Maryland Courts

Access to Court Records 

Which Court?
  • File your request in the court that heard the case
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:

  • Adoption
  • 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:

  • Documents
  • Information
  • Exhibits
  • Other things that the court maintains in connection with a case
  • Information found online on Maryland Case Search

Limiting Access to Case Records

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]  [Español]

Can I keep the public from seeing information about me in a court case? (pdf)   [Text]  [Español]

Can I keep the public from seeing information about me in a peace or protective order case? (pdf)   [Text]  [Español]

A summary of applicable rules regarding public access to court records and other information is available in Public Access to Maryland's Court Records and in a Reference Card.

Expungement

If your case meets certain conditions, you may be able to ask the court to expunge the criminal record. Expungement completely removes a criminal 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.

See the following publication for detailed information on how to request an expungement.

Expungement of Criminal Records (pdf)   [Text]  [Español]

Additional information about expungement and the removal of criminal records from public access in Maryland can be found in the Expungement Brochure.

Background Checks

Background 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.

Forms

Refer to the publications above for complete information about the court forms and procedures you need to follow in dealing with court records.