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Baltimore City Courts
The courts of Baltimore City are part of the Maryland Court system. The Maryland District Court began operating as a court of record in July, 1971 when various local courts were consolidated under one court with statewide jurisdiction. Housing, traffic matters and minor civl/criminal matters are handled at the District Court level. The District Court (First District) has jurisdiction in Baltimore City.
In November of 1980, the six courts operating under the umbrella of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City were consolidated and they became the Circuit Court (Eighth) in the Maryland Court system. This change became effective on January 1, 1983. As a trial court of general jurisdiction, the Circuit Court handles major civil and criminal cases and cases in which parties are entitled to jury trials.
The Orphan's Court of Baltimore City has jurisdiction over judicial administration of estates. Judges are elected to 4-year terms.
Judgments of the District and Circuit Courts are usually unreported. Some opinions of the Circuit Court are published in the Daily Record. Case records of the Maryland and District Courts can also be found on the Maryland Judiciary web page - in the Maryland Judiciary Case Search section.
The Baltimore City Reports[KFM 1799.B5B7] is a four volume set of reprints of decisions from the Daily Record. These cases originated in various courts in Baltimore City. Coverage is 1888-1928. The value of these reports is historic. The library has this set in print. For more recent information on Baltimore City trial level court opinions, LexisAdvance and WestlawNext both include the Daily Record from 2001 to the present.
Each court for Baltimore City has its own practice forms. The Thurgood Marshall Law Library owns a number of form books in print that contain sample practice forms:
- Robert D. Klein, Maryland Civil Procedure Forms with Practice Commentary (3d ed., 2000 & 2012 Supp.) The majority of Circuit and District Court forms can be found in this volume. This title is also on Lexis. [KFM 1730.A65 D542 2000]
- George Liebmann, Maryland Practice: Civil Procedure Forms (1984 & 2007 Supp.) Forms are set out in Volumes 3 & 4 of Maryland Practice. This includes all of the Basic Circuit Court forms. [KFM 1715.A73M32]
- M. Rowland, District Court Practice Manual: Civil (2000 ed.). A selected list of forms is reproduced in Appendix A [KFM 1714.D57 2000]
Online resources offer current practice forms in printable format:
- Both Lexis Advance and WestlawNext offer a number of Maryland sources with practice forms.
- Baltimore City Circuit Court forms are available at: http://www.courts.state.md.us/courtforms/index.html
- Maryland District Court forms: http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/dctcivforms.html
- The People's Law Library of Maryland: http://www.peoples-law-.org/find-court-and-legal-forms
- Maryland Orphan's Court forms: http://registers.maryland.gov/main/forms.html