Many AOBA members with residential rental properties in Prince George’s County learned over the past month that a large number of failure to pay rent (FTPR) cases that were filed in December and January were never served due to a computer glitch. A full recap of this episode was recounted in a recent letter to AOBA.
The technical explanation of what happened is that three batches of FTPR cases transmitted from the District Court to the Sheriff’s Office by File & Serve on 12/15/17, 12/22/17, and 1/18/18 were tagged with a .TMP extension, which caused the Sheriff’s Soft Code management software to not read the files. Only after attorneys for AOBA members contacted the Sheriff’s Office did they realize that 9,113 FTPR cases were never received by their office, and therefore were never served on the tenants.
Both the District Court and Sheriff’s Offices have hustled to get the missing cases rescheduled and served. The District Court advises that those cases have all been rescheduled with court dates on or before March 12, and that no additional filing fees are due. The Sheriff’s Office has been working Deputies on weekends to get the cases served. Most importantly, File & Serve will finally be providing a daily reconciliation report to the Sheriff’s Office indicating how many FTPR cases they should have received with each batch transmitted.
AOBA staff has been working cooperatively with both the District Court and the Sheriff’s Office to help resolve this problem and urged the expedited rescheduling of the case.