Maryland Judiciary Case Search now includes appellate dockets
As of today, the public can search Maryland appellate dockets through Maryland Judiciary Case Search, the site long used for searching trial court filings. Hopefully, this development will lead to Maryland appellate dockets being searchable in Westlaw.
The previous target date for this search functionality was September 8, 2019. Today’s press release from the judiciary discusses the extensive labor involved, hinting at why this important process took longer than expected:
The Maryland Judiciary has expanded its public access database, Maryland Judiciary Case Search, to include remote access to case information from the Court of Appeals (COA) and the Court of Special Appeals (COSA), in addition to existing access to cases in the trial courts.
The appellate case information is now available online. Case Search now contains COA case information from term year 2015 to present and COSA case information from term year 2016 to present. As per Rules 8-102 and 8-421, the appellate courts sit in terms that run from September 1 of the term year to the following August 31.
“By implementing this expansion, the Judiciary will be able to provide, for the first time, online public access to civil and criminal case information for the two appellate courts in addition to the two trial courts,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. “This expansion increases access to information about cases that have been appealed and enhances the transparency of the state appellate courts.”
Case Search users are now able to search for appellate cases by party names or case numbers. Although Case Search does not include case documents, it contains detailed case information from all Maryland appellate, circuit, and district court case management systems and allows users to satisfy many information requests commonly received in the court clerks’ offices.
“Court of Special Appeals and Judicial Information Systems staff converted thousands of pages of case data from the court’s legacy electronic case management systems into Case Search for this critical upgrade,” said Court of Special Appeals Chief Judge Matthew J. Fader. “This tremendous effort vastly improves public access to intermediate appellate court case records.”
Introduced in January 2006, Case Search provides online access to information from Maryland case records as described in the Maryland Rules on Access to Judicial Records, Rules 16-901 through 16-914. It provides current docket information in near real-time and includes the names of the parties, city and state, case number, trial date, charge(s), and the case disposition.
Case information in the Maryland Judiciary Case Search database includes district court traffic, criminal, and civil case information, circuit court criminal and civil case information, and now appellate case information. Case information prohibited from release by the Maryland Rules on Access to Judicial Records or other laws and information from historical records that predate automated case management systems are not available on Case Search.