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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

ADA Accommodation

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?

    42 U.S. Code § 12102

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

    Title II (Local and State Government) of the ADA - 42 U.S. Code § 12132

    No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity. Public entities include any State or local government and any of its departments, agencies, or other instrumentalities.

What is reasonable accommodation?

    42 U.S. Code § 12111, (9)

    Reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.

What is a disability under the ADA?

    42 U.S. Code § 12102, (3)

    As defined by the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, learning, breathing, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, or working. The ADA covers those who have a disability; those who have a record of having a disability; and those who are regarded as having a disability, whether or not they actually have one.

What impairments would generally not meet the definitions of disability?

    42 U.S. Code § 12102, (4)(A)

    Minor, nonchronic conditions of short duration, such as a sprain or the flu, generally would not be covered.

Who do I contact to discuss an ADA accommodation?

    28 C.F.R. § pt. 35, § 35.107(a) (2005)

    Each court has an ADA Field Coordinator (PDF) designated to help facilitate disability accommodation requests. This ADA Field Coordinator will accept requests made in person, in writing using Form CC-DC 49, or over the telephone from individuals with disabilities who request accommodation.

    Requests should be made well in advance (at least 30 days) of the court appearance date. Requests should be a specific as possible.

    English and Spanish versions of the CC-DC 49 forms are available on the Requesting an ADA Accommodation page.

How will the accommodation request be handled?

    The ADA field Coordinator, or designee, will notify you if the court is able to provide the requested accommodation, or requires further information. The ADA Field Coordinator nay also propose an alternative form of accommodation. If the court denies the requested accommodation and an alternative cannot be mutually agreed upon, you will be provided with a written explanation of the denial.

If my ADA request is denied, how do I file a grievance?

    28 C.F.R. § 35.105-35.107; 35.150 (c) and (d)

    A grievance procedure has been established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The grievance form CC-DC 50 (in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF) should be submitted as soon as possible, but no later than 120 calendar days after the alleged violation or the denial to:

    The Maryland Judiciary Human Resources Department
    ADA Officer
    580 Taylor Ave., A-1
    Annapolis, MD 21401

    Office: 410-260-3678
    Fax: 410-260-1253
    Maryland Relay: 711
    Email:ada@mdcourts.gov
Will the court provide an accommodation to a spectator of a court proceeding?

    28 CFR § 35.149-35.150

    The court, when asked, must provide reasonable accommodations to spectators. All requests for accommodation should be directed to the local ADA Field Coordinator.

Are service animals allowed in the court?

    28 C.F.R. § 35.104

    Service animals are welcome in all public areas of courthouse facilities. A service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.


    28 C.F.R. 35.136(f)

    A public entity shall not ask about the nature or extent of a disability, but, may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal:

    1. If the animal is required because of a disability, and
    2. What work or task the animal has been trained to perform.

    A public entity must not make these inquiries when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision).

Can the court physically assist the public or provide wheelchairs for individuals with disabilities?

    28 C.F.R. §35.135

    The Judiciary is not required to provide to individuals with disabilities personal devices, such as wheelchairs; individually prescribed devices, such as prescription eyeglasses or hearing aids; readers for personal use or study; or services of a personal nature including assistance in eating, toileting, or dressing.

Safety factors/direct threat considerations

    28 C.F.R. § 35.139.

    The Judiciary is not required to permit an individual to participate in or benefit from the services, programs, or activities of that public entity when that individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.


Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

What is the difference between ADR and custody mediation?

    The court may order the parties in a civil case, or a family case involving the division of marital property, to attend mediation. Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, or “ADR.” The court’s ADR program for civil cases and family cases involving the division of marital property, is different from the court’s Custody Mediation Program. The main difference is that the court’s ADR program is not free, and the litigants must compensate the mediator at the rate of $200/hour. However, the Custody Mediation Program is free of charge, as long as the parties have an open case and they qualify for the mediation session. The Custody Mediation Program gives the parties the opportunity to discuss and resolve issues involving their children, such as primary residential care, decision making, and visitation.

    For more information on the Custody Mediation Program, please contact Family Division Services. For more information on the court’s ADR program, please contact the office of the Special Magistrate.


Appeals

How do I file a Civil or Criminal Appeal?

    You or your attorney must file an appeal within 30 days after the final judgment is entered. The Circuit Court notifies the Court of Special Appeals if a defendant in a criminal case or either party in a civil or family law case does not agree with the court decision.

    Once an appeal is filed with the Appeals Clerk at the Circuit Court (North Tower, Rm 1280), all necessary original papers, including the original transcript (to be provided by the person filing the appeal) are sent to the Court of Special Appeals by the deadline provided in the order from the Court of Special Appeals.

    For more information, visit the Appeals page.

How do I file an Administrative Appeal?
  • Step 1.

    Download and complete the Administrative Appeals Petition Template (PDF)

  • Step 2. File the Petition with the Civil Department (North Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1200), including the following information in the caption:
    • Your name and address,
    • Name and address of the agency whose decision(s) you are seeking a Petition of Judicial Review, and
    • Agency proceeding, including the case number.
    • In the main body of the Petition, you must explicitly request judicial review, identify the order or action of which review is sought, and state whether you were a party to the agency proceeding. No other statements or allegations are necessary.
    • Step 3. Make a copy of the Petition for each agency named and provide it to the Clerk of the Court when you file your Petition. Also make one copy for your records.

    For more information, visit the Appeals page.


Assignment Office

When and where is my court hearing?

    Visit the Court Schedule page, consult the monitors on the lobby level of the North Tower, or contact the Assignment Office at 240-777-9000 to find out where your hearing is. Please have your case name and number available when you call.

Who is the duty judge today?

    Consult the monitors on the lobby level of the North Tower or contact the Assignment Office at 240-777-9000 to find out which judge has been assigned to regular duty and family duty. Judges rotate weekly on these assignments. The Regular Duty Judge handles emergency matters that pertain to civil and criminal matters. The Family Duty Judge handles only matters that pertain to family cases.

How do I get a motion scheduled for a hearing?

    To have a motion scheduled for a hearing, all parties must file their motions before the Motions Filing Deadline date. However, not all motions are scheduled for hearings. Many of the discovery motions are sent to the court’s Special Magistrate to determine whether a hearing is necessary under the rules.

    When a judge rules that a motion is appropriate for a hearing, the Assignment Office will schedule it after the appropriate response time is due (normally 18 days after the motion is filed) and mail a hearing scheduling notice to the parties. Motions are scheduled for one-half hour and are scheduled before the presiding Motions Judge for the week. Motions hearings may be scheduled for matters that are anticipated to take longer than one-half hour if the parties request additional time in writing.

What do I do if the court is closed?

    An alert will flash up on every screen of the Circuit Court’s website if the courthouse is closed for a scheduled holiday, inclement weather, or some other emergency event. Information about how you can be automatically notified via Alert Montgomery is available on the Courthouse Policies page.

    A list of scheduled holidays is posted on the Holidays page.

    If a proceeding is scheduled on a day that the Circuit Court is unexpectedly closed, a notice from the Assignment Office will be mailed to all parties involved in the case with the rescheduled court date and time.

How do I change a court date or postpone my case?

    Parties must file a written motion to postpone, with the reason(s) listed, before the actual hearing or trial date, and later follow up with the ruling of the motion. Download the Motion for Continuance/Postponement (PDF)

    Civil Motions, District Court Appeals, Uncontested Divorces, and various other court events may be moved one time by a letter of agreement of all parties.

    For additional information about Criminal and Civil motions for postponement, please refer to the Criminal & Civil Motions for Postponement Procedures (PDF).

    For additional information about Family motions for postponement, please refer to the Family Postponement Procedure Guide (PDF).

    The Administrative Judge must make a Finding of Extraordinary Cause to postpone a hearing beyond the mandatory guidelines on a Juvenile case.

How do I find out which judge is assigned to my case?

    To find out the name of the judge assigned to a particular case, call the Assignment Office at 240-777-9000 after 3:00 pm the day before the scheduled trial/event date or visit the Maryland Judiciary’s online Case Search.

    Please keep in mind that the case assignment schedule can change at any time. When you arrive at the courthouse, check the case assignment monitors located on the Lobby Level before proceeding to the courtroom.

What does TBA mean?

    It may be necessary for the Assignment Office to put some cases on the “To be Announced” (TBA) calendar when a full load of cases has already been assigned to the available trial judges or when trials are carried over from the previous day.

    Parties assigned to the TBA calendar should report to the Assignment Office (North Tower 1st floor, Rm 1320) in the Circuit Court. Every consideration will be given to assign the case as soon as possible.


Attorneys

How do I get my lawyer/Bar card so I do not need to go through security?
How do I obtain payment from the Family Law Grant?

    When the presiding judge has granted and signed an order for payment from the Family Law Grant, the party requesting the payment must submit a copy of the signed order and an original invoice to Administration via mail to 50 Maryland Avenue, North Tower 3rd floor, Rm 3040, Rockville, Maryland 20850. Administration asks that attorneys submit these documents no later than 30 days after the order has been signed.

How do I obtain subpoena forms?

    Attorneys who are registered with File & Serve can find more information on the Maryland Judiciary's website. Subpoena forms can also be provided by the Criminal Department (North Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1260).


Business License

How do I get a business license?

    To get a business license in Montgomery County, the following information must be provided in person or by mail:

    • Trade Name (Optional if registered)
    • Corporation/Owner’s Name
    • Type of Business
    • Location address and/or mailing address of the Business
    • Federal Tax ID or Social Security Number
    • Worker’s Compensation Number
    • Amount of Inventory

    File the Application in person at the License Department or mail/fax it to:

    Montgomery Court License Department
    50 Maryland Avenue, North Tower 1st floor, Rm 1300
    Rockville, MD 20850
    Fax: 240-777-9451

    Only the owner, officer, or partner can sign the business license if it is a corporation. If there are no employees, the owner also signs in the designated area. The License Department cannot process unsigned applications and will return them.

    Visit the How do I get a business license? page to learn more about getting a business license in Montgomery County, and to download the application form in English or Spanish.

How do I renew a business license?

    All licenses expire on April 30th regardless of when during the year they were purchased. All renewal licenses are effective on May 1st. The license cost is prorated in most cases if you start your business at a later time of the year.


Civil Cases

How do I file a civil suit?
What if I have a consumer complaint?
How do I stop a foreclosure on my house?
Where are foreclosure sales held?
Where can I file for bankruptcy?

Clerk of the Court

How do I change the address on my case?
Where do I go to file legal papers or motions?

    You can file your legal papers with the relevant Clerk's Office Department (based on type of case). The Civil Department is located in the North Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1250; Criminal Department in the North Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1260; Family Department in the South Tower, 1st Floor, Rm, 1460; and Juvenile Department in the South Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3580.

