Charles County Circuit Court
200 Charles Street
La Plata, Maryland 20646
Monday through Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Except for major holidays. Click here for a complete list of holiday closures.
All visitors are subject to security screening upon entering the courthouse.
The Court & Judicial Security Unit is responsible for the screening process of all visitors accessing the public entrance to the courthouse. This includes detecting, identifying, and preventing security breaches that may impose a risk of danger or harm to oneself or others. The unit has established a list of criteria for items prohibited to enter the courthouse, which include any objects that: 1) may be used as a weapon; 2) cause a security concern; or 3) are illegal by nature. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to:
- pocket knives, razor blades, or any other sharp bladed objects
- chemical sprays
- impact and keychain style weapons
- multipurpose tools
- handcuffs and handcuff keys
- alcoholic beverages
- illegal drugs / narcotics and paraphernalia
The Court & Judicial Security Unit will not be responsible for the safekeeping of any prohibited items and will direct removal of these items from the building or voluntary disposal. The unit will seize all illegal contraband, and offenders are subject to prosecution.
MARYLAND RULE 16-208
This policy applies to EVERYONE, including: attorneys (state's attorneys, public defenders, and private attorneys); and jurors, without exception.
USE OF CELL PHONES AND/OR ELECTRONIC DEVICES:
Subject to security screening, a person may possess a cell phone or electronic device in a courtroom, only if the phone or device is secured on a belt clip, in a pocket, briefcase, or pocket book. ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES MUST REMAIN OFF AND INOPERABLE INSIDE THE COURTROOM, unless granted express permission by the presiding judge. The cell phone or electronic device may not be removed from the belt clip, pocket, briefcase, or pocketbook while in the courtroom, without permission of the court. Unless granted express permission by the presiding judge, if the person wishes to use or otherwise look at his/her cell phone or electronic device for any reason, the person must do so outside of the courtroom.
The wearing of Bluetooth earpieces and/or other similar devices and accessories is prohibited in the courtroom at all times.
CAMERAS AND PHOTOGRAPHS:
The taking of photographs by camera, cell phone or other electronic device is prohibited in the Courthouse at all times, unless granted specific permission by the court. A person may bring a camera, cell phone or other electronic device for the purpose of taking photographs of ceremonial events such as: administrations of oaths; marriage ceremonies; adoptions; and Bar Association programs.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR JURORS:
Jurors will not be permitted to take cell phones or other electronic devices into the jury room during deliberations. If a juror is unable to return his/her cell phone or device to his/her private vehicle, the bailiff will collect and hold such items until the juror departs for the day.
SPECIAL SECURITY OR PRIVACY CONCERNS:
In the event that the presiding judge determines that circumstances of a particular case raise special security or privacy concerns, use of cell phones and electronic devices may be further restricted in certain areas of the courthouse, as specified in a separate court order. Such restriction shall remain in full force and effect until lifted by a subsequent court order.
VIOLATION OF POLICY:
A violation of this policy may result in the confiscation of the cell phone or electronic device and may result in the ejection of the violator from the courtroom. If a cell phone or electronic device is confiscated, it will be returned to the individual upon completion of his/her business with the court.
No liability shall accrue to the security personnel or any other court official or employee for any loss or misplacement of, or damage to, a confiscated device.