Md. R. Civ. P. Cir. Ct. 2-508

As amended through April 5, 2024
Rule 2-508 - Continuance or Postponement
(a) Generally. On motion of any party or on its own initiative, the court may continue or postpone a trial or other proceeding as justice may require.
(b) Discovery Not Completed. When an action has been assigned a trial date, the trial shall not be continued or postponed on the ground that discovery has not yet been completed, except for good cause shown.
(c) Absent Witness. A motion for a continuance or postponement on the ground that a necessary witness is absent shall be supported by an affidavit. The affidavit shall state:
(1) the intention of the affiant to call the witness at the proceeding,
(2) the specific facts to which the witness is expected to testify,
(3) the reasons why the matter cannot be determined with justice to the party without the evidence,
(4) the facts that show that reasonable diligence has been employed to obtain the attendance of the witness, and
(5) the facts that lead the affiant to conclude that the attendance or testimony of the witness can be obtained within a reasonable time. The court may examine the affiant under oath as to any of the matters stated in the affidavit and as to the information or knowledge relied upon by the affiant in determining those facts to which the witness is expected to testify. If satisfied that a sufficient showing has been made, the court shall continue or postpone the proceeding unless the opposing party elects to stipulate that the absent witness would, if present, testify to the facts stated in the affidavit, in which event the court may deny the motion.
(d) Costs. When granting a continuance or postponement for a reason other than one stated in Rule 16-804(e), the court may assess costs and expenses occasioned by the continuance or postponement.

Md. R. Civ. P. Cir. Ct. 2-508

This Rule is derived as follows:

Section (a) is derived from former Rule 527 a 1.

Section (b) is derived from former Rule 526.

Section (c) is derived from former Rule 527 c 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Section (d) is derived from former Rule 527 e.

Adopted April 6, 1984, eff. 7/1/1984. Amended Sept. 10, 2009, eff. 10/1/2009; 6/20/2017, eff. 8/1/2017; 10/10/2017, eff. 1/1/2018.


1995 Orders

The April 26, 1995, Revised Administrative Order for Continuances for Conflicting Case Assignments or Legislative Duties provides:

"WHEREAS, in 1972, an informal policy as to conflicts between case assignments in trial courts was published in the Daily Record following consideration by the Maryland Judicial Conference and then Conference of Circuit Administrative Judges and consultation with judges of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland; and

"WHEREAS, this policy evolved into a uniform Statewide policy formalized by Administrative Orders issued on October 21, 1977, June 2, 1978, October 9, 1980, and December 30, 1980; and

"WHEREAS, at a meeting on March 14, 1995, the Executive Committee of the Maryland Judicial Conference resolved that, given the lapse of time since promulgation, the policy should be reviewed, revised to incorporate statutory requirements such as legislative postponements, and reissued to all Maryland Judges, to bar associations for dissemination to their members, and to others as appropriate; and

"WHEREAS, it is appropriate to encompass appellate courts as well;

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert C. Murphy, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and administrative head of the Judicial Branch, pursuant to the authority conferred by Article IV, § 18 of the Constitution, do hereby order this 26th day of April, 1995, that the procedures for the resolution of conflicts in case assignment among appellate and trial courts in the State, as adopted by Administrative Orders of June 2, 1978, October 9, 1980, and December 30, 1980, are amended, effective May 15, 1995, to read as follows:


"This Administrative Order establishes policy regarding priorities between cases assigned for argument, hearing, or trial in one or more appellate or trial courts in the State on the same date. When there is a conflict in assignment, a continuance, postponement, or change in schedule may be made only in accordance with this Administrative Order.

"This Administrative Order also states policy regarding continuances for legislative personnel and members of administrative agencies.


"a. When consulted as to the availability of dates for trial, counsel has the responsibility of assuring the absence of conflicting assignments on any date that counsel indicates is available for trial.

"b. If counsel accepts employment in a case in which a date or time for argument, hearing, or trial has already been set after counsel has been notified of a conflicting assignment for the same date or time, counsel should not expect to be granted a continuance.

"c. If a conflict in assignment dates develops after representation has been accepted, counsel shall make every effort to obtain the presence of a partner or associate to act in one of the cases before a continuance is requested. Obviously, this provision is subject to obligations counsel may have to the client. However, a request for continuance because of conflicting cases should include a statement that it is not practical for a partner or associate to handle one of the conflicting cases.


"A lawyer who holds public office or employment as an attorney (e.g., State's Attorney, Assistant State's Attorney, Public Defender, District Public Defender, County Attorney, or City Solicitor) and who is permitted to engage also in the private practice of law may not be granted a postponement or continuance of a case in which the lawyer appears in a public capacity, if there is an assignment conflict between that case and one in which the lawyer appears in a private capacity, except under the most extraordinary circumstances.


"A continuance must be granted to an attorney of record who is a member or desk officer of the General Assembly exercising the privilege under Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, § 6-402. In accepting employment, however, such attorney should consider the inconvenience to the public, bar and judicial system produced by excessive continuances.


"a. In a case in which counsel has accepted employment which creates a conflict in assignments, a judge may, in the judge's discretion and under extraordinary circumstances, grant a continuance. In the exercise of that discretion, the judge shall first assure that all parties, witnesses, and counsel in the case can be notified of the continuance sufficiently in advance of the trial date to avoid undue inconvenience; that the case has not been continued an unreasonable number of times prior thereto; and that the continuance would not otherwise impede the proper administration of justice.

"b. It is the responsibility of the court to fix a new date for the continued or postponed case when a continuance or postponement is granted.


"With respect to conflicting hearings or trial dates between a circuit court for a county or Baltimore City, either division of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, or the Maryland District Court, priority shall be given to the case in accordance with the earliest date on which assignment for hearing or trial was made, except that, regardless of the date the assignment for hearing or trial was made, (1) if the provisions of the Federal Speedy Trial Act so require, priority shall be given to a criminal proceeding in the United States District Court; and (2) if the provisions of Maryland Rule 4-271 and/or Article 27, § 591 of the Code so require, priority shall be given to a criminal proceeding in a Maryland court, over a civil proceeding in the United States District Court or the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland.


"With respect to conflicting proceedings before the Court of Appeals, the Court of Special Appeals, or the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and a trial court, the appellate proceeding shall be given priority over the trial court proceeding unless otherwise agreed by the appellate and trial courts as to particular proceedings.


"If counsel is a member of an administrative agency which has scheduled a meeting or hearing conflicting with an appellate or trial court proceeding in which the lawyer-member of the agency is also involved, the court proceeding has priority and the pendency of the administrative hearing is not a basis for granting a continuance.

2009 Orders

The September 10, 2009, order, added the cross reference after section (e).

2017 Orders

The June 20, 2017 order, deleted section (d), deleted the cross reference, added a new cross reference to Rule 16-804, and made stylistic changes.

The October 20, 2017, order, corrected an internal reference.

See Rule 16-804 for postponements or continuances for conflicting case assignments or legislative duties.