How do I file a motion after hours?

    Deposit your motion in the Drop Box located to the left of the main doors at the Maryland Avenue entrance.

How do I check the status of a motion?
Where do I go if I missed a response date for my summons?
How do I request an interpreter?

    Download, complete, and send the Request for Spoken Language Interpreter. Forms and additional information are available on the Requesting an Interpreter page.

How do I cancel an interpreter request?

    If you need to cancel your interpreter request, contact the Clerk of the Court's Office immediately by phone at 240-777-9467, or fax a note about why the request is no longer needed to 240-777-9468.

How do I get a document translated into another language?
What can the public see about me in court records?

    Visit the Maryland Judiciary’s Access to Justice page for more information about public access to court records, Case Search, Peace or Protective Order cases, criminal records, juvenile records, and criminal convictions.


Coming to Court

Where is the Circuit Court located?

    The Circuit Court is located at 50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850.

What hours is the Circuit Court open?

    Circuit Court offices are open Monday-Friday every day the courthouse is open from 8:30am - 4:30pm. Security to the building, however, is open:

      Monday: 7:30am - 6:00pm
      Tuesday-Thursday: 7:30am - 8:00pm
      Friday: 7:30am - 6:00pm
How do I get to the courthouse?
    From I-270:
    1. Take Exit 5 (Falls Road) toward Rockville.
    2. If you are coming from I-270 North, bear right off the exit ramp, heading towards downtown Rockville. If you are coming from I-270 South, bear left off the ramp towards downtown Rockville.
    3. The road becomes Maryland Avenue; stay in the left lane.
    4. Proceed straight through two traffic lights and follow across East Jefferson Street (Route 28). The Maryland Avenue entrance of the courthouse will be on your right.
    From Route 355:
    1. If you are heading south on Route 355 (Hungerford Drive), turn right onto Monroe Place. Proceed across Monroe Street to the Monroe Street entrance of the courthouse.
    2. If you are heading north on Route 355 (Hungerford Drive), stay in the left lane and turn left onto Jefferson Street (Route 28). Stay in the right lane and make a right turn onto Maryland Avenue. The Maryland Avenue entrance of the courthouse will be on your right.

    Visit the Parking, Map, & Directions and Public Transportation to the Courthouse pages for additional details and maps.

Where can I park?
    General Public Parking

    PARKING FOR A FEE is available in downtown Rockville at the following locations:

    1. Parking garage at 11 North Washington Street, next to the M&T Bank Building.
    2. Council Office Building (COB) garage at the corner of East Jefferson Street (Route 28) & Monroe Street (accessible from both streets).
    3. Colonial Parking garage at 196 East Montgomery Avenue, Rockville Town Center West (high-rise building).
    4. Colonial Parking surface lot across from the theaters and restaurants between East Middle Lane & East Montgomery Avenue (entrance is on Helen Heneghan Way).
    5. Colonial Parking garage at 255 Rockville Pike (entrances on Route 355 and Monroe Street).
    6. 51 Monroe Street garage (entrance is on Monroe Place).

    Street-metered parking is also available around the courthouse. Please note that the parking meters take only quarters (15 min. per quarter) for up to a maximum of 2 hours. Jurors are asked not to park in these spaces.

    Handicapped Parking

    Handicapped parking for 27 Courthouse Square (old District Court building) and 29 Courthouse Square (Red Brick Courthouse) is on Jefferson Street (Route 28) between Washington Street and Maryland Avenue. Please refer to the posted signs located near the handicapped parking to direct you to the appropriate building entrance.

    Handicapped persons may also park in metered spaces around the courthouse; they do not need to put change in the meters but must be sure to display their handicapped placard in their vehicle.

    Visit the Parking, Map, & Directions and Public Transportation to the Courthouse pages for additional details and maps.

    Juror Parking

    Jurors may park at two locations at no charge:

    1. The Juror Parking Lot is located at the corner of East Jefferson Street (Route 28) and Monroe Street. The address is 301 East Jefferson Street, Rockville, MD. There are 6 handicapped parking spaces in the Juror Parking Lot. Entry to the lot will be allowed with summons.
    2. The Council Office Building (COB) Garage has additional parking if the Juror Parking Lot is full. It is located directly across from the Juror Parking Lot.

    Jurors should not park in the metered spots around the courthouse since they only allow parking for up to 2 hours.

    For information on additional juror parking options, visit the Juror Parking page.

Does the Circuit Court validate parking?

    No, the Court does not validate parking.

Is there a metro stop near the courthouse?
What is the nearest bus stop to the courthouse?

    Ride On Bus Routes 44-49, 52, 54-56, 59, 63, and 81 provide stops on Monroe Street near the courthouse and/or Rockville Station. For directions from the Station, visit the Public Transportation to the Courthouse page.

When and where is my court hearing?

    Visit the Court Schedule page, consult the monitors on the lobby level of the North Tower, or contact the Assignment Office at 240-777-9000 to find out where your hearing is. Please have your case name and number available when you call.

What court services are free?

    The Circuit Court lists several free services, from the KIDS SPOT Child Waiting Area, to interpreter services, ADA accommodations, and notary services, as well as self-help guidance, on its Services page.

How do I find my case number?

    Access the Maryland Judiciary Case Search by name, case type, county, and/or filing date to identify your case number. The case number is usually a 4-6 digit number followed by a D (District Court Appeal), C (Criminal), V (Civil), or FL (Family Law).

How do I find a form?

    Visit the Forms page to download and print Circuit Court and State of Maryland Judicial forms.

How do I start a case?
How much does it cost to file a case?

    Filing fees vary depending on the type of case and petition. The Montgomery County Circuit Court's Filing fees are based on the latest Schedule of Charges, Costs, and Fees to be Charged by the Clerks of the Circuit Courts Under Courts Article, §7-202.

    Updated Fee Schedules and summary charts are regularly updated on the Maryland Courts website.

    NOTE:Please note that the Circuit Court accepts cash, money order, or check payable to the "Clerk of Court" for filing fees. No credit cards are accepted.

Where do I enter and exit the building?

    You can enter and exit the Circuit Court from the Maryland Avenue entrance, the Monroe Street entrance, or the T-level entrance via the Executive Office Building.

    When you are inside the building, access to the South Tower is on the T-level, Lobby, and 2nd floor near the Maryland Avenue entrance.

    Maps are also available on the Maps page.

Does the Court provide wheelchairs?

    No, the Court does not provide wheelchairs.

Can you call a taxi for me when I need to leave the Court?

    Yes, the Information Desk located in the lobby of the North Tower can call you a taxi.

Is there a mailbox in the courthouse?

    No, the Court does not have a public mailbox. However, there is a full-service post office located at 500 North Washington St in Rockville.

What is the phone number for…?

    Visit the Contact Us page for a listing of locations and phone numbers for judges, magistrates, and courthouse staff.

Who are the judges at the Circuit Court?
Where are the restrooms?

    Restrooms are located close to each courtroom and in all main lobby areas.

If I cannot not ride an elevator, how do I get upstairs?

    There is a main stairway to the 1st and 2nd floors of the North and South Tower located in the lobby level of the North Tower. There are also stairways at the far ends of each building. Please see a staff member at the Information Desk located in the Lobby of the North Tower for more information.

Is there WIFI in the courthouse?

    Yes, the Circuit Court offers free WIFI to all visitors.

What is the WIFI password?

    The Circuit Court’s WIFI password is MCGUEST. To login:

    • Open the wireless options from your device, search for wireless networks, and choose to join MCGUEST.
    • Agree to the usage agreement;* once you agree to this, the page will refresh, and you will have Internet access.

    *If you do not see the usage agreement, open up a browser page, and it should display. Users may also have to unblock cookies on their privacy preferences setting.

Where can I smoke?

    Smoking or carrying any lighted tobacco product is prohibited in the Montgomery County Circuit Court buildings and any other properties owned or leased by the County, pursuant to Section 24-9 (amended May 27, 2013) of the Montgomery County Code. All violations of this law are class C civil violations; Section 1-19 of the Montgomery County Code indicates that the fine for violating this regulation is $50.00 for the first offense and $75.00 for a repeat offense. If the fine is unpaid, a maximum jail term of ten days may be imposed.

    Further, Bill No. 56-14, effective June 12, 2015, prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes in certain public places, including the Circuit Court buildings. Any violation of this Article is a class C civil violation, and each day a violation exists is a separate offense.

What holidays is the courthouse closed?

    Visit the Holidays page for the latest list of scheduled holidays on which the Circuit Court will be closed.

Is there an ATM in the courthouse?

    No, the Court does not have an ATM, but there is one in the cafeteria in the County Executive Office Building (EOB) at 101 Monroe St (accessible from the Terrace Level in the North Tower of the Circuit Court).

Where can I get change for the parking meters?

    The Circuit Court Finance Department does not make change. Visitors can try the cafeteria in the County Executive Office Building (EOB) at 101 Monroe St (accessible from the Terrace Level in the North Tower of the Circuit Court) or the businesses on East Middle Lane one block from the courthouse.

Where can I get a newspaper?

    Newspapers are available for purchase in the cafeteria in the County Executive Office Building (EOB) at 101 Monroe St (accessible from the Terrace Level in the North Tower of the Circuit Court).

Are there pay phones at the courthouse?

    No, there are no pay phones at the courthouse. However, if you have an emergency, you can use the phone to make a local call at the Information Desk located in the lobby of the North Tower.

Does the Circuit Court have a gift shop?

    No, the Court does not have a gift shop.

What can I bring into the courthouse?
  • Beverages
  • Food
  • Wooden knitting needles and wooden crochet hooks
  • Laptops
  • Cell phones
  • Phone and laptop chargers
  • Reading and/or work materials

 

Examples of items you may not bring though security:
  • Knives of any kind
  • Sharp objects (please make sure your key ring does not contain any sharp objects)
  • Weapons
  • Scissors
  • Mace
  • Metal crochet hooks and metal knitting needles

Where is there to eat around the courthouse?

    The County Executive Office Building (EOB) at 101 Monroe St (accessible from the Terrace Level in the North Tower of the Circuit Court) has a full-service cafeteria, and there are vending machines in the Jury Office (North Tower, 2nd Floor, Rm 2100) Break Room and on the 3rd floor down a hallway to the right past the judges’ pictures. There are also restaurants within walking distance around Rockville Town Center.

How do I become a law clerk?

Commissions of Notary Public

How do I apply to be a Notary Public?

    A person who wishes to apply for appointment as a Notary Public first submits an application to the Maryland Secretary of State. The Secretary’s staff then forwards the application to the State Senator of the applicant’s Senatorial District and then to the Governor for his/her approval of appointment. If approved, the Governor’s staff will notify the applicant to appear before the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the County (or Baltimore City) where the applicant resides.

