Hi Chelsey. My name is Marc. I'm a licensed attorney, experienced in landlord tenant law, and I will be happy to assist you.
Did the notice come by certified mail? If so, that is sufficient in Maryland for service of process. If it came by regular mail, then you were not served properly. As such, the landlord's complaint could be dismissed, in which case you are correct - there would be no judgment.
BUT!! Here's the thing. If you don't go to court, the judge might find you in default anyway - even if there's no proof of proper service. Why? Because the landlord's attorney certainly won't draw the court's attention to this deficiency, and the court probably won't care. The judge will see that you, the defendant, are absent and issue a judgment of default.
Yes - you could subsequently have the default judgment vacated based on improper service; but the landlord would simply file a new complaint and serve you properly.
So, what I'm saying is - whether service was proper or not, you should show up on the scheduled date. If you don't, you could get lucky and the judge will dismiss for improper service, in which case the landlord will simply re-file it with proper service; or you'll be in default.
I would also suggest contacting Oculous and negotiating a lower amount with a payment plan. Large landlords typically prefer settling with tenants rather than going to court.
I wish you much luck, Chelsey! And I hope I've given you a better idea of your issues and options. If so, please be sure to rate my answer, since that is the only way I can receive credit.