Ask a law librarian
What are the Maryland Rules?
By James Durham, Deputy Director, Maryland State Law Library

The Maryland State Law Library fields thousands of legal information questions each year from Maryland citizens. Here are a few frequently asked questions from the information desk with brief answers.

What are the Maryland Rules?
The Maryland Rules (or rules of procedure) describe how state courts handle the details of a case. Many court rules apply to cases in particular courts (such as the Circuit Court) or in special kinds of cases (such as settlement of an estate).

Where can I find a Maryland Rule?
The Maryland Rules are accessible online for free on the Library’s website at www.lawlib.state.md.us/researchtools/sourcesmdlaw.html. Just click on “Current Code and Rules from Lexis-Nexis” or “Current Code and Rules from Westlaw.” Both versions have a “search” function. You can view a print version of the Maryland Rules and index at your local Maryland Circuit Court Law Library (www.lawlib.state.md.us/researchtools/otherlibraries.html) or the Maryland State Law Library (www.lawlib.state.md.us/aboutus/directions.html).

Law Books

How do I know that I’m reading the most current version of a Rule?
The free online versions of the Maryland Rules are updated regularly by Lexis-Nexis and by Westlaw.

Can a law librarian help me locate a Maryland Rule?
Staff at the Maryland State Law Library and at your local Circuit Court Library may be able to help you find court rules on particular topics. You can contact the library by telephone or e-mail to ask about staff availability and hours.

How do I know if a Rule applies to my case?
If you have located Maryland Rules but aren’t sure if they apply to your particular case, you may want legal advice. The Maryland State Law Library maintains a website called the People’s Law Library (PLL), which provides legal information to the general public. The website provides links to low-cost and no-cost legal services (www.peoples-law.org/node/758), self-help programs and hotlines operated by courts and organizations (www.peoples-law.org/node/760), and attorney referral services (www.peoples-law.org/node/759).