    Before the Clerk of the Court, the appointee takes the oath of office, receives the Commission, and is qualified to act as a Notary Public. All Montgomery County Notary Publics are sworn in (no appointment necessary).

    Visit the Commissions of Notary Public page for more details about applying to be a Notary Public.


Court Administration

Is there day care in the courthouse?

    Yes, KIDS SPOT (South Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1440) is a free service provided by the Courthouse to allow children to have fun while their families are conducting business at the Circuit Court. KIDS SPOT is open from 8:00am - 12:30pm and then again from 1:15 - 5:00pm on days the courthouse is open.

    The Center is stocked with games, books, toys, and arts & craft supplies. Staff also plan and organize activities for children of different ages throughout the day that they can join at any time.

    Feel free to visit the Center to look around and ask the staff any additional questions you may have.

    To learn more about KIDS SPOT, visit the KIDS SPOT: Child Waiting Area page.

How much is day care?
How do I find a job in the courthouse?

    Visit the Careers page to find announcements for Montgomery County and Maryland State Judiciary positions within the courthouse.

How do I apply to be an intern or volunteer at the courthouse?
What is Differentiated Case Management (DCM)?

    Differentiated Case Management (DCM) emerged as a best practice for courts in the early 1990s concurrent with the development of time standards for the resolution of cases by organizations such as the American Bar Association (ABA). DCM provides a structured and active approach to caseload management to drive the early and appropriate resolution of the 90 percent or more cases not requiring a trial, while preserving adjudication time and court and public resources for those cases that do require a trial.

    DCM is characterized by the early differentiation of cases entering the justice system in terms of the nature and extent of judicial/justice system resources they will require. Each case is assigned to the appropriate case track that allows for the performance of pretrial tasks and allocates the appropriate level of judicial and other system resources, minimizing processing delays. Established mechanisms avoid multiple court appearances and assure the timely provision of resources for the expeditious processing and resolution of cases on each track.

    For more information, visit the Differentiated Case Management (DCM) page.

What is ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)?

    The Montgomery County Circuit Court offers litigants the opportunity to participate in mediation, which is a form of ADR in which a mediator assists parties in reaching a resolution before trial. Mediation can be ordered at any time during the pendency of any civil case, including family cases. If mediation is ordered by the court, the ADR coordinator will assign a mediator from the court-approved roster of ADR mediators. Mediators assigned to a case by the ADR coordinator must charge the “court rate” for the mediation. Parties and counsel may also select their own mediator from the court-approved roster of ADR mediators. If the parties select a mediator on their own, the mediator may charge the parties his or her private hourly rate for the mediation.

    Mediation is ordered in most civil cases, including family cases. All cases are assigned a track based on a number of factors related to the issues in the case. Mediation will not be ordered in domestic violence cases or cases in which the Court determines that ADR is inappropriate. Parties or counsel may opt out of mediation by informing the Court orally (in open court), or in writing.

    For more information, visit the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) page.

Can mediation be ordered before a case is filed?
How do I find court statistics?

    Information about past statistical reports and how to submit a data request is available on the Statistics page. Requests for additional statistics (PDF) may be directed to the Court Administrator, Judy Rupp, by phone at 240-777-9100, email, or by mail to 50 Maryland Ave, Suite 3040, Rockville, MD 20850.

How do I file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)/public information request?
How do I file a complaint about a court employee or judge?

    Grievances about court personnel should be put in writing and directed to the Court Administrator, Judy Rupp, by phone at 240-777-9100, email, or by mail to 50 Maryland Ave, Suite 3040, Rockville, MD 20850. Grievances about a Judge should be directed to the Commission on Judicial Disabilities, by phone at 410-514-7044 or by mail to 100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 21032.


Criminal Cases

How do I get my adult criminal record expunged?
Can I get my fingerprints taken at the courthouse?
How do I obtain subpoena forms?

    Attorneys who are registered with File & Serve can find more information on the Maryland Judiciary's website. Subpoena forms can also be provided by the Criminal Department (North Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1260).

How do I file a criminal case against someone?

Domestic Violence

How do I get domestic violence help?
How do I get domestic violence help if the court is closed?
Where do I file a protective order?

    Information about Adult Protective Orders may be obtained from the Family Division Services in the South Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1500; simply ask for the House of Ruth.

    Information about Protective Orders against juveniles (filed by either adults or juveniles) may be obtained from the:

    Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (Rockville Office)
    7300 Calhoun Place, Suite 500
    Rockville Maryland 20850
    Phone: 301-610-8500
Where do I file a protective order against another juvenile?

    Information about Protective Orders against juveniles may be obtained from the:

    Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (Rockville Office)
    7300 Calhoun Place, Suite 500
    Rockville Maryland 20850
    Phone: 301-610-8500
How do I get a protective order removed?

    TBD

Where is the Family Justice Center (FJC)?

    The FJC is located in the “Eagle Building:" 600 Jefferson Plaza, Suite 500, Rockville, Maryland 20850 (near Route 355, the intersection of Rockville Pike and Jefferson Street, directly in front of Richard Montgomery High School).

    The FJC is accessible by public transportation, and is located a few blocks from the Rockville Metro Station and the Rockville District and Circuit Courts.


Drug Court

What is a drug court?

    A Drug Court can be defined as "a special court given the responsibility to handle cases involving drug-addicted offenders through an extensive supervision and treatment program (National Association of Drug Court Professionals, 2001). In Montgomery County, Drug Court is a collaborative partnership between the Montgomery County Circuit Court, other law enforcement agencies, the health treatment system, and program participants to end the cycle of addiction that leads to crime.

    Through a multi-phased supervision program, criteria-eligible offenders are enrolled in the Drug Court by admitting to a violation of probation, or entering a guilty plea for any new charges and placed on probation that reflects a special condition of successfully completing Drug Court. Through a combination of intensive treatment, case management, regular court appearances, drug and alcohol monitoring, job placement, and community participation, participants engage in a therapeutic process to end their abuse of alcohol and other addictive substances, and to avoid new entries into the criminal justice system. Through the effective intervention of the Drug Court Team, program participants can live as contributing, productive members of their communities.

    For more information, visit the Adult Drug Court page.

Why develop a Drug Court? What problems does a Drug Court address?

    The Drug Treatment Court Commission was established in October 2003 pursuant to the order of Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Maryland Court of Appeals.

    The problems associated with substance-dependent offenders are familiar to every criminal justice practitioner, health treatment professional, and many of our own citizens. High rates of re-arrest, fragmented approaches to treatment, a focus on punishment rather than rehabilitation for non-compliant probationers, and a lack of capacity for rapid response to conditions that might interrupt the process of recovery, contribute to a well-documented “revolving door” that returns these offenders to the Court for subsequent offenses.

    The Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult Drug Court Program has adopted a model with a focus on collaboration and team decision making that reflects the therapeutic and supervision needs of each program participant to address the following problems:

    • Substance-abuse and drug-related recidivism by offenders who are in violation of the conditions of their probation and are at risk of continuing their criminal activities if they are not successfully rehabilitated from their alcohol and other drug dependencies. Through the successful implementation of the Drug Court Program, the court delivers a continuum of treatment, habilitation, and supervision services to successfully support the offender toward full and permanent recovery.
    • A reliance on incarceration, or other negative sanctions, as a primary response to Violations of Probation. Through the adoption of its Drug Court Program, the Court adopts a model of therapeutic jurisprudence that promotes the idea that the law is a therapeutic agent; positive therapeutic outcomes are important judicial goals; and the design and operation of the courts can influence therapeutic outcomes.* Through its emphasis on treatment, the Drug Court promotes a new model for rehabilitation intended to promote community safety through effective interventions that end the cycle of addiction. Incarceration is one tool, among many, to sanction participants struggling to meet the high expectations of the Drug Court Program.
    • (* U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance. Juvenile Drug Courts: Strategies in Practice, March, 2003.)

    • Fragmented approaches to treatment and supervision.Traditionally, law enforcement, the courts, and the health treatment community have operated through a “silo” approach that insulates them from shared accountability. However, this approach misses opportunities to leverage the unique strengths of each stakeholder in the system to promote offender recovery from addiction. The Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult Drug Court model overcomes that fragmentation by operating from a multi-agency team approach to enhance, strengthen, and complement the contributions of each member of the team. Members of the team, regardless of their tasks assigned by their home agency, share a common mission, promote the unified achievement of common goals and objectives, and maintain a shared accountability for success. Through a unified approach to treatment, supervision, and enforcement, the Drug Court is well positioned to tailor treatment to the needs of the offender, respond swiftly to conditions that require the immediate attention of the Drug Court team, and actively engage in the entire case/offender management process through system-wide collaboration.
    • A lack of capacity to respond rapidly to conditions that might interrupt the process of recovery.The Drug Court is a multi-phased program that requires weekly meetings with a participant’s Case Manager, weekly attendance at Drug Court, individual therapy, random urinalysis, and attendance at AA/NA meetings. Through intensive supervision, weekly meetings of the Drug Court Team, and weekly access to the Judge, the Drug Court eliminates the problem of delay in treatment and intervention so prevalent in traditional approaches to case processing. At any time, a Drug Court participant is no longer than a week away from a court appearance. Through a model of intensive supervision and treatment that is continuously monitored, the Drug Court can respond quickly to situations that require its intervention.

    For more information, contact the Maryland Office of Problem Solving Courts.

How else do Drug Courts differ from traditional courts?

    Drug Courts are offender-focused habilitation models that recognize the powerful influence of substance abuse as a driver of behavior. Recognizing that recovery from addiction is vital to community safety and individual accountability, the Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult Drug Court leverages several tools to support participants as they move toward recovery:

    • Unique involvement by the Drug Court Judges.
    • A non-adversarial, collaborative approach to treatment.
    • Weekly meetings of the Drug Court Team to review cases.
    • Weekly dockets dedicated to Drug Court cases.
    • Recognition, reward and positive reinforcement for progress.
    • The rapid imposition of negative sanctions as motivators to improve compliance and change negative behaviors.
Am I eligible for Drug Court?

    The following are the admission requirements for Drug Court:

    Admission criteria

    • An adult resident of Montgomery County, Maryland;
    • Either:

      • Sanctioned and approved by the Office of the State’s Attorney for referral to the Drug Court Program as part of a binding plea agreement;

      Or

      • Referred as a condition of a violation of probation (VOP);
      • Non-Violent;
      • Assessed as a substance abuser; and
      • Fully capable of participating in Drug Court activities and programs.
How does Drug Court work?

    Drug Courts operate on their own dockets at the Circuit Court.

