Contact Information and Procedural Requirements for Matters before the Honorable David E. Rice
Local Rules Govern: The Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland will govern all procedural aspects of the case.
Deliveries to Chambers: Any deliveries to chambers must be made during normal business hours.
Communication for Emergencies: Counsel should send a courtesy email to the Courtroom Deputy at firstname.lastname@example.org when filing an emergency motion or request for an immediate hearing.
Telephonic appearances are generally not permitted, however, may be allowed in limited circumstances in Chapter 11 complex cases. Requests for telephonic appearance are to be made by contacting the Courtroom Deputy by email at email@example.com at least 48 hours in advance of a hearing. Counsel appearing by telephone assume the risk of disconnection or miscommunication, and they are strongly encouraged to use a land line and not a cellular phone, speaker phone, or hands-free device. Counsel may not make a proffer, examine witnesses, or introduce evidence when appearing by telephone.
Courtroom 9D in Baltimore does not have any installed presentation technology. However, with at least 48 hours advanced notice and the approval of the Judge, a projector and screen can be set up for electronic presentation. Please contact the Judge's Courtroom Deputy by email or phone to ask for approval.
Hearings on Self Docketed Matters: Motions for relief from stay, and other self docketed matters, that will take more than one hour or are evidentiary must be specially set. Please contact the Courtroom Deputy by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a hearing date and time, as soon as it becomes apparent that the matter will exceed the one hour minute limit.
Orders Submitted to Chambers: All proposed orders uploaded for consideration shall conform to Local Bankruptcy Rule 9004-1(b) and include a 3 inch margin. All proposed orders shall reference the motion and docket number of the motion. Counsel are strongly encouraged to use any applicable form order in Appendix A of the Local Bankruptcy Rules. Counsel should proof read all orders prior to submission (particularly if using form orders), edit accordingly, and should not use 'Debtor(s)' or 'is/are' or similar language.
Service: Many companies do not have a registered agent listed with Maryland SDAT, particularly if they are not domiciled in Maryland. An easy way to comply with FRBP 7004(b) is to serve a named officer of the company, such as the President or CEO, which can often be found by doing a simple internet search.
Motions to Approve Short Sales in Chapter 13 Cases: In the absence of unusual circumstances, the movant must file with the motion an order approving the sale and providing that all liens must be paid at closing unless any lien holder otherwise consents in writing.
Motions to Avoid Liens: Provided the motion complies with the Local Rules, Judge Rice does not require counsel to appear at the scheduled hearing if no response has been filed to the motion.
Motions for Relief from the Automatic Stay: Judge Rice hears motions for relief from the automatic stay on Mondays. Movant’s counsel must send an email message to the Courtroom Deputy at email@example.com by the immediately preceding Thursday at 3:00 p.m to alert the Court that the matter has been resolved by consent, continued, or should be taken off the calendar as a “no response.” In the absence of notification by the Courtroom Deputy, the motion will not be called at the scheduled date and time if no response has been filed. If the motion includes a request for an equitable servitude against the property, the relief will not be granted by default and a hearing must be held.
Motions for Default Judgment: Pursuant to FRCP 58(a), as made applicable in this court by FRBP 7058, money judgments to be registered with the court must be separate from orders of nondischargeability. Counsel for the movant should upload both a money judgment and a separate order of nondischargeability in adversary proceedings if a money judgment was not already obtained against the defendant in state court.
Objections to Claim: Objections to proofs of claim can often be sustained by the court without need for a hearing if accompanied by an affidavit or declaration in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1746 (that is, sworn or made under the penalties of perjury) by the debtor. See, In re Gates, 214 B.R. 467 (Bankr. D. Md. 1997).
Judge Rice generally will not require appearance at a pre-trial conference if the parties conduct a conference as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f)(1), applicable by FRBP 7026, and the parties then file a joint report pursuant to Rule 26(f)(2) that includes suggested deadlines for completion of discovery, identification of any experts and filing of reports, filing of any dispositive motions, as well as any other schedule the parties request, 48 hours prior to the scheduled hearing. An e-mail should be sent to the Courtroom Deputy advising that such a report has been filed by the parties, and the parties will be notified if their appearances have been excused.
Judge Rice requires a pre-trial conference where the defendant is a pro se individual even if no response has been timely filed to the complaint.
Counsel should file all exhibits for trial on the docket no later than 7 days prior to the scheduled trial or as designated in the scheduling order. The exhibits should be filed as one consolidated PDF, to the extent possible, and begin with an exhibit list identifying the exhibits by number and what page of the consolidated PDF the exhibit begins on. Example: Exhibit: 3, Begins on: page 10 of 99. In addition, counsel shall provide any witness they intend to call with copies of each party’s consolidated PDF exhibit for reference during their testimony. Unless authorized by the Judge in advance of trial, screen sharing will not be permitted.
In person trials have been suspended due to Covid-19 until further notice. Once in person Court proceedings resume, the Court should receive 3 copies of pre-filed, bound, or loose-leaf covered, labeled exhibits. Double sided copies of exhibits are strongly encouraged and binder size should not exceed 4 inches (use additional binders if necessary and avoid overstuffing binder so pages can turn easily). Each exhibit binder should begin with an exhibit list identifying each exhibit by number and each exhibit should be tabbed with exhibit numbers. If exhibits are not pre-filed as required they may be excluded from evidence.
Counsel are not excused from participating at reaffirmation hearings and may not appear by telephone.