Brooklyn, NY asked in Criminal Law for Maryland

Q: how many days do you have to file for a postponement regarding a court date.

how many days do you have to file a postponement regarding a court date before the court date. and and can I also have the case move to a closest court.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Towson, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: There is no definitive time period that you have to file a motion for postponement, but the sooner the better.

In a criminal or traffic case, the case must be heard in the court for the county where the offense took place. In a civil case, you can move to change venue before an Answer is filed under certain circumstances.

Eric Todd Kirk and Mark Oakley agree with this answer

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: For a continuance, it depends on whether your case is in district or circuit court, whether it is a civil or criminal case, and at what stage of the proceedings you are at. With the affirmative consent of the other party, you can file a motion to postpone any time before the scheduled court date, so long as the motion gets before a judge to rule on it beforehand. That can be as late as the day before, if you manage to get the clerk to walk the consent motion in front of a judge that day. In district court criminal cases, oral motions to postpone for good cause are often granted the day of trial if it’s the first time the case is in court, but it depends on the reason. Without consent, the other side has 15 days (plus 3 more days if you mailed them a copy of the motion as opposed to hand-delivered it) to file a response, and a judge won’t rule on the motion until a response has been filed or the time to respond has expired, so do the math on that one. In circuit court cases, there is a scheduling order, and the court is not likely to grant changes in that order unless the motion is filed well in advance (month or more) before the scheduled date.

Change of venue is not possible in criminal cases, without a claim of constitutional deprivation of a fair trial due to pretrial publicity, since crimes are charged in the court having jurisdiction over the place of the crime. Civil cases have a whole set of legal and factual scenarios that may justify a change of where the trial takes place, so if you want an answer, you will need to at least provide some explanation as to the reasons you want to change venue and some facts regarding the case, like where the acts occurred that give rise to the action, where you reside in relation to where the court suit is now pending, where most of the evidence and witnesses are located for the parties in the action, etc. Venue depends on convenience of the parties as well as connection of the basis of the action to the place where suit is filed.

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