    The Montgomery County Circuit Court Drug Court is a post-sentencing program for individuals charged with a new offense and/or violation of probation as a result of substance abuse. Offenders who enter the Drug Court Program are placed on probation with special conditions that support the goals of recovery and rehabilitation. Placed under the supervision of the Drug Court Program, enrollees consent to participate in a structured, four-phase program that involves:

    • Formal group and individual treatment sessions;
    • Frequent and random urinalysis;
    • Case management meetings;
    • Regular court appearances;
    • Mandatory attendance at NA/AA meetings; and
    • Other program-related requirements for a minimum of 20 months.

    Once enrolled in the Program, Drug Court participants will be subject to all conditions of probation recommended by the Drug Court Team and approved by the Drug Court Judge.

    The Adult Drug Court operates in a team setting. The Team consists of the:

    • Drug Court Judges
    • Case Managers
    • Representatives from the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Public Defender
    • Problem-Solving Court Coordinator
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Division of Parole and Probation.

    The Drug Court Team reviews cases weekly in preparation for the weekly Drug Court sessions. During these meetings, Team members review the progress of each participant in the program and make recommendations to the judge on how best to meet the needs of offenders enrolled in the program.

Can Drug Court participants be terminated from the program after enrollment?

    Yes. Enrollment and participation in the Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult Drug Court is an opportunity for an offender to overcome his/her dependence on drugs and/or alcohol. Through successful completion of the Drug Court Program, offenders are given the opportunity to maintain sobriety and avoid future criminal activity. Offenders may be disqualified from program entry, continuation, or graduation if it is in the interests of the community and/or the credibility of the Drug Court Program to do so. Although it is difficult to identify every circumstance that may lead to program disqualification, examples include:

    • Continuing criminal activity while under the supervision of the Drug Court.
    • Absconding from supervision leading to the issuance of a bench warrant.
    • Acts of violence while under the supervision of the Drug Court Program. Special emphasis is placed on any violence, or threats of violence, that occur in the participant’s home, place of work, or at treatment centers/programs.
    • A demonstrated lack of capacity or willingness to engage in treatment and follow the conditions of probation imposed by the Drug Court.

Expungements

How do I get my juvenile record expunged?
How do I get my adult criminal record expunged?

    Consult the Maryland Courts website for additional information and forms about expungement of adult criminal records.


Family Cases

How do I adopt a child?

    Individuals who wish to adopt a child must file a Petition for Adoption. The parents and/or guardians of the child must be notified of the adoption and either consent to the adoption or be served with a show cause order. They have the right to file an objection to the adoption in the Court if they do not agree. The judge will hold an adoption hearing prior to entering a judgment of adoption.

    For more information about the adoption process, filing fees, and additional resources, visit the Adoption page.

Where can I get a copy of an adoption order?

    The location of the adoption file depends on the year the adoption became final:

    • Adoptions finalized before 1947 are not sealed and are listed alphabetically by year in the Equity & Law docket books housed in the Circuit Court’s Land Records Department.
    • Adoptions filed from 1947-1992 are sealed and may not be accessed by the public. However, adoptees may be given confirmation that they were adopted in Montgomery County, and their file number may be given to the petitioner(s) and adoptee ONLY.
    • After 1992, legislation about adoptions changed, and a law was passed stating that the public could have access to specific information if it was furnished separately from the adoption files. The petitioner(s) and adoptee may request a certified copy of the final adoption decree, but the Court will not release information to anyone on their behalf. To do so, they first need to file a motion with the Family Department (South Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1460) to unseal the case.
Was I adopted in Montgomery County?

    If you want to know whether you were adopted in Montgomery County, you must provide the year of the adoption and the name of your adoptive parent(s).

    The location of the adoption file depends on the year the adoption became final:

    • Adoptions finalized before 1947 are not sealed and are listed alphabetically by year in the Equity & Law docket books housed in the Circuit Court’s Land Records Department.
    • Adoptions filed from 1947-1992 are sealed and may not be accessed by the public. However, adoptees may be given confirmation that they were adopted in Montgomery County, and their file number may be given to the petitioner(s) and adoptee ONLY.
    • After 1992, legislation about adoptions changed, and a law was passed stating that the public could have access to specific information if it was furnished separately from the adoption files. The petitioner(s) and adoptee may request a certified copy of the final adoption decree, but the Court will not release information to anyone on their behalf. To do so, they first need to file a motion with the Family Department to unseal the case.
How do I find out if my family member or friend was adopted in Montgomery County?

    Information regarding adoptions finalized after 1947 may NOT be released to the public.

How do I find my birth parents?

    The Court cannot release any information on birth parents to an adoptee. If an adoptee wishes to find his/her birth parents, he/she must contact the Department of Human Resources at 1-800-39ADOPT. The Department of Human Resources will put the adoptee in contact with a Certified Confidential Intermediary.

What is a Certified Confidential Intermediary?

    Certified Confidential Intermediaries have access to adoption files, and they conduct reviews and release non-identifying information to adoptees. The Court can release non-identifying information the intermediary releases if the birth parents did not file a veto when consenting to the adoption of their child.

If I have adopted a child from a foreign country, do I have to adopt them in the United States too?

    No, Maryland does not require adoptive parents to re-adopt children they have legally adopted in a foreign country. However, many adoptive parents choose to re-adopt their foreign-born children. If adoptive parents have a foreign adoption decree and are US citizens, they can get a Maryland birth certificate for the adopted children without re-adopting them.

    The adoptive parent(s) must re-adopt foreign-born children when they have a wrong visa or if the foreign country only allowed the adoptive parents to obtain guardianship. The adoptive parents may choose to re-adopt to change the child’s name, because local government (school) requires it, and/or to add a spouse to the order for estate purposes.

If I submit original licenses/certificates with the adoption petition, may I have them returned?

    Yes. Please submit a motion requesting the return of your originals and a proposed order for the judge to sign. Original documents submitted to the Court will be returned to you after the completion of the final hearing.

How do I request alimony?
  • You or your attorney may seek alimony as part of a divorce complaint, or the alimony can be incorporated into a separation agreement if the couple agrees on the terms.
  • For more information, visit the Understanding Alimony Cases page.
How do I change my child custody agreement?

    Visit the Family Department (South Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1460) to pick up Packet #7: Petition/Motion to Modify Custody or Visitation, for filing with the Court. Forms are also available on the Maryland Judiciary's website. Additional instructions are available on the How Do I Start a Case? page.

How do I legally change my name?

    Changing the name of an adult begins by (1) filing a Petition and (2) requesting that the Court publish a Notice of the Petition. If no one objects to the name change, and the Court does not have questions about the Petition, (3) the judge signs the Decree for Change of Name. However, if someone has contested the name change, or if the judge has any questions about your Petition, he/she may schedule a hearing.

    The total process will take approximately 2 to 2½ months from the date of filing the petition to have the final decree signed.

    Additional information may be found under the How Do I Change My or My Child's Name? page.

How do I change my child’s name?

    Changing the name of a minor under 18 years old requires a signed consent from the minor or a signed Petition for Change of Name from the minor’s parents, guardians, custodians, and/or a person originally listed on the minor’s birth certificate. If any parent, guardian, and/or custodian does not consent to the name change, they must be served, and a hearing will be held before the judge.

    Additional information may be found under the How Do I Change My or My Child's Name? page.

How do I get a divorce?
How long will it take to get a divorce?

    The length of a divorce proceeding depends on many factors, such as whether there are significant property issues or children are involved. Visit the Understanding Divorce Cases page for more information.

Where can I get legal advice?

    Circuit Court staff cannot offer legal advice. However, visit the How Do I Find a Lawyer? page for a list of resources to contact.

    In addition, Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420) staff can locate legal research materials, pinpoint decisions, and find forms but cannot offer legal assistance or advice. Limited assistance is available over the phone at 240-777-9120 or via e-mail at lawlibrary@mcccourt.com.

What if I cannot afford a lawyer?

    If you have a family case, you can visit the Family Law Self-Help Center (South Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1500). You can also call the Montgomery County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at 301-279-9100, Monday thru Friday, 9:00am - 1:00pm, or visit them on the 2nd floor, South Tower, Rms 2540-2542.

    Additional listings of attorneys and self-help guidance may be found on the Circuit Court website.

Do you have attorneys that can help fill out paperwork?

    Yes, the Family Law Self-Help Center (South Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1500) is a FREE walk-in clinic, staffed by attorneys, that provides either general legal information or limited legal advice in family law disputes involving divorce, custody, visitation, guardianship, and child support. The Self-Help Center can help determine which family law forms are the most appropriate, help with the completion of the forms, provide information on how to navigate the system, and explain the law in general.

    For more information, visit the Family Law Self-Help Center page.

How can I request a custody evaluation?

    At a scheduled court hearing called the Scheduling Hearing, a Family Magistrate will order an evaluation or assessment if he/she ascertains that the court and the parties would benefit from the input of the evaluative process. If the case is a Post-Judgment case, a motion must be made for an evaluation/assessment to be ordered, which includes the reason(s) for the order.

    Once an evaluation is ordered (at a scheduling hearing or later on motion of a party), the parties are directed to Family Division Services to meet with an evaluator for separate intake interviews, which are conducted Monday through Friday from 9:00-11:00 am.

As a grandparent, what custody and visitation rights do I have?

    Maryland law allows grandparents to ask the court for visitation rights. Grandparents can also ask for custody. The Family Department will accept both types of filings.

    For more information about visitation and custody rights for non-parents, visit the People's Law Library.

Are the co-parenting classes free?

    Yes, co-parenting classes are free of charge.

Do I have to attend co-parenting?

    Yes, once you are ordered by a Judge or Family Division Magistrate to co-parenting class, you must attend. Please also note that you must arrive on time for parenting classes to be admitted.

Where are co-parenting classes held?

    Day classes are held from 10:00am - 1:00pm in the Grand Jury Room (North Tower, 4th Floor, Rm 4240).

    Night classes are held from 5:30 - 8:30pm in the Jury Lounge (North Tower, 2nd Floor, Rm 2100).

Who are the Family and Juvenile Case Managers, and where are they located?

    Case Managers in Family Division Services monitor the progress of family cases to ensure that cases are receiving the appropriate resources, filings are in a proper posture for scheduled hearings, and unresolved issues that might prevent a case from moving forward are identified. They act as liaisons between the judges, attorneys, and service providers. Each case is permanently assigned to a case manager to ensure continuity from initial case filing through post-judgment actions.

