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Maryland Public Records

The Maryland Public Information Act, Title 10, Subtitle 6, Part III of the State Government Article, grants access to the public to government records. The state considers the term public record to include written material and also photographs, photostats, films, microfilms, recordings, tapes, computerized records, maps, drawings, etc., concerning public business and made or kept by a government agency.

Exemptions include adoption & welfare records, personnel records, letters of reference, student records, motor vehicle records, library records, arrest warrants, police reports, medical data, trade secrets, financial information, home addresses of public employees, and records relating to investigations.

Find below popular resources at the state level.  Don’t forget that many additional records are held by county and city offices.  Access those by utilizing the menu options on the side.

  • Court System - The Maryland court system has four levels. At the first is the District Court, a non-jury court that handles traffic & boating violations, misdemeanors, some felonies, domestic violence, small claims, landlord-tenant disputes, and civil cases up to $30K. At this level is the Orphans Court, which handles wills, estates & probate cases. At the second level is the Circuit Court, the trial court of general jurisdiction, which handles major civil & criminal cases, and juvenile & family law cases. At the third level is the Court of Special Appeals, which considers decisions by the lower courts. At the top level is the Court of Appeals, the highest court (known as the Supreme Court in most other states). The Court of Appeals reviews death penalty cases by mandate, and other decisions by choice.  Maryland Court Records
  • Criminal Records - Misdemeanors, DWI/DUI cases, juvenile cases, and preliminary hearings are handled by the District Courts. Certain misdemeanors & juvenile cases are handled by the Circuit Courts, along with most felony cases.  To search criminal databases and find out what else is available, go to our Maryland Criminal Records page.
  • Vital Records - Provided by: Division of Vital Records Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, 6550 Reisterstown Rd., Reistertown Road Plaza, Baltimore, MD 21215, (410) 764-3038 or (800) 832-3277, Fax: (410) 358-0738.  Go over to our Vital Records page for historical births and christenings from 1650 to 1995; the Social Security Death Index for Maryland, and available city & county databases for death indexes, burials, obituaries, and cemeteries; historical marriages; and statewide divorce court records.

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