Mandatory Continuance Bill Denied

The 2017 Maryland General Assembly Session saw, for the first time, a bill that would have made a continuance/postponement of a civil case mandatory if all parties agreed to the continuance. This would have applied to civil cases only, both at the trial and appellate levels.

The bill was introduced in the Senate, heard by Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, and died without further action.

This was a constituent bill, requested by attorneys who experience difficulty getting joint/consent continuances.

The bill succumbed due to significant opposition from the judiciary. While the bill’s concept holds appeal, it would have allowed indefinite, mandatory continuances. It would have defeated time standards of the courts’ differentiated case management plans. It might have resulted in delays during other phases of the case (discovery, for example) knowing that a continuance would have to be granted. And, it would have resulted in a backlog of pending, but unresolved cases.

I doubt we will see this bill again, in the face of such justified opposition.

To read the bill: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2017RS/bills/sb/sb0250F.pdf

To view a video replay of the hearing.

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