    The Case Managers and their contact information are as follows:

    # Case Manager Name Phone Number
    1 General number 240-777-9075
    2 Marianne Hendricks, Supervisor 240-777-9084
    3 Christine Alexander 240-777-9063
    4 Amanda Barrett 240-777-9062
    5 Joanna Bonner 240-777-9171
    6 Jennifer Littlejohn 240-777-9173
    7 Corey Magill 240-777-9172
    8 Erin Shine 240-777-9064

Finance

How do I pay my court costs?

    If costs were assessed to be paid to the court directly, you can mail in a check or money order to the court. If you wish to pay by cash or credit card you must come to the Finance Office (North Tower, 2nd Floor, Rm 2420).

    Please note that we do not take payments over the telephone.

    If costs and fines were assessed to be paid through the Department of Parole & Probation, you should contact your agent for the amount that is due and owing.

Where do I pay a fee or post a bond?

    If court costs and fines were to be paid to the court, they should be paid in the Finance Department (North Tower, 2nd Floor, Rm 2420). If court costs were to be paid through parole and probation, please contact your probation agent for more information.

    Posting of a bond is done in the department handling the case (criminal, civil, family) during court house business hours; which are Monday through Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm. If it is after court hours, the bond may be posted at the Commissioner’s Office, located on the 1st Floor of 191 East Jefferson Street, Rockville, Maryland 20850.

I paid money in the District Court. When will that be returned to me?

    If you are appealing a District Court case, please remember that the money follows the case. Once we have received the money from District Court we will review outstanding court costs that may be owed to the Circuit Court. We will deduct the costs and send any remaining balance to the defendant, if appropriate.

When will my bond be returned in a criminal case?

    Once the case is over and the courtroom work has been entered into the case management system, the file will be sent to the Finance Office. You may check the Maryland Judiciary Case Search, and if the case information has been updated, then your file should have been sent to the Finance Office. Once Finance receives the file, we review it for any court costs and fines that have been assessed by the Circuit Court. If fines and costs are owed, that amount would be deducted from the bond, and the remainder will be sent to the defendant.

    If the bond was posted by another individual, the Finance Office will write a check to the individual and mail it to the address listed. It is very important to keep the court up to date with any address changes so that any correspondence or money is mailed to the correct address.

When will my bond be returned in a civil case?

    If the bond was posted by order of court, you must file a motion with a blank order with the Civil Department requesting that the bond be released.

    If the bond was posted as a condition of a release from incarceration, please call 240-777-9490 for more information.

When will my bond be returned in a family case?

    If the bond was posted by order of court, you must file a motion with a blank order with the Family Department requesting that the bond be released.

    If the bond was posted as a condition of a release from incarceration, please call 240-777-9490 for more information.

How do I get the money I deposited in the court’s registry account?
I have an order stating I am to receive money from the court’s escrow account. When will I receive it?

    The Finance Office will be forwarded the file, along with the Court’s order, releasing the money from an escrow account. If the account has accumulated more than $10 in interest, you will receive a letter and a W-9 from the Finance Office. This information must be completed and returned to the Finance Office at 50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850. Once the Finance Office receives this information, the escrow account is closed and a check will be mailed to the party.

    If the Finance Office receives the file, along with the Court’s order, to release a partial payment from an escrow account, but the account is not being closed, a check will be sent to the individual.

The court is holding passport(s) in my case. What is the process for the release of the passport(s)?

    If your passport was placed with the court as a condition of bond, you may pick up the passport 5-7 days after the final disposition in the case. It is highly recommended you call the Finance Office at 240-777-9490 before you come to pick up your passport, so that a clerk may check to be sure the passport is eligible for release.

    If your passport is being held by an Order issued from a judge, you will need to file a motion for the release of the passport and a blank order with the department that is handling the case (Civil, Family, Criminal, Juvenile).

    When the signed order from the judge has been entered into the case management system, you may pick up the passport. You may find this information on the Maryland Judiciary Case Search.

I received a notice that my check was returned from my bank. What do I need to do?

    If you have received a notice that your check was returned from your bank, you will be asked to pay for the returned check and an additional fee of $10 by cash or certified check. You may not write another check to cover the amount.


Find a Lawyer

How do I find a lawyer?
How do I find a public defender?
Where can I find a list of attorneys on my case?

    Access the Maryland Judiciary Case Search by case number, name, case type, county, and/or filing date to identify attorneys for the State of Maryland, defense attorneys, and other private attorneys.


Guardianship

How do I become a guardian?

    You or your attorney may file a Petition with the Family Department (South Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1460) requesting the Court to appoint a guardian of a minor or alleged disabled person. If the minor or alleged disabled person is a resident of Montgomery County, the Petition must be filed at Montgomery County Circuit Court.

    Guardianship can be a complex legal matter. An attorney’s services find-lawyer.html in guiding a family through the adoption process can be extremely helpful. Additional information about guardianship, including forms, is also available on the Understanding Guardianship Cases page.

Where do I file a guardianship report?

    Guardianship reports should be filed with the Trust Office (50 Maryland Avenue, North Tower, 2nd Floor, Rm 2400, Rockville, MD 20850).


Interpreter

How do I request an interpreter?

    Download, complete, and send the Request for Spoken Language Interpreter from the Requesting an Interpreter page. The Request is available for download in several different languages.

    Signed requests may be submitted:
    • By mail to the Office of the Clerk of the Court (50 Maryland Ave, North Tower, Rm 3200)
    • In person to either the Family, Criminal, Civil, or Juvenile Departments within the Circuit Court

    NOTE:The form must be received at least 2 weeks before your court date.

How do I request an interpreter if I did not arrange it ahead of time?

    See the courtroom clerk as soon as you arrive at the courtroom where your hearing is taking place to see what can be arranged.

Do I have to file a separate interpreter request for every hearing?

    No, as long as the request is for the same language, the Court will log the approved request into the Court’s case management system, which will notify staff to schedule an interpreter whenever you have a scheduled court event.

How do I cancel my interpreter request?

    If you need to cancel your interpreter request, contact the Clerk of the Court's Office immediately by phone at 240-777-9467, or fax a note about why the request is no longer needed to 240-777-9468.

Are interpretation services free?

    Yes.

How can I become an interpreter?

Jury Office

Where is the Jury Office?

    The Jury Office is located at 50 Maryland Avenue, North Tower, 2nd Floor, Rm 2100, Rockville, MD 20850.

Where is juror parking?

Jurors may park at two locations at no charge:

  1. The Juror Parking Lot is located at the corner of East Jefferson Street (Route 28) and Monroe Street. The address is 301 East Jefferson Street, Rockville, MD. There are 6 handicapped parking spaces in the Juror Parking Lot. Entry to the lot will be allowed with summons.
  2. The Council Office Building (COB) Garage has additional parking if the Juror Parking Lot is full. It is located directly across from the Juror Parking Lot.
Where is the juror qualification form?

    You will receive a Juror Qualification Form in the mail. It must be completed either by mail or online from the Maryland Courts website.

What happens when I complete the form?

    Jury Office staff evaluate answers to the Juror Qualification Forms to determine who is eligible for jury service.

What if I misplace my juror qualification form/summons?

    Contact the Jury Office at 240-777-9090 between the hours of 10:30 am and 4:00 pm Monday-Friday.

Who is eligible for jury service?

    All Montgomery County residents who are over 18 and are United States citizens are eligible to serve as a juror. A Montgomery County juror must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, a resident of Montgomery County, and be able to communicate in English.

What if I am not qualified for jury duty?

    You must complete the Juror Qualification Form. If you are disqualified, you will receive a letter confirming your excusal.

What if I was called for jury service, but I no longer live in Montgomery County?

    If you are no longer a resident of Montgomery County, you must send proof of new address by mail to the Jury Office (see address above). A copy of your new driver's license is acceptable.

How often can I be called for jury service?

    In Montgomery County, jurors may be summoned every 12 months UNLESS they are selected for a trial that lasts more than 5 days. Jurors who serve for more than 5 days are exempt from service for the next 3 years.

How long will jury service take?

    Any citizen selected for a jury trial serves for the duration of one trial, regardless of how long that trial may be. Montgomery County participates in the "one day, one trial" process. If you are not assigned to a trial by the end of the day, your service is complete. The judge reserves the right to keep a panel of jurors longer than one day if the jury selection process has not finished.

    The average length of our trials is 2-3 days. However, some trials may be longer. You will be told the length of the trial upon arrival in the courtroom.

What if I have a disability?

    Persons with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations. Accommodation requests must be made by phone at 240-777-9090 or submitted in writing to the Jury Office:

    50 Maryland Avenue
    North Tower, Rm 2100
    Rockville, MD 20850

    Jury staff can provide accommodations such as interpreters for the deaf and CART (Computer Assisted Real-Time Transcription) services for those who do not use American Sign Language (ASL).

    We advise the following for jurors using canes, crutches, or wheelchairs: the most easily accessed entrance from the Juror Parking Lot and the COB Garage is the optional Juror entrance located on the side of the Circuit Court, facing Route 28/East Jefferson Street. Using the Monroe Street entrance from the Juror lots is not advised due to the increasing slope of Monroe Street to the courthouse.

    We also advise using the restrooms located just outside the Jury Lounge. In addition to being handicapped-accessible, the outside and inside walls are equipped with automatic door buttons.

    For jurors with private medical concerns, the Court does have two Wellness Rooms (South Tower, Rms 1441 & 1442) that are available with door locks, chairs, and sinks.

    Jurors with leg or back issues are welcome to bring pillows and/or foot stools for their comfort.

Do I get paid for jury duty?

    Yes. As a trial juror, you will be paid a stipend of $15 for each day of service. If you are on a trial that lasts more than five consecutive days, your stipend will increase to $50 for each day served starting the 6th consecutive day.

What do I tell my job if I have to go to Jury Duty?

    Maryland Code § 8-501 (Discharge of Employment or Threats of Employment Loss)

    Discharge or threats prohibited:

      (a) An employer may not deprive an individual of employment or coerce, intimidate, or threaten to discharge an individual because the individual:

        (1) Loses employment time in responding to a summons under this title or attending, or being in proximity to, a circuit court for jury service under this title; or

        (2) Exercises a right to refrain from work under subsection (b) of this section.

    Employment shifts for individuals called to jury service:

      (b) An employer may not require an individual who is summoned and appears for jury service for 4 or more hours, including traveling time, to work an employment shift that begins:

        (1) On or after 5 p.m. on the day of the individual's appearance for jury service; or

        (2) Before 3 a.m. on the day following the Previous Termindividual'sNext Term appearance for jury service.

    Maryland Code § 8-502 (Employer Requirement of Employees to Use Leave)

    Required use of employees leave time prohibited:

      (a) An employer may not require an employee to use the employee's annual, sick, or vacation leave to respond to a summons under this title for jury service.

