Navigating Urgent Legal Matters in Baltimore County’s Circuit Court: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents

Wildfire symbolizing urgent child custody disputes in Baltimore County, handled by experienced family lawyer.

In situations involving family law disputes, circumstances can escalate quickly and necessitate immediate court intervention. If you are dealing with such an urgent situation, as a Towson child custody lawyer, I can assist you in navigating the emergency procedures in the Maryland Circuit Court for Baltimore County. This guide explains how to request emergency relief, following the court’s official rules available here.

Types of Emergency Requests

In the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, you can seek to advance a ruling in a family case based on different circumstances. These requests fall into three categories:

  • Ex parte requests
  • Emergency hearing requests
  • Expedited hearing requests

For any type of request, you should clearly state the kind of relief sought and articulate the potential harm if the hearing you’re requesting isn’t held. For instance, if a parent with a potentially dangerous mental illness was granted supervised visitation contingent on a particular person’s presence, and if that individual is suddenly unable or unwilling to fulfill their role, ensure to convey this situation clearly. You should outline the nature of the mental illness and the potential impacts on the child’s health, safety, or well-being. If you’re seeking both an ex parte hearing and an emergency hearing, make separate requests in different pleadings for clarity.

Ex Parte Hearing Requests

An ex parte ruling is a special kind of court request where immediate intervention is sought, typically on the day it’s filed. This request is generally made in instances where waiting for a hearing could result in irreparable harm or injury. Under Maryland Rules 1-351 and 15-504, your motion for ex parte relief should include clear evidence to support the immediate danger. As a Towson child custody lawyer, I can help you prepare the required documents and guide you through this process.

Emergency Hearings

In contrast, an Emergency Hearing is requested when there’s an immediate and substantial risk of harm to you or your children that may occur before a regularly scheduled hearing can take place. As a family lawyer in Baltimore County, I can assist you in filing an emergency hearing request. This process involves a detailed examination of the risk involved and presenting compelling evidence to the court. It’s important to note that the court considers these requests very seriously and expects a high degree of urgency and risk for granting such a hearing.

Expedited Hearings

An Expedited Hearing, on the other hand, involves moving an already scheduled hearing to an earlier date. If there are compelling reasons that necessitate an earlier hearing date, you can submit a detailed request explaining the factual basis for this urgency. Such reasons can include impending relocation, health issues, or significant changes in circumstances that would affect the child’s well-being. This request will be reviewed initially by a magistrate who determines if the reasons provided are substantial enough to warrant an earlier date. If granted, your case will be moved up in the court’s schedule.

Domestic Violence Hearings

In situations involving domestic violence, it’s crucial to act swiftly to ensure the safety of you and your children. The first step is to file a petition for protection from domestic violence, pursuant to Md. Code, Fam. Law § 4-504. This petition is a formal request to the court for intervention and protection against the perpetrator. The process involves detailing the nature, circumstances, and frequency of the abuse.

Upon filing this petition in the Clerk’s Office, the matter is then immediately referred to the Chambers Judge for review. Given the urgency of such cases, the judge will promptly conduct a hearing to assess the situation and the level of threat involved. This hearing’s primary objective is to decide on a temporary protective order.

A temporary protective order can provide immediate protection by legally prohibiting the abuser from making any contact with you or your children, directly or indirectly. This order can also grant temporary custody of children, determine visitation rights, and even mandate the abuser to vacate a shared residence. Remember, the safety of you and your children is paramount, and as your Towson child custody lawyer, I will ensure that the court fully understands your situation to provide the necessary protection.

It’s worth noting that this is just the initial stage in the process of addressing domestic violence. Further steps will likely include a final protective order hearing where a longer-term protective order may be granted. These situations can be complex and stressful, but with professional legal guidance, you can navigate this challenging time and secure a safer future for you and your children.


The process of requesting a hearing date change in the Circuit Court can be complex and often depends on your specific circumstances. Whether it’s due to the immediate need for intervention in a domestic violence situation, the urgency of an ex parte hearing, or simply the necessity for more time to gather evidence, understanding your rights and the procedures involved can make a significant difference.

However, as a final note, it’s important to bear in mind that different circuit courts have different procedures across various counties. While we provide legal services in every county in Maryland, a significant portion of our caseload involves circuit court cases in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. The procedures detailed in this article are specific to Baltimore County.

To better cater to your needs, we have separate articles outlining the court procedures specific to Anne Arundel County and Howard County. Remember, knowing the procedures relevant to your specific county can play a crucial role in the outcome of your case. As your trusted Towson child custody lawyer, we’re here to guide you through these procedures and ensure that your voice is heard.

Family law matters can be stressful and emotionally draining. That’s why it’s essential to have a dedicated family lawyer by your side who can provide you with the legal expertise you need, so you can focus on what’s most important – your family’s well-being.

Image Credit: Pixabay: Stevepb

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