Maryland Public Records

Gaining access to public information in Maryland is legal and protected by the state’s public records law. The law grants the public the right to access a wide range of records maintained by government agencies.

Maryland’s public records law is referred to as the Public Information Act. The Act grants the general public the right to access appropriate public records and public information. However, both federal and state laws provide exemptions, which serve a variety of needs, including the justifiable government interests and privacy of individuals. For more information regarding the Act and access to public information in Maryland, you should take a look at The Maryland Public Information Act Manual (14th Ed.) (October 2015).

Maryland Criminal Records

Case records created within the Maryland Circuit Courts and District Courts are available to the public. Any collected information is regarded as public record that citizens can inspect and copy unless an exemption exists under the law. Court records are available at the Maryland Judiciary website. There is a court directory that is provided for court house locations as well as contact information.

The Maryland State Board of Victims Services and the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention provide a free service known as Maryland VINE. This innovative service provides information to victim’s advocates, crime victims, and other concerned parties. The information on Maryland VINE is kept confidential.

Jail and inmate records in Maryland are searchable online. You can also search for arrest records. There is an inmate locator, which is an online search service provided by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to allow citizens to access arrest records, jail records, and the current location of imamates in the Custody of Corrections that are currently held at the state’s Division of Correction facilities.

Maryland Court Records

Information on official background checks is available on the website of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. The information that the Criminal Justice Information System, Central Repository (CJIS) collects and possesses is securely maintained, and the public can only access it with proper authorization.

To request a background check on a person applying for a job position, you must fill out a General Registration Form and then submit it to the CJIS Authorization Administrator. Upon the approval of the petition, a request for the criminal history record on the applicant will be submitted without any delay.

Maryland Vital Records

The official copies of birth, marriage, death, fetal death, and divorce certificates are issued by the Division of Vital Records of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

  • Birth records: The state of Maryland enacted a statewide registration of births in 1865, but only Baltimore started recording births in 1875. Most counties began recording births in 1898, but full compliance was achieved in the 1910s. All birth records in the state are sent to the Maryland Vital Records where they are kept.
  • Death records: Maryland General Assembly required the registration of all burials in the state and these were the earliest death records in Maryland. This law was in place until 1695. In 1865, the responsibility of registering deaths and keeping the records was assigned to the Circuit Courts. The responsibility was later transferred to County Courts in 11898. However, it was until 1914 that the state of Maryland managed to start recording all deaths. The Maryland Vital Records keep all death records.
  • Marriage records: Marriage licenses were required in Maryland from 1777, but the county court only managed to start recording all marriages from 1865. All divorce records are available at Maryland Vital Records.
  • Divorce records: No divorce was granted in Maryland before the Revolutionary War. The state began to grant divorces immediately after the Revolutionary War up to 1842.There is an index for divorces granted after 1992 at Maryland Vital Statistics.

We do hope that this information helps make the process of obtaining the information you need easier. Be sure to follow the due process when requesting for any record.

Maryland State Court System

Understanding how the system of Maryland state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.

Maryland Courts Overview

To make your work easier, start searching for court records in Maryland by simply going to courts by county.

The trial court system of Florida State consists of Tax Court, Orphans’ Courts, District Courts, and Circuit Courts.

Maryland Circuit Courts

Maryland Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction to handle all criminal and civil cases, but will typically hear only the cases that other courts have no jurisdiction over.

Cases that are generally heard by these courts include general civil cases with at least $5000 in dispute, excluding fees, costs and interest. Circuit Courts also hear peace orders, domestic violence protection orders, and felony criminal cases.

Also handled by Circuit Courts are child custody, divorce. Child protection, child support, cases requesting equitable relief, and termination of parental rights.

Maryland Circuit Courts may have special court divisions for a Family Services Program of a Family Division Program, and Juvenile Court. The size of the Circuit Court determines what court division it has.

Maryland District Courts

Maryland District Courts have exclusive jurisdiction to handle certain types of criminal and civil cases.

Typical criminal cases that District Courts hear include boating and motor vehicle violations, most violations of municipal or county ordinances, most misdemeanors, felony preliminary hearings, and some felonies.

Typical civil cases that District Courts handle include general civil claims with not more than $25,000 in dispute, exclusive of fees, interest and costs. They also handle actions for replevin, some juvenile cases, peace orders, domestic violence protection orders, and landlord-tenant cases.

All District Courts have Small Claims divisions that handle most general civil cases with up to $5,000 in dispute, excluding frees, costs and interest.

