Which Court Rules Apply

The details of how the court process will work (called “procedure”) are found in the Maryland Rules.

Different rules apply to different types of cases.

The rules that generally apply to civil cases in Circuit Courts are found in Title 2 of the Maryland Rules. Read the Rules: Md Rules Title 2

The rules that generally apply to civil cases in District Courts are found in Title 3 of the Maryland Rules. Read the Rules: Md Rules Title 3

Small claims and landlord-tenant cases are considered “special proceedings" under the District Court Rules. Certain aspects of these special proceedings have their own rules.

  • You will find the special rules for small claims in Md Rule 3-701 . 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 (MD Rules Title 3 excluding Chapter 7 ) apply.

    • For example, MD Rule 3-701(e)  says that there will be no discovery allowed in small claims cases (i.e. cases in which $5,000 or less is in dispute). If your claim is for only $50 more ($5,050), however, discovery is allowed under the regular District Court rules and therefore more complicated rules apply. See MD Rules Title 3, Chapter 400 .
  • You will find the special rules for landlord-tenant cases in Md Rule 3-711.
A special project of the Eastern Shore Regional Library under a Library Services Technology Act grant from the Division of Library Development Services/MD State Department of Education (author: Ayn H. Crawley). Edits by Regina Strait, Esq.
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