2001-E/F Commerce Park Drive
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
For Immediate Release
More Court of Special Appeals Opinions Now Available Online
(ANNAPOLIS, Md. – April 29, 2015) Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera today announced plans to increase online access to Court of Special Appeals opinions by making previously unreported opinions available on the Maryland Courts website, effective Friday, May 1, 2015.
“Our goal is to modernize the Maryland court system and to increase electronic access to information, both of which help advance the Judiciary’s mission to provide timely, effective and fair access to justice for all,” said Chief Judge Barbera.
Maryland Rule 8-605.1 draws a distinction between “reported” and “unreported” opinions, requiring the court to report, as precedents, only those opinions determined to be of substantial interest. Of the approximately 1,400 opinions the Court of Special Appeals issues each year, some 90 percent are unreported; unreported opinions may not be cited in legal argument. While such opinions have always been public documents, they were available only at the Court of Special Appeals Clerk’s Office and the State Law Library, upon request. Now, the Court of Special Appeals’ unreported opinions will be as readily accessible online as reported opinions.
“We recognize and honor our commitment to provide information in a timely and efficient manner to the public and the legal community,” said Court of Special Appeals Chief Judge Peter B. Krauser. “As a result, we are joining a growing number of states that now place their unreported opinions online.”
The Court of Special Appeals was created in 1966. Unless otherwise provided by law, it hears appeals of any reviewable judgment, decree, order, or other action of the circuit and orphans’ courts. Judges sitting on the Court of Special Appeals generally hear and decide cases in panels of three, though in some instances all 15 judges will sit en banc to hear an appeal. To find the reported and unreported opinions of the Court of Special Appeals, visit http://mdcourts.gov/cosappeals/ and click on unreported opinions.
# # #