Maryland's Public Information Act (PIA) provides a broad right of access to public records while protecting legitimate governmental interests and the privacy rights of individual citizens. The PIA also allows a custodian to deny inspection of public records if access would be contrary to the rules enacted by the Court of Appeals in Title 16, Chapter 900 of the Maryland Rules (Rules).
Most court records are in the custody of a local Clerk’s office. To request those records, please contact the appropriate Clerk’s office, which is generally where the case was filed or the hearing or trial was conducted. To request a public record from the District Court, contact the District Court's PIA representative:
District 1 - Baltimore City
District 4 - Calvert, Charles, & St. Mary's Counties
Under the current Rules, many records and documents are frequently available immediately upon request, including those listed here. Please note that there are occasions, including but not limited to when there are technical problems, when requests are made for multiple or bulk records, or when files are in active use or archived storage, that specific documents may not be immediately available.
Access to Judicial Records
Judicial records are generally open to the public, with several exceptions. Judicial records include:
- Other things that the court maintains in connection with a case
- Information found online on Maryland Case Search
Please note that there are occasions, including but not limited to when there are technical problems, when requests are made for multiple or bulk records, or when files are in active use or archived storage, that specific documents may not be immediately available.
The following records are not open to the public without a court order or a special provision of the law:
- Original documents that have been copied for the purpose of redacting confidential information.
- Criminal History Record – (Computerized CJIS, Federal Databases, and MVA with request for privacy only)
- Pre-sentence Investigation Report
- Medical Records/Psychological Information (e.g. assessment/information report from the health department alcohol and addictions program, DSS, etc.)
- Request and/or Order for Medical Testing
- Judges’/Commissioners’ Notes
- Any document and motion for which a motion to seal or otherwise limit inspection has been filed which has been preliminarily shielded by the clerk (not to exceed five (5) business days).
- Any document including motion and order, to which an order denying inspection applies.
- Any document where the person who has filed, or authorized the filing, of a case record informs the clerk in writing that the record, any part of the record, or information contained in the case record is confidential. Review is provided in Rule 16-913. The clerk shall make a reasonable effort to determine if the record is subject to inspection. If the custodian determines the record is confidential, review is provided by Rule 16-914 which requires that the clerk apply to the administrative judge.
- Confidential Supplement (Form Number CC-DC-CR-001S)
- Application for Appointed Attorney at Initial Appearance (Form Number DC-085)
- Agency records concerning child abuse or neglect.