The Ombudsman serves as an advocate for fairness, answering individuals’ questions, helping resolve individuals’ concerns and issues, and works to make the courts more user-friendly. To keep the entire process confidential, questions and concerns will be accepted by telephone or e-mail.
Judiciary Ombudsman Ed Modell
The mission of the office of the Ombudsman for the Maryland State Court System is to provide a confidential, informal, independent and safe communications channel where court users can obtain informal assistance in surfacing and resolving issues. Serving as a designated neutral, the Ombudsman is neither an advocate for any individual or for the Judiciary, but rather serves as an advocate for fairness who acts as a source of information and referral, and aids in answering individuals' questions, and assists in the resolution of concerns and critical situations. The Ombudsman may make recommendations for review or change when trends, patterns, policies or procedures of the court system generate conflicts and/or concerns.*
* The Office of the Ombudsman is neither authorized to investigate the conduct of Judges nor authorized to give legal advice. The Office of the Ombudsman also is not authorized to receive notice of formal complaints against the State of Maryland or the Maryland Judiciary and any of its employees.
Confidential - Maintains confidentiality of communications unless Ombudsman determines there is imminent risk of serious harm or person communicating with Ombudsman gives Ombudsman permission to disclose information to other persons.
Neutral - Promotes fairness and equity but does not represent or advocate for any party or for the Maryland Judiciary.
Informal – Acts as an informal communication facilitator and problem-solver. Does not receive or investigate formal complaints and does not participate in any formal processes. Also does not issue judgments or decisions. When appropriate, refers parties to other sources of assistance.
Independent – Reports only to Chief Judge of Maryland Court of Appeals and then only in terms of statistical information regarding Ombudsman’s activities and identification of systemic problems.