Maryland State Courts
The judicial system in Maryland consists of two trial courts, two appeals courts and one district court for federal issues. Out of the two appellate courts, one has to serve as the supreme court or the court of last resort. Court cases flow through the individual district courts before they are moved up through the appeals courts if required. Maryland also has some specific subject-matter courts which have jurisdiction over one specific area.
One such example is the United States bankruptcy court, District of Maryland. This has jurisdiction over federal bankruptcy cases in the state but not over other matters.
Maryland’s district courts also include a specific Orphans' Court which handles probate issues as well as related cases of guardianship and estates.
Maryland’s Office of Administrative Hearings hears any contested administrative legal cases from the executive branch.
The District Court of Maryland has jurisdiction over smaller claims such as those with amounts less than $5,000 in monetary value. Other offences such as misdemeanors and traffic offences can also be dealt with via the district courts as the first port of call. These are spread across 12 different districts of the state.
The Maryland Circuit Courts handle a lot of the more serious civil and criminal cases. These courts are divided into eight different circuits, with a court in all 23 counties of the state as well as one in Baltimore City.
|Maryland Court of Appeals
|361 Rowe Blvd, Annapolis, MD 21401
Intermediate and Supreme Courts
The Intermediate courts in Maryland have a vital role to play. The intermediate appellate court was created in the 1960s, called the Court of Special Appeals. This has jurisdiction over any of the other circuit courts unless in specific scenarios. Judges who sit on the Court decide upon cases in panels, where they sit as a group of three. A full court hearing is also a possibility but this will come down to the vote of the judges in situ.
As there is not a specific Supreme Court, the Intermediate Courts are the court of last resort in the state of Maryland, which is quite an unusual setup.
Types of Courts in Maryland
How to Find Maryland Court Records Online
Use our search tool to find the public records made available by the Maryland courts. The Maryland Public Information Act protects citizens’ rights to access these state and local records. This is designed to create transparency between the court and the public in Maryland. You can access mugshots, plea and sentencing details and a lot more information from court cases just by filling in a form.
In rare cases that historic details have not yet been digitized and made available online, you may have to contact a specific court in Maryland to request access to their historic records.