Circuit Courts cannot handle certain types of cases, including most cases connected to disputes over land ownership, most felony crimes, most cases requesting for equitable relief, and cases that requires a proper jury trial.

Maryland Orphans’ Courts

Maryland Orphans’ Courts have exclusive jurisdiction to handle certain types of guardianship and probate cases.

Orphans’ Courts share some jurisdiction over some types of cases with Circuit Courts, including guardianships of a minor.

Cases typically heard by these courts include some guardianship, some cases related to the ownership of land connected to probate cases, some tax issues connected to probate cases, and most probate matters.

The Maryland Tax Court

Tax Court is a limited branch agency for hearing appeals of tax-related decisions and orders of Property Tax Appeals Board, the Comptroller of Maryland, and other local taxing authorities. It hears disputes such as personal and real property tax assessments, sales and use tax, and state income tax. The decisions of the Tax Court can be appealed to the Circuit Court.

Business and Technology Case Management Program

This is a specialized program in every Maryland Circuit Court. It handles complex cases that involve technology or business issues.

The Official Website of Maryland County

Rockville Rockville, MD – Official Website
Gaithersburg Gaithersburg, MD
Bowie Bowie, MD – Official Website
Hagerstown Hagerstown, MD – Official Website
Annapolis Annapolis, MD | Official Website
College Park College Park, MD | Official Website Welcome to the City of College Park, MD. Home of the world’s oldest continuously operating airport, the University of Maryland, Lake Artemesia, miles of hiker/biker trails, more than 32,000 residents and so much more. Situated only 10 miles from Washington D.C., come discover all that the City of College Park has to offer!
Salisbury City of Salisbury MD Welcome to the comfortable side of coastal! Salisbury is Maryland’s coastal college town, and the capital of the Eastern Shore.
Laurel City of Laurel, Maryland | Progress Through People
Greenbelt Greenbelt, MD
Cumberland Cumberland, MD | Official Website
Westminster MD-Westminster, MD – Official Website
Hyattsville Hyattsville, MD – Official Website
Takoma Park City of Takoma Park | The City of Takoma Park
Easton Official Website of the Town of Easton Maryland
Elkton Elkton MD
Montgomery County Montgomery County Maryland
Baltimore County Baltimore County Government
Anne Arundel County Home | Anne Arundel County, MD
Howard County Howard County, Maryland
Harford County Harford County, MD | Official Website
Frederick County Frederick County MD – Official Website
Carroll County Carroll County Government | Carroll County, Maryland The Heart of Maryland
Cecil County Cecil County
Wicomico County Wicomico County, MD – Official Website
Calvert County Calvert County, MD – Official Website Calvert County Maryland government, Calvert County Maryland services, Calvert County Maryland board of commissioners
Allegany County Allegany County, MD | Official Website
Worcester County Worcester County, Maryland | www.co.worcester.md.us
Talbot County Talbot County, Maryland With more than 600 miles of Chesapeake Bay waterfront, Talbot County is the treasure of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Caroline County Caroline County, MD – Official Website
Dorchester County Dorchester Maryland County Government
Garrett County Garrett County, Maryland – Government
Somerset County Welcome to Somerset County,MD
Kent County Kent County Government

Maryland Arrests and Inmate Search

Inmate Locator | Anne Arundel County, MD Anne Arundel County Inmate Locator
Inmate Classification – Baltimore County Find information related to inmate case managers, the classification process and custody levels.
Caroline County Corrections See the different aspects and components of the Department of Corrections.
Welcome to Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Carroll County Jail
Detention Center | Cecil County Cecil County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center
Detention Center | Charles County Sheriff’s Office Charles County Detention Center
Dorchester County Detention Office of the Sheriff, Dorchester County, Maryland
Garrett County Recent Arrests Our online arrest log enables you to view the mug shots and charges of individuals arrested by the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office.
Howard County Department of Corrections Inmate Lookup
Inmate/Resident Records Information Montgomery County Department of Correction
Inmate Lookup Tool Prince George’s County Inmate Lookup
St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office – Inmate Lookup St Mary’s Sheriff’s Department Jail Search
Department of Corrections – Talbot County, MD Talbot County Department of Corrections
Maryland DOC Inmate Locator The Inmate Locator enables members of the public to learn the housing location of inmates committed to the custody of the Commissioner of Correction and currently housed at Division of Correction facilities, Patuxent Institution and, offenders at Division of Pretrial and Detention Services facilities.
MD Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Maryland Department of Public Safety Background Checks
Maryland Judiciary Case Search Criteria Maryland Judiciary Case Search
Maryland Sex Offender Registry Search Maryland SOR Search