In a nod to the start of National Sunshine Week, the Maryland Court of Appeals has settled the issue of electronic access to state court records – in favor of the presumption of openness. Statewide access to the index of civil and criminal cases is available in all but two counties.
If you access Maryland court records you should read the Order detailing the types of records covered and the terms of access, both at the court and through a remote computer. In some respects the Appeals Court opinion follows the federal guideline: redacting the first five digits in the social security number. Maryland will also do this in the paper files.
Interestingly, the Maryland electronic system will index witnesses, as well as litigants, if their name is entered by the searcher.
The Scope of Information addresses the types of cases available:
Information is available on all civil, traffic, and criminal cases in the state EXCEPT for cases originating in the Circuit Courts for Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. This information includes defendant name, city and state, case number, date of birth, plaintiff name (civil cases only), trial date, charge, and case disposition.