The District Court has jurisdiction in minor civil and criminal matters, and in virtually all violations of the Motor Vehicle Law. The exclusive jurisdiction of the District Court generally includes all landlord and tenant cases; replevin actions; motor vehicle violations; criminal cases if the penalty is less than three years imprisonment or does not exceed a fine of $2,500, or both; and civil cases involving amounts not exceeding $2,500. It has concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts in civil cases over $2,500 (but not exceeding $10,000) and concurrent jurisdiction in misdemeanors and certain enumerated felonies. The District Court has little equity jurisdiction and only in Montgomery County has jurisdiction over juvenile cases.
Since the District Court provides no juries, a person entitled to and electing a jury trial must proceed to the Circuit Court (Code 1957, Art. 27, secs. 586, 594D, 616 1/ 2, 643A; Code Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, secs. 1-601 through 1-608, 2-601 through 2-607, 4-101 through 4-405, 6-403, 7-301, 7-302, 9-201, 11-402, 11-701 through 11-703, 12-401 through 12-404; Code Family Law Article, secs. 4-501 through 4-510).
Administered centrally, the District Court of Maryland is funded totally by the State. Presently, there are 98 judges on the Court, including the Chief Judge.
The Chief Judge is the administrative head of the Court and appoints administrative judges for each of the twelve districts, subject to the approval of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. A chief clerk of the Court is appointed by the Chief Judge as are administrative clerks for each district, and district commissioners who issue arrest warrants and set bail or collateral.
District Court judges are appointed by the Governor to ten-year terms, subject to Senate confirmation. They do not stand for election. The Chief Judge is designated by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.
The District Court of Maryland is divided into twelve geographical districts. Each district contains one or more political subdivisions, with at least one judge in each subdivision.
District 2: Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties.
District 3: Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot counties.
District 4: Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties.
District 5: Prince George's County.
District 6: Montgomery County.
District 7: Anne Arundel County.
District 8: Baltimore County.
District 9: Harford County.
District 10: Carroll and Howard counties
District 11: Frederick and Washington counties.
District 12: Allegany and Garrett counties.
Meeting quarterly, the Committee considers matters that affect the administration, operation, and maintenance of the District Court of Maryland.
July 10, 1998
COMMISSIONER EDUCATION COMMITTEE
The Commissioner Education Committee was initiated by the Chief Judge of the District Court of Maryland. Annually, the Committee revises the District Court Commissioners' Manual. It recommends changes to forms and procedures used by Commissioners. Each year, the Committee prepares an educational seminar and presents it to all Distict Court Commissioners.
COMMITTEE ON CIVIL PROCEDURES
The Committee on Civil Procedures was formed by the Chief Judge of the District Court of Maryland. The Committee reviews new legislation affecting District Court civil cases and appellate court decisions bearing on the trying of civil causes in District Court. The Committee recommends revisions to District Court forms, practices, and procedures. Upon request of the Chief Judge or the Administrative Judges of the Court, the Committee studies certain topics in civil law.
COMMITTEE ON CRIMINAL & MOTOR VEHICLE MATTERS
The Committee on Criminal and Motor Vehicle Matters was created by the Chief Judge of the District Court of Maryland. The Committee reviews new legislation affecting District Court criminal and motor vehicle cases and appellate court decisions bearing on the trying of criminal and motor vehicle causes in District Court. The Committee recommends revisions to District Court forms, practices, and procedures. Upon request of the Chief Judge or the Administrative Judges of the Court, the Committee studies certain topics concerning criminal or motor vehicle matters.
JUDICIAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE
The Judicial Education Committee was established by the Chief Judge of the District Court of Maryland. The Committee prepares and presents an annual education conference for all District Court Judges. Topics and speakers are selected by the Committee, whose members frequently make presentations.
DEFUNCT COMMITTEES OF DISTRICT COURT
AD HOC COMMITTEE ON COURT LIBRARY REQUIREMENTS
The Ad Hoc Committee on Court Library Requirements was formed by the Chief Judge of the District Court of Maryland in 1994. The Committee developed a core list of law books, periodicals, and other research materials required for District Court libraries and judges' chambers and for use on the bench. It also determined which titles could be discontinued because of infrequent use. The Committee concluded its work in December 1995.
Maryland Manual On-Line
Maryland Manual On-Line, 1998
Note: In this past edition of Maryland Manual, some links are to external sites. View the current Manual
July 10, 1998