Access to Court Records 

Court records are generally open to the public, with several exceptions. 

The following records are not open to the public without a court order or a special provision of the law:

  • Adoption
  • Guardianship terminating parental rights
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Child in need of assistance cases (CINA)
  • Certain marriage license information
  • Emergency mental health evaluations
  • Income tax returns
  • Financial statements filed in a case about spousal or child support.
  • Reports filed by a physician concerning the medical condition of an alleged disabled adult
  • Reports filed by a guardian concerning the property of an alleged disabled adult

What Are Court Records?

Court records include:

  • Documents
  • Information
  • Exhibits
  • Other things that the court maintains in connection with a case
  • Information found online on Maryland Case Search

Limiting Access to Case Records

In some instances, you may be able to ask the court to keep some or all information in a case private. There are several different ways to ask that the court limit public access to a case record, depending on your situation. See the following publications for detailed information on how to request access be limited.


If your case meets certain conditions, you may be able to ask the court to expunge a criminal record or juvenile record. Expungement removes information about a case from court and law enforcement records. To learn more, see Expungement.

Shielding Criminal Records

If you were convicted of one or more crimes from a specified list, you may ask the court to keep those records out of public view.  To learn more, see Shielding Criminal Records

Background Checks

Background checks should be conducted through the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) of the Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services which maintains Maryland’s fingerprint-supported criminal identification records and criminal history record information.

To learn more, see Background Checks on the Department's Web site.

NOTE: CaseSearch should not be used for criminal background checks.


Refer to the publications above for complete information about the court forms and procedures you need to follow in dealing with court records.

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Last updated: June 2020