Op/Ed: Voices of Employees at the Baltimore City Circuit Court: “Crying in the Wilderness” by Bishop Barry Chapman

(BALTIMORE – March 17, 2020) – The Circuit Court for Baltimore City is not following the directives of the CDC, the State, Federal and Local government, and their own agency.

Courts proceedings were ordered to be canceled or postponed, jurors ordered not to report, and the public restricted from entering the court buildings. Instead, court sessions that were canceled or postponed are now being held in open court where more than 10 people are gathered in the room.

There are Court employees with compromised immune systems who are told to remain on the job under the guise that they are essential court personal, even though they have never been told or notified that they are essential personal.

The employees in offices where more than 10 people are present are alarmed that no consideration is being given to protect them from exposure during this crisis.
Some courts are operating as usual with no regard to the health, safety and well-being of the employees who are required to go into that courtroom.

What’s more important, protecting employees and everyone else during this crisis … or allowing those in charge to totally disregard and violate the mandates of the State, Federal and Local authorities?

Bishop Barry Chapman is the Executive Director of the Maryland State Courts Employees Union, AFSCME Local 3674. He can be reached at 410-292-3029.