Guide & File is a new tool developed by the Maryland Courts to help you complete court forms online.

The application guides you through a series of questions called an "interview." This free program copies your interview answers directly into your court form exactly as you enter it.

The Guide & File program includes helpful resources related to your legal issue, detailed explanations, and definitions. When you're done, the program automatically generates all the forms you will need, along with detailed instructions on what to do next.  

Why use Guide & File?

  • Convenient. Use it from any computer with internet access.
  • Smart. The application knows the forms you need based on your answers.
  • Start and finish when you want. Create an account to save your work and return later.
  • File your forms. Completed forms can be filed in person, by mail, or electronically*;
    *NOTE: Once you register to e-file (electronically file) your court documents, you MUST continue to e-file ALL future filings.

This program does not provide legal advice. For free legal help in civil matters, contact the Court Help Center. Lawyers at the Court Help Center may help you understand court documents, complete court forms, and prepare for court.

Guide & File Interview Index
Click on the TAB (Form No.: Legal Issue) for the form you would like to use the Guide & File application to complete (filing options are also included). New interview topics will be added as they become available. 
 

DC-CV-001: Someone owes me money/I want my property back.

Complaint/Application in Support of Judgment

Use this interview to guide you through completing a civil complaint in the District Court for the following:

  • contract case where a person or business owes you money under an agreement or contract.
  • tort case that involves harm or damage to you or your property and has resulted in money damages.
  • replevin case where you seek the return of your property.
  • detinue case where you seek the value of your property or the property returned.
  • bad faith insurance claim where you want actual damages, litigation costs and expenses with interest from an insurer that did not act in good faith.
  • consumer debt (original creditor) case where a person owes a secured or unsecured debt for money owed arising from a consumer transaction (credit card debt, student loans, auto loans, medical bills, and pay day loans) and you are the original creditor.
1.  Complete court form using Guide & File or the fillable PDF.
2.  Print documents, review contents, and sign.
3.  File
     ○  in person at the court.
     ○  by mail to the court.
     ○  by scanning and e-filing*. (E-filing directly from your interview is COMING SOON!)

DC-CV-030: I want the court to order a defendant to answer questions about their finances and/or property.

Motion and Order Compelling Answers to Interrogatories in Aid of Execution/Order

When collecting the amount owed in a money judgment, you first need to know about the defendant's income and property (assets) that are available.

After a judgment has been entered, the plaintiff or attorney may submit questions to the defendant to answer in writing. Those questions are called interrogatories in aid of execution. These interrogatories help the plaintiff or attorney determine any assets and financial resources the defendant has to satisfy the judgment.

If the defendant refuses to cooperate and does not answer the written questions, you can use this interview to complete the form to request the court order the defendant to respond in the District Court.

1.  Complete court form using Guide & File or the fillable PDF.
2.  Print documents, review contents, and sign.
3.  File
     ○  in person at the court.
     ○  by mail to the court.
     ○  by scanning and e-filing*. (E-filing directly from your interview is COMING SOON!)

DC-CV-031: I want to tell the court a judgment is satisfied.

Notice of Satisfaction

If the judgment has been paid in full, you must file a Notice of Satisfaction (DC-CV-031). The clerk will process the order and notify each court which recorded the judgment.

If you do not file the Notice of Satisfaction and the debtor files a Motion for Order Declaring Judgment Satisfied (DC-CV-051), the court can order you to reimburse the defendant for any costs incurred.

For additional information, you may want to review the Post Judgment Brochure.

1.  Complete court form using Guide & File or the fillable PDF.
2.  Print documents, review contents, and sign.
3.  File
     ○  in person at the court.
     ○  by mail to the court.
     ○  by scanning and e-filing*. (E-filing directly from your interview is COMING SOON!)

CC-DC-CV-032: I want the court to order a defendant/other to answer questions about their finances and/or property in court.

Request for Order Directing Judgment Debtor or Other Person to Appear for Examination in Aid of Enforcement of Judgment

When the court enters a judgment in your favor, you have to take steps to collect the money.

In order to garnish a person’s wages, bank account, or seize personal property or real estate, you will need information about the debtor’s employment, bank account, and property. You can get this information by way of the Judgment Debtor Information Sheet, written interrogatories (questions), or have the person appear in court to answer under oath.

1.  Complete court form using Guide & File or the fillable PDF.
2.  Print documents, review contents, and sign.
3.  File
     ○  in person at the court.
     ○  by mail to the court.
     ○  by scanning and e-filing*. (E-filing directly from your interview is COMING SOON!)