    However, Maryland law does not say your employer has to pay you while you serve. Jurors receive an expense stipend of $15 per day for expenses incurred while performing jury service. After five days of jury service, the expense stipend is then raised to $50 per day.

What if I have an emergency?

How do I postpone jury service?

    If you have a significant scheduling conflict (e.g., prepaid vacation, business trip), you may take advantage of a one-time courtesy rescheduling option using the online jury system. Alternatively, you may submit a written request with your completed questionnaire. You will receive notification if your request is granted or denied.

    You may also call the Jury Office at 240-777-9090 to reschedule; please have your juror badge ID number available. The Juror Qualification Form must be completed prior to a postponement request.

What should I wear to jury duty?

    You should dress appropriately when coming to court and wear business or business casual clothing.

    Do not wear:

    • Work uniforms including police uniforms or scrubs
    • Shorts
    • Shirts that expose midriffs
    • Exposed undergarments, including dropped or baggy pants that fall below the hip
    • Employee badges
    • Work name tags
    • T-shirts with graphics or logos
    • Skimpy, tight, or see-through clothing
    • Yoga pants
    • Hats, except for religious purposes
    • Flip flops
    • Ripped or torn jeans
What can I bring to jury duty?
When do I have to report for jury service?

    Please plan your morning to arrive in time to park, proceed through security, and complete check-in at the Jury Lounge by 8:30 am.

What do I do after I get to the courthouse?

    Please be prepared to remove your belt and to place it in the basket along with your keys, cell phone, and laptop for screening. After going through the security check point, take any elevator to the Jury Lounge, located on the 2nd floor of the North Tower, Rm 2100, for check-in.

    It is important to be on time when reporting for jury duty. The building opens at 7:30 AM Monday through Friday.

Where do jurors eat lunch?
    Wellness Cafeteria:

    Located in the adjoining County Executive Office Building, the Wellness Cafeteria offers a hot breakfast and lunch bar, made-to-order grill items, salad, sushi, taco bars, coffee, smoothies, fruit, yogurt, muffins, nuts, and candies.

    Rockville Town Center:
Can I leave my kids in the KIDS SPOT Child Waiting Area while I am in Jury Duty?

    No, because KIDS SPOT is closed during lunch and jury service is unpredictable, jurors are not allowed to leave their children there.


Juvenile

Is my child entitled to an attorney?

    Children in Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) cases are entitled to representation at all stages of their proceedings. The Maryland Legal Services Program contracts with legal firms to provide representation for all children involved in CINA cases in Montgomery County. Attorneys are appointed at either the Shelter Hearing or the Preliminary Inquiry Hearing.

    Children in delinquency cases are also entitled to legal representation at all stages of their proceedings. If the respondent is unable to afford an attorney, he/she may qualify for representation through the Public Defender’s Office:

    Public Defender’s Office CINA Division

    191 East Jefferson Street, 3rd Floor (District Court Building)
    Rockville, MD 20850
    Phone: 301-563-8919
As a parent in a juvenile case, am I entitled to an attorney?

    In Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) cases, parents are not entitled to representation but are strongly encouraged to retain counsel. A mother, father, or guardian may all have separate attorneys. You can hire a lawyer to represent you, or, if you cannot afford a lawyer, the Court will refer you to the Maryland Office of the Public Defender:

    Public Defender’s Office CINA Division

    191 East Jefferson Street, 3rd Floor
    Rockville, MD 20850
    Phone: 301-563-8919

    Parents who do not qualify may retain private counsel.

What is CINA?

    CINA stands for Child in Need of Assistance.

    There are two types of CINA petitions filed in the court:

    1. Emergency - child is removed from the home. The parents receive a copy of Child Welfare Services, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services' Petition and written notification of why Child Welfare feels the court should become involved with your family.
    2. Non-emergency - Child Welfare Services, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services files a CINA Petition with the court, but the child is not removed from the home.

    For more information about CINA cases, visit the Understanding Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) Cases page.

What if my child is charged as a delinquent?
Where are juvenile hearings held?

    Juvenile cases are primarily heard in the South Tower. When you arrive at the courthouse, please check the television monitors located in the lobby on the lower level of the North Tower to confirm the exact location of the hearing.

What are the statutory timelines in juvenile cases?

    According to Maryland Law, if a child is in shelter care or in detention, the case must proceed to an adjudicatory hearing within 30 days of the shelter or detention hearing. If a child remains in the home, a case must proceed to the adjudicatory hearing within 60 days of the service of the petition on the child.

May I contact the Judge regarding my child’s case?

    No. Parties may not contact the Judge or his/her chambers to inquire about a case. Such contact is considered ex parte communication and is prohibited.

How do I get help for a problem child?

    The Juvenile Court does not have jurisdiction over a child until a petition has been filed. If your child has not committed a delinquent act and you are not currently involved with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services or the Court, you may call the Department of Juvenile Services’ Rockville office at 301-610-8500 to see if there are any services that may be available to you and/or your child without court involvement.

    You may also call the Montgomery County Local Access Mechanism (LAM) at 301-354-4905 to see if there are any services that may be available to you and/or your child or check InfoMontgomery.org, an online database of resources and services created specifically for Montgomery County residents.

Does the Court provide child transfer services?

    No.

How do I get my juvenile record expunged?

Land Records

How do I make a copy of a land record or real estate property record?

    After a liber (book) and folio (page) has been located, the documents may be viewed on the computer. Duplication staff can make copies (including certified copies) of any documents. The staff can also provide triple seals of any instruments recorded in the Land Records Department. Self-service of regular copies is also available, but you must purchase a Quick Key to unlock images and duplicate documents. The Key is available for purchase from the Duplications Department (North Tower, Rm 2300). You may add money to your Key at any time during normal business hours.

    For more information about making copies and the fees involved, visit the Land Records page.

How do I record a deed?

    The Montgomery County Finance Office (240-777-8860), located at 255 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20850, Rm L15, transfers all deeds. The entrance is located on Monroe Street.

    All deeds with agricultural use and partial transfers must go through the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, located at 30 West Gude Drive, Suite 400, Rockville, MD 20850. They can be reached via phone at 240-314-4510 for residential properties and 240-314-4530 for commercial properties.

    Any deed or document that affects a change of ownership must be accompanied by: (1) a completed Intake Sheet; (2) a copy of the deed for submission to the Department of Assessments and Taxation; and (3) an affidavit of residency and/or a Maryland Form MW 506 NRS, for non-resident sale of property. You may obtain information on the affidavit of residency and/or a Maryland Form MW 506 NRS by calling 1-800-MDTAXES or from the Maryland Comptroller’s website.

    The deed must have a Certification of Preparation. The attorney who prepared the document or one of the parties named in the instrument must sign the Certificate.

    The grantors (sellers) must sign the deed, which should be acknowledged before a Notary Public.

    The parcel ID# must be typed or printed on the deed. The parcel ID# is located in the upper right corner of your tax bill. It would be the same as your account number.

    Deeds can be submitted to the County Department of Finance electronically, but they will have to be provided to the Circuit Court in paper form.

    For more information about the steps and fees involved in recording a deed, visit the Land Records page.

Where can I transfer of deed?

    Visit the Land Records Department in person (North Tower, 2nd Floor, Rm 2120) to transfer a deed.

What kind of documents are recorded in the Land Records Department?

    The public can view instruments related to land transactions recorded in the Circuit Court Land Records Department (North Tower, 2nd Floor, Rm 2120)—land, financing statements, corporations, condominium plats, sub-division plats, liens, and judgments—in the Land Records Public Information Room. This Room houses indexes of all instruments, and by using the indexes, patrons can identify the instruments that they wish to view. Indexes are available from July 3, 1977 to the present.

    The Montgomery County Office of Permitting Services has blueprints of homes, sometimes called “house location plats” dating back 20 years.

    For more information about property and real estate records, visit the Land Records page.

How do I file a power of attorney?

    Record a Power of Attorney in Land Records if it is related to land in Montgomery County. The cost is $20. A general Power of Attorney is not filed with the Clerk’s Office.

How do I change a name on a deed?

    A new deed must be prepared by either an attorney or a party to the deed. Forms may be found at the Circuit Court Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420).

How do I find out about liens on my property?

Law Library

Where is the Law Library located?

    The Law Library is located at 50 Maryland Avenue, North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420, Rockville, MD 20850. We are a short walk from the Rockville Metro Station. Additional driving instructions are available on the Parking, Map, & Directions page, with walking directions available on the Public Transportation page.

What hours is the Law Library open?

    The Law Library is open Monday-Friday, 8:00am - 5:30pm every day the courthouse is open. Check the gold Alert bar at the top of every page of the Circuit Court’s website to ensure the courthouse is open.

Is the Law Library open to the public?

    Yes, everyone is welcome to visit the Law Library. No special card, proof of residency, or permission is needed.

    All research materials are available to the public; however, materials cannot be checked out.

Where can I get help with legal research?

    Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420) staff can locate legal research materials, pinpoint decisions, and find forms, but cannot offer legal assistance or advice. We can help you find an attorney and suggest legal resources.

    The best way to use the library is by coming in and using our extensive resources in person. Limited assistance is available over the phone at 240-777-9120 or via e-mail at lawlibrary@mcccourt.com.

What kinds of materials do you have in your Law Library collection?

    The Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420) has an extensive collection of legal materials in print and online:

    • Maryland codes, regulations, case books, appellate briefs and opinions, attorney directories, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) materials, etc.
    • Significant Maryland legislative history sources back to 1795;
    • Maryland civil, family and criminal form books;
    • Federal and 50 state codes, opinions, treatises and formbooks;
    • General legal treatises;
    • Self-help books and guides; and
    • Legal dictionaries and encyclopedias.
May I eat or talk on my phone in the Library?

    Our guidelines are designed to promote legal research in a shared space and to protect our resources, most of which are expensive to maintain. To support these goals, the following are not allowed:

    • Eating and drinking;
    • Talking on cellphones;
    • Credit card payment; cash or checks only are accepted;
    • Listening to audio without headphones;
    • Removing or damaging books or other materials;
    • Entering staff-only areas;
    • Using the computers for non-legal research;
    • Using a conference room without booking it first, even for short periods of time;
    • Soliciting others for money, legal advice, employment opportunities, etc.;
    • Offering unsolicited legal advice to others;
    • Filming without permission from the Administrative Judge; and
    • Behaving in an abusive and/or disruptive manner.
Where can I find a notary?

    Free Montgomery County notary service is available in the Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420). Be sure to:

    • Bring your photo ID
    • Do not sign your documents prior to your arrival
    • Bring along your own witnesses, if necessary
How much does a notarized signature cost?

    Montgomery County notary services in the Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420) are free of charge.

Where can I get an Affidavit of Single Status Form?

    An Affidavit of Single Status Form is available in the Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420).

