Maryland Courts

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Court of Appeals

The Appellate Courts of Maryland are the Court of Appeals, the highest court in the State (commonly called the Supreme Court in other states and at the federal level), and the Court of Special Appeals, the intermediate appellate court. The Appellate Courts are housed in the Robert  C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building, located at 361 Rowe Boulevard in Annapolis.

The Court of Appeals hears cases almost exclusively by way of certiorari (i.e., on review). The Court may review cases decided by the Court of Special Appeals or may bring up on its own initiative cases filed in that court before they are decided there. The Court of Appeals also may review certain decisions of the circuit courts if that court was acting in an appellate capacity with respect to a decision of the District Court. The Court also reviews recommendations of the State Bar of Law Examiners and the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland and conducts disciplinary proceedings involving members of the bench and bar.

The Court of Special Appeals has exclusive initial appellate jurisdiction over any reviewable judgment, decree, order or other action of a circuit court or an orphans' court except as otherwise provided by law. The Court also considers applications for leave to appeal in such areas as post-conviction, habeas corpus matters involving denial of or excessive bail, probation revocations, convictions based on guilty pleas, and inmate grievances. Judges for the Court of Special Appeals sit in panels of three. A hearing or rehearing of a case before the whole Court may be ordered in any case by a majority of the Court's incumbent judges.