This guide is intended to provide information to self-represented parties about filing and presenting cases in the Supreme Court of Maryland (formerly known as the Court of Appeals). This guide is based upon Maryland statutes and rules currently in effect. Please note, this is only a guide and the controlling statutes and rules govern cases in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court of Maryland is the state’s highest court. The Supreme Court is made up of 7 justices who sit as a group to decide all cases that come before the Court. Occasionally, a senior judge will sit for one of the justices as is necessary.
Generally, a party has the right to one appeal. If your case started in the District Court, you much first appeal to the circuit court. If your case started in the circuit court, then you must first appeal to the Appellate Court of Maryland.
In either situation, if you wish to "appeal" to the Supreme Court from the first appeal, you must seek the approval of the Supreme Court. You seek approval for review by filing a “petition for writ of certiorari.” Basically, you are making a request to the Supreme Court to consider reviewing the case.
The Supreme Court is not required to consider each case in which there is a request. Instead, the Supreme Court will review cases when it determines that review is necessary and “in the public interest.”
If review is granted, the Supreme Court will direct its clerk to issue a “writ of certiorari,” a document which directs the lower court to deliver the record to the Supreme Court. When the record is received, the clerk of the Supreme Court will establish a schedule for briefing and identify a date or dates when arguments may be held.
After briefing and argument, the Supreme Court will decide the case by issuing an opinion.
The links below will provide basic information about how to file a petition for writ of certiorari, including an informal petition, and briefing if certiorari is granted.
Click here for information on how to file a petition for writ of certiorari after you have appealed to the Appellate Court.
Click here for information on how to file a petition for writ of certiorari after the circuit court enters a judgment on appeal from the District Court.
Click here for information on how to file an informal petition for writ of certiorari.
Request for Waiver of Prepaid Appellate Costs (fillable PDF)