The 2017 Maryland General Assembly Session saw a bill – SB378/HB1191 – which would have prevented court clerks from ruling on motions.
This arose, apparently, due to a directive of the District Court of Maryland which would have allowed clerks to rule on motions to postpone.
The bill was heard in Senate Judicial Proceedings and House Judiciary Committees but went no further.
The judiciary opposed the bill, indicating its intention to clarify Administrative Order allowing District Court clerks to grant continuances. The clerks would be limited to granting a postponement only on first requests, with later requests going before a judge.
Coincidentally, this bill was sponsored on the Senate side by the same sponsor of the failed bill on mandatory consent continuances. This bill would have made it harder to obtain a postponement, as the current Administrative Order standardizes and expedites first continuance requests.
To view the bill:
For video replay of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing:
For video replay of the House Judiciary Committee hearing: