Maryland Certiorari Statistics, 2019 Term

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

For three years now, I’ve tracked the Court of Appeals’ petition docket. The judiciary’s annual statistical reports give the overall grant rate for civil and criminal certiorari petitions. Because the majority of petitions each year are filed pro se, however, the overall statistics are not terribly helpful for lawyers in advising their clients regarding the odds of certiorari.

Below are the statistics for the Court’s 2019 Term (petitions filed 3/1/2019 to 2/28/2020), alongside the statistics for the prior two 12-month periods for comparison.

My numbers do not include: pro se petitions; petitions that were dismissed or voluntarily withdrawn; or six still-pending petitions that are awaiting a Supreme Court decision on juvenile life sentences.

To reiterate the usual caveats:

  • Correlation does not imply causation.
  • Each petition rises or falls on its own merits.
  • My data-collection efforts are not perfect.
  • I’ve refrained from making judgment calls, such as whether to treat a group of related petitions as a single petition.
Civil Petitions Filed Through Counsel2019 Term2018 Term2017 Term
Overall30% (41/138)22% (35/160)32% (47/145)
Filed by State100% (4/4)80% (4/5)80% (4/5)
Filed by Locality50% (5/10)40% (4/10)100% (3/3)
Filed by Office of the Public DefenderN/A100% (1/1)100% (1/1)
Filed by Private Counsel, for Private Party25% (20/81)18% (26/144)28% (38/134)
Bypass Petitions40% (6/15)36% (4/11)60% (9/15)
From Reported COSA Opinion62% (18/29)31% (9/29)54% (15/28)
From Unreported COSA Opinion16% (11/68)15% (15/101)21% (18/85)
From COSA Opinion That Drew a Dissent88% (7/8)50% (3/6)100% (4/4)
Criminal Petitions Filed Through Counsel2019 Term2018 Term2017 Term
Overall34% (31/90)32% (28/87)38% (35/91)
Filed by State69% (9/13)83% (15/18)70% (7/10)
Filed by Office of the Public Defender33% (11/33)20% (7/35)40% (22/55)
Filed by Private Counsel25% (11/44)18% (6/34)22% (6/27)
Bypass Petitions0% (0/1)0% (0/2)0% (0/1)
From Reported COSA Opinion76% (16/21)70% (14/20)73% (11/15)
From Unreported COSA Opinion24% (14/58)21% (12/56)44% (24/55)
From COSA Opinion That Drew a DissentN/A100% (1/1)0% (0/1)

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