DC-CV-083: I need my landlord to make repairs.

Petition in Action of Rent Escrow/For Injunction

This interview may be right for you if you asked your landlord to make repairs to your property where the conditions put you at risk for serious health or safety AND the landlord has not made repairs timely.

Serious health or safety issues may include, but are not limited to:

  • No heat, light, electricity, or hot or running water. (Except if the utility company has turned off service because you did not pay a utility bill);
  • Rodents in 2+ dwelling units;
  • Sewage;
  • A structural problem; and/or
  • A condition which is a health or fire hazard.

NOTE: Several counties have additional laws covering rent escrow. Please click here for Baltimore City , click here for Baltimore County and click here for Prince George's County. After reviewing their information, please close the tab to return to this interview.

1.  Complete court form using Guide & File or the fillable PDF.
2.  Print documents, review contents, and sign.
3.  File
     ○  in person at the court.
     ○  by mail to the court.
     ○  by scanning and e-filing*. (E-filing directly from your interview is COMING SOON!)

CC-DR-004: I want custody of a child.

Complaint for Custody

Consider having an attorney help you if any of the below apply to your case:

  • The case is contested, or the defendant has an attorney.
  • You do not have an address for or cannot locate the defendant in order to serve them with your papers.
  • You and the defendant are not married, and paternity has not been established.

This interview will guide you in completing the forms needed to file for custody including Form CC-DCM-001 - Civil - Domestic Case Information Report and Form CC-DR-004 - Complaint for Custody. Visit mdcourts.gov/legalhelp/family/childcustody for more information.

1.  Complete court form using Guide & File or the fillable PDF.
2.  Print documents, review contents, and sign.
3.  File
     ○  in person at the court.
     ○  by mail to the court.
     ○  by scanning and e-filing*. (E-filing directly from your interview is COMING SOON!)

CC-DR-020 / CC-DR-021: I want to file for divorce.

Absolute / Limited Divorce

Divorce can be complex. You may have a lot at stake if child custody is an issue, or if property, retirement assets, or alimony needs to be resolved. Consider having a lawyer represent you if your case has complicated issues or if your spouse has a lawyer.

This interview will guide you in completing the forms needed to file for divorce including Form CC-DCM-001 - Civil - Domestic Case Information Report and either Form CC-DR-020 - Complaint for Absolute Divorce or Form CC-DR-021 - Complaint for Limited Divorce.

Visit mdcourts.gov/legalhelp/family/divorce for more information.

1.  Complete court form using Guide & File or the fillable PDFs: 020 or 021.
2.  Print documents, review contents, and sign.
3.  File
     ○  in person at the court.
     ○  by mail to the court.
     ○  by scanning and e-filing*. (E-filing directly from your interview is COMING SOON!)

CC-DC-089: I can't afford the filing fee.

Request for Waiver of Prepaid Costs

Use this interview if you are unable to pay the court filing fees and want to ask the court to waive fees at the beginning of the case. Visit mdcourts.gov/legalhelp/filingfeewaivers for more information.

If you have a lawyer, contact them concerning your ability to pay. Different procedures apply if you are represented by a lawyer with a Maryland civil legal aid organization.

1.  Complete court form using Guide & File or the fillable PDF.
2.  Print documents, review contents, and sign.
3.  File
     ○  in person at the court.
     ○  by mail to the court.
     ○  by scanning and e-filing*. (E-filing directly from your interview is COMING SOON!)

MDJ-008: There is restricted information in my filing.

Notice Regarding Restricted Information Pursuant to Rule 20-201.1

The person filing documents with the court is responsible for letting the court know if the documents, or their contents, are restricted. Use this interview to complete the restricted information form to let the court know that you are submitting something that Maryland law requires the court keep private.

This is not the same as asking the court to keep something private that would ordinally be open to the public. In these situations, you must submit a request to either seal or shield that document. The Restricted Information form is usually submitted along with a request to seal or shield.

Visit mdcourts.gov/courthelp/restrictedinfoform for more information.

1.  Complete court form using Guide & File or the fillable PDF.
2.  Print documents, review contents, and sign.
3.  File
     ○  in person at the court.
     ○  by mail to the court.
     ○  by scanning and e-filing*. (E-filing directly from your interview is COMING SOON!)

 

Last updated: July 2, 2021