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Maryland Court Records

Maryland court records are administered and maintained by the Maryland State Law Library and local court systems. Civil and criminal records are largely available to the public for review, with some exceptions for particularly sensitive information and cases. These records can be important when researching genealogical histories, case histories and the local rules and procedures for representing yourself in court.

Though most states have a supreme court that is considered their highest appellate court, Maryland has a Court of Appeals that functions much the same way. The sitting justices decide cases involving the death penalty and lifetime sentences, administrative cases, attorney discipline cases and any case when the Maryland Constitution or statutes are called into question. This court’s decision is final and binding, unless the parties wish to file an appeal with the federal Supreme Court.

Maryland Court Records

History of Maryland Courts

In 1826, Maryland’s General Assembly created the Maryland State Law Library, known as simply the ‘State Library’ at that time. It was opened to the public in 1827, and in 1892 began to be overseen by appellate judges. Currently located in Annapolis, it has been there since 1972.

Maryland Court Statistics

Maryland Courts recieve 2,019,671 filings per year. In 2012, the court received 2,023,500 filings and gave 2,255,653 dispositions. In 2016, the state court caseload counted 1,411,801 filings and had 1,509,870 dispositions.

Total State Caseloads

Year Caseloads
2012 2,023,500
2013 2,114,254
2014 2,045,136
2015 1,984,423
2016 1,931,044

Maryland Court Records Availability

Most Maryland court records offered to the public include documents, exhibits and information tied to a civil or criminal case. There are some types of court records that are not able to be viewed openly by the public. Namely, these include: adoption records, tax returns, financial statements in a child support case, physician and guardian reports in cases of an alleged disabled adult, termination of parental rights, juvenile delinquency, some marriage license details and child in need of assistance cases.

Many Maryland court records offer court histories, official charges and dates of arrest, pleas entered, and the current disposition of the case. Evidence and witness statements, transcripts of court testimonies and even information about the class of offense the defendant was charged with can be found in Maryland court records.

Civil court records may include information about the parties involved in the suit, any court hearings and details of what happened in court, as well as the final judgment in the case.

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Domestic Relations: 111,299 (7.9 %)
Criminal: 298,798 (21.2 %)
Civil: 1,001,704 (71.0 %)

Share of Court Type Outgoing Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Domestic Relations: 107,993 (7.2 %)
Criminal: 322,650 (21.4 %)
Civil: 1,079,227 (71.5 %)

Maryland Main Court Information

Maryland’s Court of Appeals is the court of last resort in the state, and was created in 1776. In 1960, the number of justices serving the court was increased to seven, and they were to serve 15-year terms. The court hears cases in Annapolis. The court has mandatory jurisdiction over death penalty cases and those regarding redistricting of the state and questions of law. Justices may decide whether to hear most other types of cases.

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Maryland at year end 2016 has decreased by 13.2% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases was 126,040 with a rate of 2,142 cases per 100,000 population, higher than it's in 2016.

Year Domestic Relations Caseload Total Statewide Caseload
2012 126,040 2,023,500
2013 122,829 2,114,254
2014 120,241 2,045,136
2015 115,255 1,984,423
2016 111,299 1,931,044

Domestic Relations Clearance Rates

Year Incoming Caseload Outgoing Caseload Caseload per 100,000 Population
2012 126,040 125,641 2,142
2013 122,829 119,889 2,072
2014 120,241 118,612 2,012
2015 115,255 113,236 1,919
2016 111,299 107,993 1,850

States with More & Less Domestic Relation Caseloads than Maryland

More Domestic Relations Cases than Maryland:

State: Caseload:
New York 570,709
Texas 397,468
California 388,903
Pennsylvania 342,163
Virginia 342,040

Less Domestic Relations Cases than Maryland:

State: Caseload:
Indiana 97,578
Alabama 82,891
Arizona 79,645
Massachusetts 78,134
Kentucky 64,784

Maryland Caseload Statistics

The Maryland Court of Appeals hears very few cases per year. In 2007, there were 148 filings and 176 dispositions. In 2014, there were only 106 filings and 153 dispositions.

Maryland Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in Maryland counts 296,436 with 58,712 felony cases and 237,724 misdemeanors accordingly.

Year Criminal Caseload Misdemeanor Caseload Felony Caseload
2015 315,550 58,073 252,114
2016 298,798 58,712 237,724

State Civil Caseload & Clearance Rates

In the last 5 years the number of civil cases has increased by 13,585 cases, it went from 988,119 to 1,001,704 with clearance rates of 104% and 108%.

Year Civil Caseload Clearance Rate
2012 988,119 104
2013 1,046,696 105
2014 987,671 106
2015 988,232 106
2016 1,001,704 108