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
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:
- A contract case where a person or business owes you money under an agreement or contract.
- A tort case that involves harm or damage to you or your property and has resulted in money damages.
- A replevin case where you seek the return of your property.
- A detinue case where you seek the value of your property or the property returned.
- A 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.
- A 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.
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.
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.
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.
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;
- 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.
CC-DR-001: I want to file for child support
Complaint for Child Support
Use this interview to guide you through completing the forms necessary to establish child support.
Before you do this interview, you may want to apply for help from the Child Support Administration (CSA) of the Department of Human Services rather than filing on your own. The child support office will work with the other parent to set a child support amount, and will assign an attorney to go to court if necessary.
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-001 - Complaint for Child Support. Visit https://www.mdcourts.gov/legalhelp/family/childsupport for more information..
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.
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.
CC-DR-060: Petition for Change of Name (Adult).
Petition for Change of Name (Adult)
Use this interview to guide you through completing a CC-DR-060, Petition for Change of Name (Adult) form. This form is used to legally change the name of an adult if the purpose is not fraudulent, illegal, or interferes with the rights of others. The petition is filed in circuit court in the county where you live. A judge will need to grant your request. This interview is not for name changes as a result of adoption, marriage or divorce. Do not use this interview to change the name of a minor or to restore your former name in a divorce case. For additional information, you may want to review the court’s Name Change Webpage.
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.
Last updated: September 1, 2021