Self-Represented Litigants

Please see our updated procedures for emergency custody here.

Legal Advice
Clerk's Office employees cannot provide you with legal advice.  Please follow this link to see what our office can do for you.

Representing Yourself
If you choose to represent yourself, then you must also follow the same statutes and Maryland Rules for your type of case that an attorney must follow.  Except for in certain family law matters (see Domestic), there are not many forms available for use in circuit court by self represented parties.  Therefore, in most instances, the original petition or complaint, any motion documents, or pleadings would have to be prepared by you, following the law, and generally without the benefit of a form.

Evaluate your situation and your ability to proceed in representing yourself by reading the information and taking the quiz provided by the People's Law Library.

Preparing Your Case
If you choose to represent yourself, you must be able to clearly put in writing what relief you want the court to provide to you. Helpful information about preparing a case can be found at the People's Law Library.

REQUIRED: Certificates of Service
Except for the original complaint (which must be served on the other side by either the Sheriff, a private process server, or certified mail), every paper, pleading or motion must include a certificate of service where you state that you have served a copy of the paper, pleading, or motion on the other side.  The certificate of service should appear at the end of the paper or as a separate document attached to the paper.  Please see the Sample Form.

REQUIRED: Case Information Sheets-Filing New Cases and Answers
When filing a civil or family law case or when answering a complaint as the defendant in a civil or family law matter, you are required to complete a case information sheet. Information on these forms is used to determine the case track with respect to court time and helps in scheduling cases. Case information sheets can be found at the following links:
Domestic Case Information Sheet
Non-Domestic Case Information Sheet

Spoken Language Interpreter
Requests for interpreter should be submitted to the court no less than thirty (30) days before the proceeding for which the interpreter is requested.

Requests for Accommodation by Persons with Disabilities
Requests for accommodation should be submitted to the court not less than thirty (30) days before the proceeding for which the accommodation is requested.

Appealing a Decision
Please see the People's Law Library website for information regarding appeals.

Civil Appeal Information Report- within 10 calendar days of filing an appeal, the appellant (the person filing the appeal) must deliver, by mail or in person, a complete and signed form to the address listed above. A copy must also be served by mail or delivery to all other parties or their attorneys. Failure to file the form on time or to correct any errors in the time specified may result in dismissal of the appeal. The non-appealing party may, but is not required to, file a responding Civil Appeal Information Report. This form is not required for cases regarding Child(ren) In Need of Assistance or Supervision, termination of parental rights, juvenile delinquency, criminal convictions, habeas corpus, coram nobis, post-conviction, violation of probation, appeals by prisoners relating to their confinement, and cases where an application for leave to appeal is allowed by law. Attach copies of all requested documents to the original and all copies of the form. Use extra pages if needed.

People's Law Library
Civil Law Assistance

Self-help centers and hotlines:

Self-Help Centers: (410) 260-1392
District Court Help Center
Circuit Court Family Law Self-Help Centers
Family Law Hotline: (800) 845-8550
Legal Forms Helpline: (800) 818-9888

Free and lower-cost legal services for eligible people who need a lawyer*:
Maryland Office of the Public Defender (for defendants in a criminal case): (877) 430- 5187
Maryland Legal Aid: (877) 310-1810
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service: (800) 510-0050

*Maryland has over 35 legal services providers. A full list is available here.