Figuring out if you have a case

When deciding whether to pursue a case in court, there are a number of things to consider. For example:

  • When to take action - Are there time limits?
    File your case as soon as it is reasonably possible. If you wait too long, the defendant may be able to defeat your claim by raising the statute of limitations. This is the law which requires that suits be brought within a certain period of time. In Maryland, most cases must be filed within three years of the time when it was first possible to sue, but some must be filed sooner and some may be filed later.
  • Do you have the standing (authority) to sue?
  • Who can you sue?
  • When to sue in District Court
  • What is the difference between Circuit Court and District Court?
  • What is the difference between small and large claims in District Court?



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).
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 Thurgood Marshall 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 Thurgood Marshall 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 – © Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library, 2020.”