This guide for self-represented persons is intended to provide information about filing and presenting cases in the Supreme Court of Maryland (formerly known as the Court of Appeals). This guide is based upon Maryland statutes and rules currently in effect and is updated regularly to keep up with changes to statutes and rules. Please note, this is only a guide and the controlling statutes and rules govern cases in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court of Maryland is the state’s highest court. The Supreme Court is made up of 7 justices who sit as a group to decide all cases that come before the Court. Occasionally, a senior judge will sit for one of the justices as is necessary.
In most cases, a party has the right to at least one appeal. In most cases, this means an appeal to the Appellate Court of Maryland (formerly known as the Court of Special Appeals) following a decision by a circuit court. But, if you have appealed a decision of the District Court of Maryland, your first appeal is to the circuit court in the county where the case was filed.
To “appeal” to the Supreme Court in either situation, you must seek the approval of the Supreme Court to appeal. This is accomplished by filing a “petition for writ of certiorari,” basically a request to the Supreme Court to consider the case.
The Supreme Court is not required to consider each case in which there is a request for review. Instead, the Supreme Court will consider cases when it determines that review is necessary and “in the public interest.”
If review is granted, the Supreme Court will direct its clerk to issue a “writ of certiorari,” a document which directs the lower court to deliver the record for review. When the record is delivered, the clerk of the Supreme Court will establish a schedule for briefing and identify a date or dates when arguments may be held.
After briefing and argument, the Supreme Court will decide the case by issuing an opinion that is written by one of its justices but agreed to by a majority of the justices of the Court.
The links below will provide basic information about how to file a petition for writ of certiorari and briefing if certiorari is granted.
Click here for information on how to file a petition for writ of certiorari after you have appealed to the Appellate Court.
Click here for information on how to file a petition for writ of certiorari after the circuit court enters a judgment on appeal from the District Court.
Click here for information on how to file an informal petition for writ of certiorari.
Request for Waiver of Prepaid Appellate Costs (fillable PDF)