May I use the computers?

    Anyone may use the computers in the Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420) for legal research.

    • While there is no time limit, you may be asked to end your session if you are using the computer for non-legal research purposes or if there are people waiting to use a computer.
    • The use of USB drives (also called thumb drives or flash drives) is not permitted.
    • If you print copies of your research, the cost is 25¢ a page (cash or check only).
How do I reserve a conference room?

    Anyone may reserve a conference room in the Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420) at no cost for legal meetings.

    • Rooms must be booked in advance and vacated at the end of the reservation.
    • Meetings end by 5:00 pm.
    • Reserve a room in person, by email (lawlibrary@mcccourt.com) or by phone at 240-777-9120.
    • Let us know the date, starting and ending times, and how many people are in the meeting.
    • Rooms are popular; if there are changes or delays, please let us know as soon as possible.
    • Related room amenities include notary services, copying, faxing, scanning, printing, WIFI, and legal databases such as SASI-Calc.
    • Please note that you must obtain prior permission from the Administrative Judge for any filming or taping (240-777-9212).
Are Lexis or Westlaw available? Is there a cost to use these services?

    There is no cost to use the legal databases: Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg BNA, HeinOnline, PACER, SASI-Calc or the Maryland Daily Record.

    Printing out a citation is 25¢ a page, but you can often email your results for free.

May I access your databases from outside the library?

    Our paid databases (Westlaw, Lexis, HeinOnline, Bloomberg BNA, PACER, SASI-Calc, and The Maryland Daily Record) are accessible only in the library. However, there are several free databases available to the public, such as the Maryland Code and Rules, opinions, etc.

May I check out materials and take them outside the Library?

    We do not circulate our materials, but we have copiers for your use. The fee schedule is as follows:

    • Printing, scanning and copying cost 25¢ per black & white page and 50¢ per color page;
    • Sending and receiving faxes costs 50¢ per page; and
    • We accept cash and checks only with a minimum of $1.00 per check; and
    • All our materials are subject to standard copyright procedures.

    Also, some forms and documents may be emailed at no cost.

What kinds of self-help materials are available for non-lawyers in the Law Library?
Can I get legal help at the Law Library?

    Librarians are available to assist with your legal research and to provide information about hiring an attorney or locating free or low-cost legal help. However, we are not able to give you legal advice. To talk directly with a lawyer, there is a free legal help line at 410-260-1392, operated by the Maryland Courts. Other legal services are listed on the How do I find a lawyer? page.

What handicapped services does the Law Library have?

    We have a specialized low-vision terminal and reader plus we are:

    • ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible.
    • Librarians will retrieval materials from the second level of stacks.
    • If you have questions or need an interpreter, contact the library via phone at 240-777-9120 or email at lawlibrary@mcccourt.com.
May I get my document notarized, and if so is there a fee?

    We usually have a Montgomery County notary available in the Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420), and this is a free service.

    • We advise calling (240-777-9120) beforehand to make someone is available to help you;
    • Bring a government-issued photo ID;
    • DO NOT sign the document before you see the notary;
    • Arrange for witnesses if your document requires them; and
    • If necessary, research information about international apostles before you arrive.
Do you have copiers in the Law Library?

    For a small fee, we have copiers, fax machines, scanners and printers for your use. Please refer to the fee schedule below:

    • Printing, scanning and copying cost 25¢ per black & white page and 50¢ per color page;
    • Sending and receiving faxes costs 50¢ per page; and
    • We accept cash and checks only with a minimum of $1.00 per check; and
    • All our materials are subject to standard copyright procedures.

    Also, some forms and documents may be emailed at no cost.

Is there a way to check out a court case from home?
For my court case, how do I find a copy of the SCRA military verification?

    Anyone seeking court judgments, collections, repossessions or foreclosures against a debtor must verify military status before proceeding to avoid penalties.

    • You can obtain this military verification from the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) verification website.
    • It is essential to have the person’s social security number or birthdate to access this information.
    • Open the SCRA website, then click on the “single record request” link.
Can I search for background information on people in your databases?

    Due to privacy issues, the Law Library does not subscribe to any background-search databases.

Does the Law Library have access to company information?

    You can search extensive company information databases such as Bloomberg BNA and Lexis in the Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420).

What if I can’t find the legal materials I need in the library?

    Talk to a librarian – we may be able to borrow materials from another law library for you. Please note that while we do not charge for our services, you will be responsible for any costs associated with outside loans.

Is there WIFI in the library?

    Yes, free WIFI is available, with no password required.

Where can I fax a document?

    The Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420) offers incoming and outgoing fax service throughout the United States. The cost for faxes (incoming and outgoing) is 50¢/page.

How can I get documentation proving I live in Maryland?

    The Clerk of the Court (North Tower, Rm 3200) will certify whether someone is alive, and with a current, government-issued photo ID (like a driver’s license or passport), whether they live in Montgomery County.


Marriage License

How do I get a marriage license?

    Marriage licenses are issued by the Clerk of the Circuit Court. There are 24 jurisdictions in Maryland. You must contact the County/City Court in which you have your wedding ceremony when requesting a license.

    Visit the How Do I get a Marriage License? page to learn more about getting a marriage license in Montgomery County

How much does a marriage license cost?

    At the time of application, you must pay a license fee of $55 in cash, Visa/Mastercard, or money order. Personal Checks and American Express are not accepted, and there are no refunds.

How do I get a copy of my marriage license?

    You will need certified copies of your marriage license to use as a legal document of proof of your marriage for the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), Social Security Administration, etc.

    You can make a request at any time for a Certified Copy of your Marriage License (provided the license was issued on or after 1993) by completing a Request for Copy of Marriage Record (PDF) and sending it to the License Department. If you are getting married at the court, you can purchase a certified copy of your marriage when you pay for the civil ceremony. The cost of a Certified Copy is $5.50; a Non-Certified copy costs $.50. If requesting by mail, an additional $2 mail handling fee must be included.

    For certified copies of Marriage Licenses before 1990 please contact Maryland State Archives at 410-260-6400 or online at msa.maryland.gov.

    For copies of marriage licenses for marriages on or after January 1, 1990, contact the Maryland Vital Statistics Administration at 800-832-3277.

Can I get married in the courthouse?

    Yes, marriage ceremonies are performed by appointment only. If you wish to hold your ceremony at the courthouse, please contact the License Department at 240-777-9460 or in person. You must obtain your marriage license before you may schedule a ceremony. The fee for the ceremony is $25 cash or by Visa/Mastercard (American Express and personal checks are not accepted).

Where can I take wedding pictures?

    Except as permitted by Maryland Rule or expressly permitted by the local administrative judge, a person many not (i) take or record a photograph, video, or other visual image in a court facility, or (ii) transmit a photograph, video, or other visual image from or within a court facility. Cameras are only permitted in the Circuit Courthouse for special events such as weddings, adoptions, and with the approval of the Administrative Judge. A person(s) may bring a camera for the purpose of taking photographs and/or videos of a marriage ceremony and any marriage-related activities that occur prior to or after the ceremony at the Licensing Department and the surrounding public waiting area in the lobby level of the court facility.

    See the Courthouse Security Administrative Order (PDF) and Policy on Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices (PDF) for additional information about security at the Circuit Court.


Passports

How do I apply for a passport or renew my passport?

    The Circuit Court’s License Department processes passport applications by appointment only; we no longer take walk-in customers. Appointments may be scheduled in person Monday through Friday from 8:30am - 1:00pm, or by calling 240-777-9460.

    Passports cannot be expedited or hand carried. It takes four to six weeks to receive your passport.

    The Passport Application must be signed before a License Department agent. You must appear in person and present:

    1. Proof of U.S. Citizenship (one of these:)*
      • Previous U.S. Passport
      • Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state†
      • Consular Report of Birth Abroad Naturalization Certificate
      • Certificate of Citizenship

    2.  Two pictures taken by a *certified* photographer. The pictures must measure 2" x 2". These pictures are made to withstand high temperatures that are used when passports are processed.
Vending machine photos are not acceptable.

Represent Myself

Do I need a lawyer?

    The answer is probably YES if:

    • The case is contested and the other side has a lawyer
    • You do not have an address for the other side
    • You cannot locate the other side to serve him/her with your papers
    • This is a divorce case and either side has a house, a pension, or a large amount of property or income. Even if it is a friendly divorce, you SHOULD talk to a lawyer before you sign any settlement papers or file anything in court.
    • You and your spouse do not agree on who should have custody of the children
    • You think the court will need information that you cannot get
    • You are seeking an annulment

    Visit the How Do I Find a Lawyer? page for a list of legal resources.

    If you have a family case, you can visit the Family Law Self-Help Center (South Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1500). You can also call the Montgomery County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at 301-279-9100, Monday thru Friday, 9:00am - 1:00pm, or visit them on the 2nd floor of the South Tower, Rms 2540-2542).

Where can I get legal advice?

    Circuit Court staff cannot offer legal advice. However, visit the How Do I Find a Lawyer? page for a list of resources to contact.

    In addition, Law Library (North Tower, 3rd Floor, Rm 3420) staff can locate legal research materials, pinpoint decisions, and find forms but cannot offer legal assistance or advice. Limited assistance is available over the phone at 240-777-9120 or via e-mail at lawlibrary@mcccourt.com.

What if I cannot afford a lawyer?

    If you have a family case, you can visit the Family Law Self-Help Center (South Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1500). You can also call the Montgomery County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at 301-279-9100, Monday thru Friday, 9:00am - 1:00pm, or visit them on the 2nd floor of the South Tower, Rms 2540-2542). Additional listings of attorneys and self-help guidance may be found on the Circuit Court website.

Do you have attorneys who can help fill out paperwork?

    Yes, the Family Law Self-Help Center (South Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1500) is a FREE walk-in clinic, staffed by attorneys, that provides either general legal information or limited legal advice in family law disputes involving divorce, custody, visitation, guardianship, and child support. The Self-Help Center can help determine which family law forms are the most appropriate, help with the completion of the forms, provide information on how to navigate the system, and explain the law in general.

    For more information, visit the Family Law Self-Help Center page. Please note that whether you receive advice, help with forms, or general information that applies to everyone, will depend first on your income eligibility using established state-wide income guidelines, and second, on the complexity of your case. You will still be responsible for paying all fees and costs associated with your case.


Security & Accessibility

Is there security at the courthouse?

    Yes, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office supervises and trains contractual uniform security officers. These security officers monitor the entry-level security screening stations located at all three courthouse entrances: Maryland Avenue, Monroe Street, and the Terrace Level. The security officers strictly enforce the policy and procedures of the Sheriff’s Office and any court-issued orders relating to entry-level security.

