal case, its trial date and other events are scheduled according to the Criminal DCM Plan. Through close communication with judges, courtroom clerks, and the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Assignment Office maintains up-to-date information for all matters, including sentencings, violations of probation (VOP), pleas, video bond hearings, and other special criminal hearings. Motions for Criminal Indictment and Information cases (Tracks 2, 3, & 4) are scheduled during the Rule 4-215/Scheduling Hearing on Friday mornings.
Criminal cases that originated in the District Court are transferred to the Circuit Court when a jury trial is requested or the case is appealed. The Circuit Court hears jury demands made in open court at the District Court on the same day the jury demand was requested. To schedule criminal cases that originated from District Court, the Assignment Office maintains the court’s criminal calendar, which is called the Pre-Trial Docket. The Pre-Trial Docket takes place at 9:00 am every Friday. The Assignment Office will provide a trial date of 8:30 am on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays for criminal cases not resolved at the Pre-Trial Docket.
The Assignment Office also schedules sentence review panels and en banc hearings (hearings in which three judges preside and participate in the decision).
The Assignment Office coordinates schedules and dates for juvenile matters with several stakeholders, including the Juvenile Judges, Juvenile Division of the Clerk's Office, Juvenile Case Managers, State's Attorney's Office, Public Defender's Office, County Attorney's Office, and other Montgomery County juvenile service agencies.
Following the guidelines of the Juvenile Differentiated Case Management (DCM) Plan, a series of orders and scheduling orders for a juvenile case are automatically scheduled as soon as the Juvenile Division of the Clerk's Office or the Assignment Office enters case information into the Court’s database. The hearings scheduled include, but are not limited to, preliminary inquiries, pre-trial hearings, adjudicatory hearings, dispositions, permanency placement hearings, peace orders, adoptions, detention hearings, emergency hearings for delinquent and Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) cases, restitution hearings, review hearings, violations of probation, waivers to adult court, shelter care hearings, and termination of parental rights (TPR).
Parties must file a written motion to postpone, with the reason(s) listed, before the actual hearing or trial date and later follow up with the ruling of the motion. For additional information about Criminal and Civil motions for postponement, please refer to the Criminal and Civil Motions for Postponement Procedures (). For additional information about Family motions for postponement, refer to the 2-page Family Postponement Procedure Guide ().
Civil Motions, District Court Appeals, Uncontested Divorces, and various other court events may be moved one time by a letter of agreement of all parties. For additional information about Criminal and Civil motions for postponement, please refer to the Criminal and Civil Motions for Postponement Procedures (). For additional information about Family motions for postponement, refer to the 2-page Family Postponement Procedure Guide ().
The Administrative Judge must make a Finding of Extraordinary Cause to postpone a hearing beyond the mandatory guidelines on a Juvenile case.
Please consult the monitors on the lobby level of the North Tower or contact the Assignment Office at 240-777-9000 to find out which judge has been assigned to regular duty and family duty. Judges rotate weekly on these assignments. The Regular Duty Judge handles emergency matters that pertain to civil and criminal matters. The Family Duty Judge handles only matters that pertain to family cases.
To have a motion scheduled for a hearing, all parties must file their motions before the Motions Filing Deadline date. However, not all motions are scheduled for hearings. Many of the discovery motions are sent to the Court’s Special Magistrate to determine whether a hearing is necessary under the rules.
When a judge rules that a motion is appropriate for a hearing, the Assignment Office will schedule it after the appropriate response time is due (normally 18 days after the motion is filed) and mail a hearing scheduling notice to the parties. Motions are scheduled for one-half hour and are scheduled before the presiding Motions Judge for the week. Motions hearings may be scheduled for matters that are anticipated to take longer than one-half hour if the parties request additional time in writing.
To find out the name of the judge assigned to a particular case, call the Assignment Office at (240) 777-9000 after 3:00 pm the day before the scheduled trial/event date or visit the Maryland Judiciary’s on-line case search at http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/.
Please keep in mind that the case assignment schedule can change at any time. When you arrive at the courthouse, check the case assignment monitors located on the Lobby Level before proceeding to the courtroom.
It may be necessary for the Assignment Office to put some cases on the TBA calendar when a full load of cases has already been assigned to the available trial judges or when trials are carried over from the previous day.
Parties assigned to the TBA calendar should report to the Assignment Office, North Tower 1st floor, Rm 1280, in the Circuit Court. Every consideration will be given to assign the case as soon as possible.
50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM