Access to Court Records
- File your request in the court that heard the case
- See Court Forms
Court records are generally open to the public, with several exceptions.
The following records are not open to the public without a court order or a special provision of the law:
- Guardianship terminating parental rights
- Juvenile delinquency
- Child in need of assistance cases (CINA)
- Certain marriage license information
- Emergency mental health evaluations
- Income tax returns
- Financial statements filed in a case about spousal or child support.
What Are Court Records?
Court records include:
- Other things that the court maintains in connection with a case
- Information found online on Maryland Case Search
In some instances, you may be able to ask the court to keep some or all information in a case private. There are several different ways to ask that the court limit public access to a case record, depending on your situation. See the following publications for detailed information on how to request access be limited.
- What can the public see about me in court records and on Case Search? (pdf) [Text]
- ¿Qué puede ver el público sobre mi persona en los expedientes judiciales y en la Búsqueda de Casos de Maryland? (pdf) [Word]
- Can I keep the public from seeing information about me in a court case? (pdf)
- ¿Puedo evitar que el público vea información sobre mi persona en un caso judicial? (pdf) [Word]
- Can I keep the public from seeing information about me in a peace or protective order case? (pdf) [Text]
- Para los Demandados: ¿Puedo evitar que el público vea información sobre mi persona en un caso de orden de paz o de protección? (pdf) [Word]
If your case meets certain conditions, you may be able to ask the court to expunge the criminal record or juvenile record. Expungement completely removes a criminal record or juvenile record from public view. Expunged information will not show up in background checks. You are not legally required to tell employers about an expunged record. Make sure you keep copies of all the expungement documents and the expungement order.
Expungement of adult record
See the following publication for detailed information on how to request expungement of an adult record:
To learn more about the expungement of juvenile records, see Juvenile Expungement. You will find detailed information on the grounds and process for expungement of juvenile records, and the form to file to seek expungement.
For a summary of the law and process, see the following publication:
- Expungement of Juvenile Records (pdf) [Text]
- Eliminación de antecedentes judiciales de menores? (pdf) [Word]
Additional information about expungement and the removal of criminal records from public access in Maryland can be found in the Expungement Brochure.
Background ChecksBackground checks should be conducted through the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) of the Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services which maintains Maryland’s fingerprint-supported criminal identification records and criminal history record information.
To learn more, see Background Checks on the Department's Web site.
NOTE: CaseSearch should not be used for criminal background checks.