Maryland Courts

Which Court?

• Most court records are in the custody of the local Clerk’s Office.  To review a case file or request documents within a case file, please contact the Clerk’s Office at the courthouse where the case was filed or where the hearing or trial was held.

Court Records & Related Agency Contact Information

  • Maryland Case Search
  • SDAT Real Property Search 
  • MDLANDREC.NET Land Records System
  • PLATS.NET Digital Image Reference System for Plats
  • Maryland Business Licensing System
  • Notice to MDEC Filers Regarding Paper Submissions
  • To obtain certified driving records, contact the MVA.
  • To obtain certified records of traffic tickets, citations and charging documents, you should contact the District Court's Traffic Processing Center - Telephone: 1-800-492-2656
  • District Court Records Retention Schedule
  • Vital Records - the telephone number of the Division of Vital Records is 410-764-3038
  • Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Access to Court Records

Frequently Asked Questions
General Information About Court Records

What types of records are considered court records?
What court records can the public access?
What kinds of records are not available to the public?

Access to Case Records - Shielding, Sealing, and Expungement

How can I request that information being placed in a case record be kept confidential?
How can I request permission to inspect case records that have been sealed/shielded?
How can I request that public access to information in a case record concerning a peace or protective order be limited?
What is expungement?
How is shielding different from expungement?
How can I find out more information regarding shielding criminal records?

Viewing and Obtaining Information Regarding Court Records

How can I view a court record or obtain a copy of a court record?
Can I access court records online?
How can I obtain a transcript or recording of a District Court proceeding?
Are there fees for looking at and copying court records?
Who do I contact to make a Public Information Act Request or if I have a question?
Can I obtain court records in bulk?

Maryland Rules Governing Access to Court Records

Where can I find more specific information regarding the Md. Rules that govern access to court records?

General Information About Court Records

What types of records are considered court records?
There are four (4) types of court records:

  • Administrative record that is created by the court or a judicial agency relating to its internal operation;
  • Business license record (excluding marriage licenses) that are issued by the clerk;
  • Case record (including marriage licenses) which is a document, information, or other thing that is collected, received, or maintained by a court in connection with one or more specific judicial actions or proceedings; OR
  • Notice record (including land records) that are filed with the court, not in connection with litigation, but for the sole purpose of providing public notice.Court records maintained by a court or by another judicial agency are presumed to be open to the public for inspection except as restricted by the Constitution of the United States, the Maryland Constitution, the Maryland Rules of Procedure, federal law, applicable state law, court order, or case law. Except as otherwise provided, the custodian of a court record shall permit a person, upon personal appearance in the office of the custodian during normal business hours, to inspect the record.

What court records can the public access?
Court records maintained by a court or by another judicial agency are presumed to be open to the public for inspection except as restricted by the Constitution of the United States, the Maryland Constitution, the Maryland Rules of Procedure, federal law, applicable state law, court order, or case law. Except as otherwise provided, the custodian of a court record shall permit a person, upon personal appearance in the offi ce of the custodian during normal business hours, to inspect the record.

What kinds of records are not available to the public?
Some categories of court records the public cannot access include:

  • Adoption/Guardianship records filed under Title 9, Chapter 100 of the Maryland Rules (Adoption; Guardianship Terminating Parental Rights)
  • Any document not yet docketed or recorded and indexed
  • Backup audio recordings made by any means, computer disks, and notes of a court reporter that are in the possession of the court reporter and have not been filed with the clerk
  • Delinquency, child in need of assistance, and child in need of supervision actions in Juvenile Court
  • Certain case records in actions or proceedings involving attorneys or judges
  • Certain case records in criminal proceedings, including:
    - A case record that has been ordered expunged pursuant to Rule 4-508 (Expungement of Records)
    - Certain records pertaining to search warrants and arrest warrants
    - Case records involving the refusal of a person to testify in a criminal action against the person’s spouse
    - A presentence investigation report
    - A case record pertaining to a criminal investigation by a grand jury, State’s Attorney, State Prosecutor, or Attorney General
    - A case record required to be shielded by Code, Criminal Procedure Article, Title 10, Subtitle 3 (Criminal Records - Shielding)
  • Certain marriage license information
  • Certain papers filed by a guardian of the property of a disabled adult
  • Certain case records containing medical information
  • Case record that consists of a financial statement filed pursuant to Rule 9-202 (Divorce, Annulment, Alimony, Child Support, and Child Custody)
  • Case records of the federal or Maryland tax return of an individual
  • Case records pertaining to petitions for relief from abuse filed pursuant to Code, Family Law Article, § 4-504 (Domestic Violence - Petition for Relief from Abuse), which shall be sealed until the earlier of 48 hours after the petition is filed or the court acts on the petition.
  • Case records required to be shielded pursuant to Code, Courts Article, § 3-1510 (Peace Orders - Requests to Shield Court Records) or Code, Family Law Article, § 4-512 (Domestic Violence - Requests to Shield Court Records
  • Case records that a court has ordered sealed or not subject to inspection, except in conformance with the order; or in accordance with Rule 16-910 (b), is the subject of a motion to preclude or limit inspection.
  • Child abuse or neglect case records that are created or maintained by an agency that are required by statute to be kept confidential
  • Delinquency, child in need of assistance, and child in need of supervision actions in Juvenile Court
  • Document required to be shielded under Rule 20-203 (e)(1) (Shielding Upon Issuance of Deficiency Notice)
  • Transcript, tape recording, audio, video, or digital recording of any court proceeding that was closed to the public pursuant to rule or order of court
  • Unredacted document filed pursuant to Rule 1-322.1 (Exclusion of Personal Identifier Information in Court Filings) or Rule 20-203 (e)(2) (Shielding of Unredacted Version of Submission)

Access to Case Records - Shielding, Sealing, and Expungement

How can I request that information being placed in a case record be kept confidential?
A person who files or authorizes the filing of a case record must inform the custodian, in writing, whether, in the person's judgment, the case record, any part of the case record, or any information contained in the case record is confidential and not subject to inspection under the Rules governing access to court records, Maryland Rules 16-901 through 16-912.

