Maryland Courts

Records

The Following is a Partial List of the Types of Cases Filed by the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, and the Inclusive Dates of Those Records:

Civil* (1776 Through Current Date)
  • With certain exceptions, matters which involve a claim for damages in excess of $30,000 are filed with the Circuit Court. In general, concurrent jurisdiction is shared with the District Court in matters which involve a claim for an amount between $5,000 and $30,000.
  • Judicial Review of Administrative Agency Decisions 
  • Appeals from the District Court 
  • Matters which involve domestic relations, titles to property, foreclosures, mechanics liens and injunctions 
  • Decrees of Divorce (1908 through current date)
  • Adoption (Not available for public inspection except by court order)
  • Paternity Matters
  • Guardianships
  • Name changes
Criminal* (1776 Through Current Date)
  • Felony and certain misdemeanor charges filed by the Grand Jury or the State's Attorney
  • Appeals and jury trials from the District Court
Juvenile* (Not Available for Public Inspection Except by Court Order)
  • Juvenile cases may include any matter brought before the Court which involve persons under the age of eighteen years.
Liens and Judgments (Available Dates Vary Depending Upon Record)
  • Liens and judgments including encumbrances, Federal tax liens, hospital liens, Maryland tax liens, District Court liens, civil judgments, and United States District Court judgments are recorded in the Office of the Clerk. 

The Following is a Partial List of Documents recorded with the Clerk for Permanent Retention:

Land Records (1776 Through Current Date)
  • Deeds
  • Mortgages and Deeds of Trust
  • Leases
  • Releases of Mortgages and Deeds of Trust
  • Land Contracts

See www.mdlandrec.net (Maryland Archives/Judiciary Joint Online Land Records Imaging Application)

Plat Records (1776 Through Current Date - Some Plats Are Found in the Land Record Books)

See PLATS.NET (Maryland Archives Plat Imaging Application - access can be granted with the username: plato and the password: plato#)

  • Subdivision
  • Condominium
  • Highway
  • Boundary Survey 
Miscellaneous Records
  • Acts, Ordinances and Resolutions of the County and Incorporated Towns (1969 through current date)
  • Chancery Records* (1815 through current date) - The chancery record contains a copy of every completed court case held in the Circuit Court for Washington County which pertains to ownership of land.
  • Corporation Records* (1803 through 1991) Articles of Incorporation, Transfer, Dissolution, etc. of local corporations, churches, etc. From 1911 through 1991, these records were recorded with both the Clerks of Circuit Court and the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. In 1991, recording with the Clerks of Circuit Court was discontinued.
  • Financing Statements (through July 1, 1995) Formerly known as Chattel Records, Conditional Contracts of Sale, and Bills of Sale. After July 1, 1995, these records are recorded only with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, except that records pertaining to real estate are recorded among the Land Records.
  • Military Discharges (1919 through current date) Records of the discharge of individuals from the armed services are voluntarily recorded with the Clerk of Circuit Court for safe keeping. Individual records are available to the public only in certain circumstances.
  • Public Official Commissions* (1878 through current date) Commissions issued by the Governor of Maryland appointing persons to various boards, etc.
  • Test Book Records* (1815 through current date) Record of names of individuals to whom oath of office has been administered for elected and appointed local offices, as well as officials appointed by the Governor to certain boards and commissions.
Miscellaneous Services
  • Marriage Licenses (1799 through current date)
  • Civil Marriages (1799 through current date - see related marriage license record) 
  • Business Licenses (Last three to four years available - older records destroyed)
  • Administering oaths of office to locally appointed and elected public officials, Notaries Public, Gubernatorial appointees, etc.
  • Notary Public Commissions-An application for a notary public commission can be obtained by contacting the clerk. Upon approval of the application and issuance of a Commission by the Secretary of State, notaries are sworn in by the Clerk.
  • Passports-The Clerk is an authorized passport application acceptance agency.
  • Jury Selection - The Clerk manages the jury selection process for the Circuit Court. 

*Some records in these series have been transferred to the Maryland State Archives.

The records maintained by the Office of the Clerk of Court are generally available to the public for review. However, the records of juvenile or adoption cases can be accessed only through an order of the Court, and Military Discharges are available to the public only under certain circumstances. Other legal limitations may apply.

Please note that the Office of the Clerk is prohibited by Law from rendering any legal advice.