    Security Officers are required to seize all weapons including pepper spray, mace, all knives, etc. and other contraband coming into the courthouse. Persons entering the courthouse carrying weapons that are considered legal to possess but are not permitted in the courthouse will be required to surrender the property. The owner will be given a property claim ticket. To ensure that all property is returned to rightful owner, persons picking up property must present this ticket to the security officer when departing the courthouse.

    Please be prepared to take off your belt. Make sure that your electronics and keys are out and placed in the basket for screening.

    Examples of items you may bring through security:

    • Beverages
    • Food
    • Wooden knitting needles and wooden crochet hooks
    • Laptops
    • Cell phones
    • Phone and laptop chargers
    • Reading and/or work materials

    Examples of items you may NOT bring through security:

    • Knives of any kind
    • Sharp objects (please make sure your key ring does not contain any sharp objects)
    • Weapons
    • Scissors
    • Mace
    • Metal crochet hooks and metal knitting needles

    The Sheriff’s Office also strictly enforces parking in and around the courthouse. Any vehicles found in violation will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

    See the Courthouse Security Administrative Order (PDF) and Policy on Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices (PDF) for additional information about security at the Circuit Court.

Do I have to go through security to get to or return from the cafeteria?

    Yes, there is a security station between the Terrace level of the North Tower of the Circuit Court and the cafeteria in the Executive Office Building (EOB).

Are cameras allowed in the courthouse?

    Except as permitted by Maryland Rule or expressly permitted by the local administrative judge, a person many not (i) take or record a photograph, video, or other visual image in a court facility, or (ii) transmit a photograph, video, or other visual image from or within a court facility. Cameras are only permitted in the Circuit Courthouse for special events such as weddings, adoptions, and with the approval of the Chief Judge. A person(s) may bring a camera for the purpose of taking photographs and/or videos of a marriage ceremony and any marriage-related activities that occur prior to or after the ceremony at the Licensing Department and the surrounding public waiting area in the lobby level of the court facility.

    See the Courthouse Security Administrative Order (PDF) and Policy Cell Phones Other Electronic Devices (PDF) for additional information about security at the Circuit Court.


Tech Services

How do courtroom recordings work?

    Since 1982, when the use of stenographers in the courtroom was phased out, the Court has electronically recorded all courtroom proceedings, first on 8-track reel-to-reel tapes and after 2002 via a digital recording system called CourtSmart. The Department maintains a “library” of these recordings from civil, criminal, family, equity, juvenile, District Court Appeals, and Register of Wills cases. All court proceedings are stored on-site or in secure archives.

    CourtSmart allows staff to constantly monitor court proceedings, perform real-time verification of courtroom events, and record and maintain proceedings with vastly improved sound quality. Information digitization via CourtSmart also enables the Court to provide court proceedings on CDs.

How do I order a transcript?

    If you decide to order a transcript, please work directly with the Court’s vendor, Deposition Services, Inc., to get an estimate before placing your order. All transcript deposits and final payments will be paid directly to the vendor.

    You will need to know the Case Number, Case Type, Case Name, and Hearing Date in order to request a transcript. You can obtain this information by accessing the Maryland Judiciary's online Case Search.

    To order a transcript from the Circuit Court:


    To view further instructions and sample costs for transcripts, visit the Transcripts and Audio CDs page.

How much does a transcript cost?

    Transcript costs are based on the number of pages and turnaround time requested. The number of pages in a transcript varies widely from case to case and is affected by many factors.

    • Same Day: $5.20 per page (Maximum 40 pages, order before 10:00 am)
    • 1 Business Day (26 hours): $4.03 per page (order before 4:00 pm)
    • 3 Business Days: $3.17 per page
    • 5 Business Days: $2.84 per page
    • 10 Business Days: $2.41 per page
    • 20 Business Days: $2.25 per page
    • Copies: 25¢ per page - with purchase of original transcript

    To view sample costs for transcripts based on length of hearing and turnaround time, visit the Transcripts and Audio CDs page.

How long will it take to process a transcript?

    All transcript orders are based on business days; weekends and holidays are not counted in turnaround times.

    When ordering a transcript, the time begins to run when the transcription requestor pays the estimated total cost to the vendor. The normal delivery time for transcripts on the day they are due is 3:00 pm.

    To view sample costs for transcripts based on length of hearing and turnaround time, visit the Transcripts and Audio CDs page.

How do I order an audio CD?

    All audio CD deposits and final payments will be paid directly to the vendor.

    You will need to know the Case Number, Case Type, Case Name, and Hearing Date in order to request an audio CD. You can obtain this information by accessing the Maryland Judiciary's online Case Search.

    To order an audio CD from the Circuit Court:


    To view further instructions and costs for audio CDs, visit the Transcripts and Audio CDs page.

How do I order technology for a courtroom or hearing room?

    If you are an attorney or self-represented party and would like an overview of technology available in the courtrooms (complete list located at Audio/Visual Equipment) or need time to test your devices, please contact Technical Services at 240-777-9150 to arrange for a demo or assistance.


View & Copy Case Files & Exhibits

Where can I get a certified copy of an order?

    Visit the corresponding department (Family, Civil, Criminal). There is a $5 certification fee, plus 50 cents fee per page copied. You can also submit your request by mail.

    Please contact the corresponding department for an estimate of the required fees.

How do I make a copy of my case?

    All Montgomery County Circuit Court files are open to the public except those that have been sealed by court order. Central Files (North Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1100) houses and protects all civil, criminal, and family files (except the most recent criminal files, which are located in the Criminal Department (North Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1260)). The fee for copying papers is $.50 per page.

    You will need the Circuit Court case number to request a court file. The case number is usually a 4-6 digit number followed by a D (District Court Appeal), C (Criminal), V (Civil), or FL (Family Law). Access Maryland Judiciary's online Case Search to locate a case number.

How do I make a copy of an exhibit?

    Exhibits are open to the public except for cases sealed by court order. You can request copies of exhibits from the Exhibit/Reproductions Room (North Tower, 1st Floor, Rm 1400). All civil and family case exhibits are also housed in this office.

    You will also need the Circuit Court case number to request an exhibit. The case number is usually a 4-6 digit number followed by a D (District Court Appeal), C (Criminal), V (Civil), or FL (Family Law). Access Maryland Judiciary's online Case Search to locate a case number.

How much are copies?

    The fee for copying papers in any of the Clerk's Office Departments is $.50 per page.

What do I do when I receive a notice in the mail to pick up criminal exhibits?

    Call 240-777-9513 or stop by the Courtroom Clerks Department, North Tower, 2nd Floor, Rm 2500, North Tower, for further information.


Matters Handled Outside the Court

Where is the Rockville District Court?

    Rockville District Court is located at 191 East Jefferson St, Rockville, MD 20850, phone 301-563-8800.

What is the difference between Circuit Court and District Court?

    Circuit Courts are where jury trials are held. Circuit Courts generally handle more serious criminal cases and major civil cases. These include juvenile and other family law cases such as divorce, custody, and child support. The Circuit Courts hear most cases appealed from the District Court, orphans’ courts, and some administrative agencies. Circuit Courts also hear domestic violence cases. Cases may be decided by juries, but they also may be decided by a judge only.

    The District Court in Maryland is one of two trial courts (where most cases start) in Maryland. The jurisdiction of the District Court includes all landlord-tenant cases, domestic violence/peace orders, replevin actions, motor vehicle violations, misdemeanors, return of property, and certain felonies. In civil cases the District Court has exclusive jurisdiction in claims of $5,000 or less, and concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit Courts in claims for amounts above $5,000 but less than $30,000. The jurisdiction of the District Court is concurrent with that of the Circuit Court in criminal cases, classified as misdemeanors and certain felonies, in which the penalty may be confinement for 3 years or more or a fine of $2,500 or more. The District Court does not conduct jury trials.

Where can I pay a traffic ticket?

    Motor vehicle violations are handled in District Court, located across the street from Circuit Court at 191 East Jefferson St, Rockville, MD 20850, phone 301-563-8800.

Where is traffic court?

    Motor vehicle violations are handled in District Court, located across the street from Circuit Court at 191 East Jefferson St, Rockville, MD 20850, phone 301-563-8800.

Where do I go for landlord-tenant cases?

    Landlord-tenant cases are handled in District Court, located across the street from Circuit Court at 191 East Jefferson St, Rockville, MD 20850, phone 301-563-8800.

Where do I go to file for small claims?

    In civil cases, the District Court has exclusive jurisdiction in claims of $5,000 or less, and concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts in claims for amounts above $5,000 but less than $30,000. Contact the Rockville District Court by phone at 301-563-8800 for more information.

How do I evict someone?
Where do I file a Will?
Where can I get help filing a will?
Where do I find a probate record?
How do I claim a deceased person's unclaimed property?
How do I file a claim against someone's estate?
How do I find out when a deceased relative's estate has opened?
How do I withdraw a living person's Will?
How is property distributed if there is no Will?
Where do I get a Letter of Administration?
What is Teen Court?

    Teen Court is a diversion program offered by the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office to first-time juvenile offenders, in which they admit to their involvement in the offense and agree to have their case heard before a peer jury of Teen Court student volunteers in a court setting. The judges, which include Circuit, District, and Special Appeals judges, volunteer their time and are present to answer legal questions and set the tone for the courtroom.

    Using Teen Court guidelines, the jury decides the appropriate disposition, which includes mandatory community service hours, appropriate educational programs, and may include essays, apology letters, or Teen Court jury duties. If the juvenile offender (respondent) completes the assigned disposition within 60 days, the original charge is dismissed and will not appear in the juvenile's record.

    For more information about Teen Court, contact the State’s Attorney’s Office online or via phone at 240-777-7300.

How do I get help with a truancy issue?

    The Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office sponsors an early-intervention Truancy Prevention Program with the mission to improve attendance of middle school children in Montgomery County Public schools, by discovering the root causes of truancy and assisting students and their families with issues that impact attendance.

    For more information about the Truancy Prevention Program, contact the State’s Attorney’s Office online or via phone at 240-777-7300.

Where can I get a copy of my birth certificate?

    Visit the Birth Certification page of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Vital Statistics Administration website, phone number 800-832-3277.

Where can I get a copy of a death certificate?
Where can I pay my property taxes?
    Property Taxes should be paid at the following address:
    Montgomery County Department of Finance
    Division of Treasury
    255 Rockville Pike (Monroe Street entrance located across from the back of the courthouse)
    Suite L-15
    Rockville, MD 20850
Where is the Department of Probation?

    The local Parole and Probation Office of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is located at 979 Rollins Ave, Rockville, MD 20851, phone 301-998-6700. Intake is located at the District Court across from the Circuit Court at 191 Jefferson St, Rockville, MD 20850, phone: 301-563-8715.

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