If a case record or any part of the case records contains information that is confidential and not subject to inspection pursuant to the Rules, a motion to seal or otherwise limit inspection must be filed with the court and ruled on by a judge. CC-DC-053 - Motion to Seal or Otherwise Limit Inspection of a Case Record

An individual may request shielding of certain information, such as the address or telephone number of a victim, victim’s representative, or witness. This often involves domestic violence situations such as protective orders and criminal matters involving witnesses and victims. CC-DC-CR-001s – Request for Shielding of Information

How can I request permission to inspect court records that have been sealed/shielded?
A party to an action in which a case record is filed may file a motion to permit inspection of a case record that is not otherwise subject to inspection under the Rules. CC-DC-054 - Motion to Permit Inspection of a Case Record

How can I request that public access to information in a case record concerning a peace or protective order be limited?
In some situations, you can request that the public not see information about a peace or protective order case that involves you. To find out more, please see the Can I Keep the Public from Seeing Information About Me in a Peace or Protective Order Case? Brochure.
CC-DC-DV-021A - Request to Shield Denied or Dismissed Protective Order Records
CC-DC-DV-021B - Request to Shield Consented to Protective Order Records
CC-DC-PO-016A - Request to Shield Denied or Dismissed Peace Order Records

CC-DC-PO-16B - Request to Shield Consented to Peace Order Records

DC-PO-021 - Request to Withhold Information from Public Access (Peace Order Petitioner - Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 3-1503)

What is expungement?
Expungement is the removal of records from public inspection. In Maryland, records may be expunged from 1) Motor Vehicle Administration files, 2) police files and 3) court and police files. Each process removes very specific files and must be done through the proper agency. You must apply for expungement of each arrest based on the date of arrest and according to the disposition. No process expunges the records from all agencies.

To find out more information concerning the expungement process, please see the CC-DC-CR-072BR - Expungement Brochure.

How is shielding different from expungement?
Shielding keeps some or all information in a case private from public inspection, under certain circumstances. Expungement removes court and police records from public inspection.

How can I find out more information regarding shielding criminal records?
Visit the District Court’s webpage concerning shielding of criminal records for more information.

Viewing and Obtaining Information Regarding Court Records

How can I view a court record or obtain a copy of a court record?
Most court records are in the custody of a local Clerk’s Office. To inquire about reviewing a case file or request documents within a case file, please contact the Clerk’s Office at the courthouse where the case was filed or where the hearing or trial was held. Based on the District Court's Records Retention and Disposal Schedule, certain case records may not be physically housed at the court location.

Can I access court records online?
Case Search provides Internet access to information from Maryland case records as described in the Maryland Rules on Access to Court Records (Rules 16-901 through 16-912).

There are also computer terminals available in the courthouses that the public may use free of charge in order to access court records and parts of court records that are open to inspection, including court records as to which remote access is otherwise prohibited.

How can I obtain a transcript or recording of a District Court proceeding?
The District Court of Maryland is a court of record, which means that all proceedings before the court are recorded. A typed transcript of a proceeding will be produced under certain limited conditions. Recordings on cassette tape or compact disc format may be requested by anyone. For more information, visit the Transcripts and Recordings webpage.

Are there fees for looking at and copying court records?
Unless otherwise expressly permitted by the Rules, a custodian may not charge a fee for providing access to a court record that can be made available for inspection, in paper form or by electronic access, with less than two hours of effort by the custodian or other judicial employee.

A custodian may charge a reasonable fee if two hours or more of effort are required to provide the requested access.

The custodian may charge a reasonable fee for making or supervising the making of a copy or printout of a court record.

The custodian may waive a fee if, after consideration of the ability of the person requesting access to pay the fee and other relevant factors, the custodian determines that the waiver is in the public interest.

Who do I contact to make a Public Information Act Request or if I have a question?
Most court records are in the custody of a local Clerk’s office. To request those records, please contact the appropriate Clerk’s office, which is generally where the case was filed or the hearing or trial was conducted. To request a public record from the District Court, contact the District Court's PIA representative.

Can I obtain court records in bulk?
Yes, subject to certain limitations. To request court data, contact the Administrative Office of the Courts' (AOC) Public Information Act (PIA) representative.

The Maryland Judiciary makes information about civil judgments and satisfactions recorded and indexed in the District Court of Maryland available on a subscription basis. For more information on how to obtain bulk civil judgment and satisfaction data, see the DCA-107 - Information and Request for Data Form.

Maryland Rules Governing Access to Court Records

Where can I find more specific information regarding the Md. Rules that govern access to court records?
For more details, consult Rules 16-901 through 16-912.

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