Appeals and Motions After Trial in the District Court

I do not agree with the decision the judge made.
What can I do?

If you do not agree with the decision the judge made, you have the following options:

(1) File a motion in the District Court where the case was (Use form DC-002)

  1. Request a New Trial (See Md. Rule 3-533)
    • You can file this motion in writing within ten (10) days after the date of the judgment.
    • You must state in writing all of the reasons that you believe that the District Court judge made the wrong decision.
    • When you file this motion, you are saying that the District Court judge made mistakes in the trial. Be specific about what you believe these mistakes are.
    • Note: the motion will probably be decided by the same judge who heard your case in the first place.
  2. Ask the Court to Correct the Judgment (See Md. Rule 3-534)
    • You can file a motion to "alter or amend" the judgment in writing within ten (10) days after the date of the judgment.
    • If the court denies your request, you can still file an appeal within 30 days from the denial.
    • This motion is usually filed to correct clerical errors.
  3. Ask the Court to Change or Cancel the Judgment( See Md. Rule 3-535)
    • You can file a motion to revise or vacate (cancel) the judgment in writing within 30 days after the date of the judgment.
    • This motion is usually filed to correct clerical errors, or to vacate a judgment if you believe that you were not served with the court papers or were not notified of the court date.

(2) Appeal to the Circuit Court:

  • If either party files an appeal of a District Court case, your appeal case will be held in front of a judge in the circuit court.
  • You have 30 days after the judgment date to file your appeal. If you have filed a Motion for a new trial or a Motion to Alter or Amend you have 30 days from the date of the ruling on the motion to file your appeal.
  • Use form DC-CV-037, Civil Appeal.
  • Pay the required filing fees
Appeal Type Appeal Fee

SMALL CLAIM *(De novo Appeal): Civil cases $5,000 and under (Amount of claim not the judgment amount)

*A De novo appeal means there will be a new trial in the Circuit Court and you can bring new evidence.

$10.00 payable to District Court
$165.00 payable to Circuit Court

LARGE CLAIM *(On the Record Appeal): Civil cases $5,000.01 and over (Amount of claim not the judgment amount)

*On the Record Appeal means the court will review the case for errors. 

$10.00 payable to District Court
$75.00 payable to District Court - deposit for preparation of transcript
$165.00 payable to Circuit Court
(Appeal fees can be found on form, DCA-109A, Guide to Appeal Fees).
  • If you choose to appeal your case but cannot afford to pay the filing costs, you can file a request to waive the costs. Click here for more information about fee waivers.
  • Submit BOTH documents to the District Court when you file your appeal.
  • The District Court will decide the first request, then send the paperwork to the court hearing the appeal - the Circuit Court.  The Circuit Court will decide the second request.
  • You will receive a copy of both orders.
  • If the court denies your request, you must pay the amount of the costs not waived within ten (10) days of the date of the order. If you do not pay the court may dismiss your appeal.

The court entered a judgment, now what?

Click here to read more about Judgments and Debt Collection.

Resources

Help is available at a District Court Help Center or the Maryland Court Help Center for civil cases, including:

  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Small and Large Claim
  • Consumer matters like car repossessions, debt collection, and credit card cases
  • Return of Property (Replevin and Detinue)
  • Domestic Violence/Peace Orders
  • Expungement

Dealing with Debt Collectors:

If you want to find a lawyer: