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The state of Maryland's Court System is different than most states in that it does not have a Supreme Court. Instead, it has four levels to its court structure, two appellate levels with the MD Court of Appeals and the Court of Special Appeals, the appellate courts for the state. Then they have the trial courts which are Circuit and District type courts. Additionally, they have a specialized court called Orphan’s Court that deals with probate matters like estates, wills, and some guardianship issues. Without a Supreme Court, the appellate courts handle administrative orders.
The state Court of Appeals is the highest court in the state and acts the same as a Supreme Court does in other states. The chief judge has supervisory authority over the lower courts and assigns cases to the Court of Special Appeals.
The Old Line State has 7 Courts of Appeal, eight judicial districts in 23 counties where the Circuit Courts operate, and 12 districts with 34 District locations. There is also one Orphan Court for each of the 23 counties.
Along with a myriad of other judiciary services, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) offers administrative support to the entire judicial branch of MD government and an extensive law library for research. Some of the responsibilities of the AOC are planning and research, case management systems, scheduling, and budgets.
Many court records here will be open to the public. However, expunged, sealed and court-ordered confidential records will not be available. Additionally, according to the state's court access website, the following will also be hidden from public view:
- Guardianship terminating parental rights.
- Juvenile delinquency.
- Contact information.
- Child in need of assistance cases (CINA).
- Certain marriage license information.
- Emergency mental health evaluations.
- Income tax returns.
- Financial statements filed in a case about spousal or child support.
- Reports filed by a physician concerning the medical condition of an alleged disabled adult.
- Reports filed by a guardian concerning the property of an alleged disabled adult.”
MD Court website (mdcourts.gov) is well-organized and full of useful information for the end-user, legal help for attorneys and the general public as well as a people's law library and FAQs. They make it easy for self-represented individuals to file paperwork with the courts by downloading the forms they need from their website and locating the courthouse to drop them off. These courthouses have self-help centers also. The Maryland Courts website has a case search feature to find forms and some links of the most commonly downloaded forms right on the forms page. They also offer an e-filing option on their website. In their electronic filing area, patrons can log on using a case number and find their case records to pay traffic tickets or other fines and fees online.
You can use Infotracer to search for MD public records within minutes! Gain access to thousands of court cases in Maryland including Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Annapolis, Baltimore City, Prince George's County, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore County. Per the Freedom of Information Act and MD Public Information Act (PIA), Infotracer’s massive database is able to offer civil records, criminal records, family court cases, divorces, dockets, family law cases, asset cases, bankruptcies and more!
A court search may be performed privately without providing any information. It helps to have the case number when looking for case records. The person searching doesn’t even need a reason to search. Most records will be available except in cases where the record is court-ordered private or sealed by law.
Enjoy free instant access to Maryland public records from all types of courts in the state. Use a MD state Maryland judiciary case search by name to lookup court cases online from Maryland’s district courts, circuit courts and orphan’s courts that resolve probate matters.
In 2012, the Maryland courts received 2,023,500 filings. In 2016, the number of filings decreased by 4.6% and counted 1,931,044 filings and had 1,509,870 outgoing cases
|Court Type||Incoming Caseloads|
Domestic relations caseload of Maryland at year end of 2016 has decreased by 11.7% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases have been 126,040 but are higher than in 2015.
|Year||Domestic Relations Caseload||Total Statewide Caseload|
The number of criminal cases in Maryland courts counts to 296,436, with 58,712 felony cases and 237,724 misdemeanors accordingly.
|Year||Criminal Caseload||Misdemeanor Caseload||Felony Caseload|
The Maryland Circuit Courts are the general jurisdiction courts for the state, and they handle the complex civil cases and more serious criminal cases. There are 23 Circuits, one in each of the counties. Along with each court is a Court Clerk’s office as well. For administrative purposes, these 23 courts are grouped into eight judicial circuits. The types of cases handled in these courts are sex offenses, felonies, serious misdemeanors, lawsuits where the dollar amount is high, juvenile delinquency, adoption, divorce, custody and child support, and domestic violence cases. District Court cases are appealed to Circuit type courts.
The District judiciary courts are the courts of limited jurisdiction. They usually handle lesser crimes and small civil suits. The most common types of cases are motor vehicle violations, petty misdemeanors, some felonies, and small claims of $5,000 or less. These courts have concurrent jurisdiction with Circuit Courts in matters that are $5,000 -$30,000 and criminal cases where the penalty is three years in prison or more, or a fine of $2,500 or more. These courts do not hold jury trials; all cases are decided by a judge. There are 34 Districts in the Free State.