CASA of the Mid-Shore is a private, non-profit organization created to advocate for children who are under the protection of the circuit court because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are officers of the court and, as such, are ordered to make assessments and recommendations to the judge regarding the best interest of the child to whom they are appointed. CASAs attempt to identify the specific needs of each child for the court, advocate for service provision to meet those needs, and assist in seeking a permanent resolution for each child’s life as quickly and safely as possible.
Court Appointed Special Advocates are adult volunteers from the community who are screened, trained, and supervised by professional staff members. When a CASA volunteer is appointed by a judge to a child’s case, he or she is responsible for taking the time to learn as much as possible about the child. CASA volunteers search for information that might be helpful to the court by talking with parents, teachers, relatives, physicians, therapists, attorneys, social workers, and others. They work closely with all agencies involved with each child. Most importantly, the CASAs get to know the child, and frequently become one of the most consistent adults in the child’s life. Then, the CASAs provide a written report to the court with recommendations as to what is in each child’s best interest.
Each year the Clerk’s office files, processes and maintains civil, criminal and juvenile actions. The Clerk’s office records land deeds, mortgages, plats, conveyances and other precious documents. The Clerk administers oaths to County officials, Judges and Governor appointees, issues business and marriage licenses and performs civil wedding ceremonies. The Clerk also commissions Notaries Public.
Family Service Programs including co-parenting seminars, supervised parent-child time, and Pro Se Litigants Family Law.
11 North Washington Street, Suite 16, Easton, MD 21601
The jurisdiction of the court includes all landlord-tenant cases, replevin actions, motor vehicle violations, misdemeanors and certain felonies. In civil cases the District Court has exclusive jurisdiction in claims for $5,000 or less, and concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts in claims for amounts above $5,000 but less than $30,000. The jurisdiction of the District Court is concurrent with that of the circuit court in criminal cases, classified as misdemeanors and certain felonies, in which the penalty may be confinement for 3 years or more or a fine of $2,500 or more. The District Court does not conduct jury trials.
No food or drink is allowed. For assistance with special needs, contact the court immediately. Parking: metered lot next to building.
A non-profit law firm which provides free legal assistance. Helps with most civil (non-criminal) legal problems. Categories include the following issues: family and domestic, children in need of supervision, housing problems, public benefits, consumer problems and institutional problems.
Mid Shore Community Mediation Center provides mediation and conflict resolution services for all types of disputes and situations, please contact us if you have questions about how mediation may be suitable for your conflict. In addition to mediation, we offer group meeting facilitation and conflict management workshops.
Some types of disputes where mediation or facilitation is often helpful are:
- Parenting Plan/Custody Agreements
- Landlord-Tenant Issues
- Roomate/Neighbor Relationships
- Parent-Teen Discussions
- Divorce Arrangements
- Small Claims Cases
- Employment/Business Disputes
- Elder Care
- Family/Wedding Planning
- IEP Meeting Facilitation
- Community Issues
- Organizational Strategic Planning
Mediation and facilitation services are provided to the public FREE of charge.
Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s mission is to provide access to free legal services and is committed to strengthening the communities of Maryland's Mid-Shore by offering resolution to a variety of civil issues.
HOW WE HELP:
Pro Bono Lawyer Program:
This is Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s core program. MSPB provided over 6188 hours of service through private attorney involvement last year. That is over $1.8 Million dollars of legal services to our community.
Judicare Family Law Project:
Handling contested custody cases are the most complex and time consuming. MSPB can pay attorneys a reduced fee to handle these tough cases.
Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project:
Homeowners on the Shore have a place to turn if they are facing foreclosure. A reduced fee is available to attorneys willing to represent our clients in Foreclosure Mediation.
Legal Services Clinic:
MSPB holds weekly Civil Legal Services Clinics to address the need for general legal services for our residents. This is the only resource available in a clinic setting and available in all 5 counties we serve. Talbot County: District Court House - Easton, MD on Fridays from 1-3 p.m. Call 410-690-8128 for an appointment.
The Debtor Assistance Project:
The Debtor's Assistance Project provides debtors with an opportunity to meet with a bankruptcy attorney for a cost-free half-hour consultation. Clinics are held monthly in Easton.
Collaborative Practice Reduced Fee Project:
Collaborative Law uses an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) method to resolve domestic issues using an out of court settlement process.
Community Conferencing Project:
Community Conferencing is an Alternate Dispute Resolution process focused on keeping our region’s youth out of the juvenile justice system.
Women’s Family Law Project:
Provides additional support for female clients seeking legal assistance with family law disputes. The project has a multilayered approach to assist women at every stage of the legal process which includes mentoring and financial assistance.
Elder Law Project:
Mid-Shore Pro Bono recognizes that a growing proportion of the Eastern Shore residents are seniors. To better serve these individuals, we have launched a new program to reach this special class of people.
The Register of Wills is responsible for appointing personal representatives to administer decedents’ estates and for overseeing the proper and timely administration of these proceedings. We also perform the following duties: assist and advise the public in the preparation of all required forms; maintain and preserve the permanent record of all proceedings; serve as the Clerk to the Orphans’ Court; track estates and refer delinquent matters to the Court; determine and collect inheritance taxes and probate fees/court costs; audit accounts of personal representatives and guardians; mail various notices and court orders to interested persons; and, verify compliance with court orders. As a service we provide safekeeping for wills of living persons.
Talbot County Teen Court was started in 1999. It is a voluntary diversion program run by teens for teens. Respondents must be between the ages of 13-17, first time offenders, Talbot County residents, and admit their guilt.
In Teen Court, volunteers perform the roles of the prosecuting and defense attorneys, bailiff, clerk, Judge, and jury. Cases are referred to Teen Court by local law enforcement agencies, school systems, and the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.
Depending on the severity of the offense, Talbot County Teen Court employs minimum and maximum ranges of sanctions. Respondents all receive between 8-60 hours of community service and 1-4 jury duties, but the jury may also mandate that the youth attend educational programs, write an apology letter, or compose an essay about the incident.
Respondents have 60 days to complete their sanctions. If the youth fails to complete the assigned sanctions, his case is referred to the Department of Juvenile Services, where a petition may be filed for formal action.