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CONTACT:
Angelita Plemmer Williams
Terri Charles
410-260-1488
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
2001-E/F Commerce Park Drive
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
410-260-1488

For Immediate Release


Media Advisory
Opening Feb. 23: Walk-In Center to Offer Free Legal Help in
Prince George’s County District Court


(UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – February 19, 2015) The Maryland Judiciary is opening its second free walk-in legal clinic for people who need help with civil cases in District Court. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 23, at the District Court Self-Help Resource Center in Prince George’s County. Immediately after the ribbon-cutting, at 11 a.m., the walk-in center will open for business in the Prince George’s County District Court, 14735 Main St., Upper Marlboro. The media is invited to attend the opening.

The District Court Self-Help Resource Center helps people with civil matters, including:

  • landlord/tenant
  • small and large claims up to $30,000
  • debt collection
  • return of property
  • peace and protective orders

The District Court of Maryland opened the first walk-in Self-Help Resource Center in Glen Burnie in December 2009. Services quickly expanded to include online and telephone, and since then, District Court Self-Help Resource Center attorneys have provided free legal assistance – by phone, online chat, and in person – to people across the state. In 2010, the first full year of operation, the Self-Help Resource Center served 4,597 people. By 2014, that number grew to 23,632, a more than 400 percent increase.

The new center in Upper Marlboro is centrally located to focus on the walk-in needs of people in Prince George’s, Montgomery, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties. Prince George’s County residents already account for more than a quarter of the requests for phone or online help from the District Court Self-Help Resource Center. “Because services are already popular in Prince George’s County, we expect there will be an immediate and high demand at this new walk-in center,” said District Court of Maryland Chief Judge John P. Morrissey. Judge Morrissey will cut the ribbon to open the center on February 23.

The Upper Marlboro walk-in center is staffed by three attorneys contracted by the Judiciary from Maryland Legal Aid, a private, non-profit law firm that provides free civil legal services to low-income people statewide. Located on the ground floor of Bourne Wing of the Prince George’s County Courthouse, the three-room District Court Self-Help Resource Center has a kiosk for walk-in litigants to sign in upon entry. The center will be open during regular courthouse hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

WHAT:
Opening of the District Court Self-Help Resource Center in Prince George’s County -- remarks and ribbon-cutting

WHO:
District Court of Maryland Chief Judge John P. Morrissey will lead the opening. Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera will make brief remarks.

WHEN:
Monday, February 23, 2015
10 a.m.

WHERE:
District Court Self-Help Resource Center
Prince George’s County District Court
Bourne Wing, Room 069B (ground floor)
14735 Main Street      
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
(The opening will be held in the conference room near the walk-in center.)

MEDIA CONTACT:
The media is invited to attend. Please contact the Office of Communications and Public Affairs to respond, for more information, and to discuss the use of cameras and/or electronic devices.
Phone: 410-260-1488
Email: Angelita Plemmer Williams or Terri Charles

 

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