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Which District Court Rules Apply
The details on how the court process will work (called “procedure”) are found in the Maryland Court Rules. The Maryland Court Rules that apply to cases described in this Guide are called “Title 3 Civil Procedure – District Court”. Read the Rules: MD Rules Title 3
- In other words the Rules for criminal cases and for the Circuit Courts are found in other places.
- Small claims and landlord-tenant cases are considered “special proceedings “ under the District Court Rules.
Here is why this is important in your research.
Under the general District Court Rules, there are several types of legal disputes that are considered “special proceedings”. In some areas, these special proceedings each have their own rules.
- You will find the special rules for small claims in MD Rule 3-701.
- You will find the special rules for landlord tenant in MD Rule 3-711.
Generally the District Court Rules apply to every case in District Court. This is true except where there is a special rule under the section on these “special proceedings”.
- If your case is a small claim, there are special rules that apply to your case. The court trial will be much more informal under these special rules. If there is no special rule on a certain issue, then the general rules apply.
- If your case is a large claim or some other type of case that belongs in District Court, the other general Rules under Title 3 apply to you. The “small claims special proceeding rules do not apply to your case.
For example, Special Rule MD 3-701(e) says that there will be no discovery allowed in small claims cases (i.e. $5,000 or under is in dispute) Yet if your claim is for only $50 more ($5,050), discovery is allowed under the regular District Court rules. See Chapter 400-Discovery of Title 3 Civil Procedure – District. What this means for your case is that much more complicated rules will apply. You need to be prepared.
Is this legal advice?
This site offers legal information, not legal advice. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options. However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney. The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site. In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2010.”