Rich in the tradition and history of Maryland, the Office of the Circuit Court is one of the oldest public institutions in the State. The Clerk of Court is a locally-elected State official with responsibilities established and regulated by the laws of Maryland and Rules of the Court of Appeals of Maryland. Since 1658, the Office of the Clerk of Court has provided the citizens of Maryland with a variety of essential services. The revenue collected by the clerks for these services is distributed to city, county, and state governments.
The following is a partial list of the types of cases filed and processed by the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court:
- 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.
- The Circuit Court and District Court accept petitions for protection from domestic violence, child abuse, and abuse of a vulnerable adult during normal working hours and gives priority to such actions.
- Judicial Review of Administrative Agency Decisions
- Appeals from District Court judgments and prayers for jury trial
- Matters which involve domestic relations, titles to property, foreclosures, mechanics liens and injunctions
- Adoption and Paternity Matters
- Name changes
- Felony and certain misdemeanor charges filed by the Grand Jury or the State's Attorney
- Appeals from the District Court and prayers for jury trial
- Juvenile cases may include any matter brought before the Court which involve persons under the age of eighteen years.
Liens and Judgments
- 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.
- Citizens are selected randomly for service on grand and petit juries in the manner prescribed by the Court of Appeals. Jury trials are available only in the Circuit Courts.
The following is a partial list of documents recorded with the Clerk for permanent retention:
- Mortgages and Deeds of Trust
- Releases of Mortgages and Deeds of Trust
- Land Contracts
PLATS.NET (Maryland Archives Plat Imaging Application - access can be granted with the username: plato and the password: plato#)
- Financing Statements
- Marriage Licenses
- Civil Marriages
- Business Licenses
- Public Official Commissions-The Oaths of Office for elected and appointed local officials, as well as officials appointed by the Governor for certain boards and commissions, are administered by the Clerk of Court or their designee.
- Notary Public Commissions-An application for a notary public commission can be obtained by contacting the Clerk. Upon approval of this application, notary public commissions are issued by the Clerk of Court.
- Passports-The Clerk's Office is authorized to process passport applications.
The records maintained by the Office of the Clerk of Court are available to the public for review. However, the records of juvenile or adoption cases can be accessed only through an order of the Court.
Please note that the Office of the Clerk is prohibited by Law from rendering any legal advice.