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Disclaimer:

 

Every effort has been made to link to the most accurate and clearly expressed information possible. The links contained on this page are created and maintained by other organizations and are provided as a public service by Baltimore County Public Library.

 

These materials are not to be considered as a statement of Maryland law or as legal advice. No guarantee or warranty is made regarding the information's appropriateness for a particular purpose or individual circumstance. If you have a legal problem, you should consult with an attorney.

 

Baltimore County Bar Association Seal

 

Baltimore County Bar Association:  Lawyer in the Lobby

 

If you are NOT represented by an attorney, you can meet with a volunteer attorney for a FREE 20-minute consultation to discuss your legal matter (collections, bankruptcy, landlord/tenant matters, contract, warranties and other consumer matters, wills, probate, advance directives, small claims actions), excluding family law matters.  Bring any douments you want the attorney to review.

 

 Join us on the second Wednesday of each month from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. in the County Courts Building.  First-come, first-served.  Sign-in registration begins at 4:15 p.m.  NO COST.  THIS IS A FREE SERVICE by members of the Baltimore County Bar Association.

401 Bosley Avenue, Room 100-101; Towson, MD  21204   410.337.9103

 

Codes, Laws, and Regulations

 

Image of judge with gavel Learn about laws in: Baltimore County | Maryland | United States

 

Laws exists in many forms. A list of just a few: constitutional law, statutory law, decisions, regulations, executive orders, and local laws and ordinances. A law is any public order or decision that is binding upon those to whom it is addressed.

 

Statutes, also called acts or ordinances, are laws passed by a legislative body, such as the United States Congress, Maryland General Assembly, or Baltimore County Council. Legislatures have the power to make laws because the state and federal constitutions give the power to them.

 

Codes are where laws are published. They are arranged by subject. So similar laws on the same topic are grouped together. Examples are the Baltimore County Code, the United States Code, and the Maryland Code.

 

Regulations are laws issued by executive branch agencies, such as the United States Social Security Administration or Baltimore County Office of Planning. The agencies are given the authority to make these laws because legislatures give it to them by passing laws that say they have the authority. Generally regulations provide the specifics on how a statute is to be enforced and implemented. Agencies can only make regulations on subjects the authorizing statutes say they can. You need to read regulations together with the authorizing laws they were made under. Regulations are published in subject arrangements called codes, such as Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) or Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR).

 


Baltimore County Codes and Regulations

 

The following codes and regulations are in effect in Baltimore County:

 

  • Baltimore County Code (Opens in new window)
    The Baltimore County laws and the County Charter adopted by the County Council are found in the County Code. It is updated regularly. To stay up-to-date, be sure to review any recently adopted legislation.

 

Baltimore County Council Legislation: Adopted, Pending and Withdrawn
The elected body which has all law-making power granted by the County Charter and the General Assembly of Maryland.

 

 

  • Current Building and Fire Codes in Effect in Baltimore County
    This link is to the official list supplied by Baltimore County Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections
    National and state codes with local amendments adopted by the County Council apply in Baltimore County. The current building and fire codes in effect in the County are listed in the following chart. The following code books are available for use at most Baltimore County Public Library branches.

 

BALTIMORE COUNTY BUILDING CODES IN EFFECT

EDITION IN EFFECT

CALL NUMBER

LOCAL AMENDMENTS ONLINE (PDFs open in new window)

International Building Code (catalog link opens in new window)

2012

REF 343.078 I 2011

amended by Baltimore County Council Bill #40-12

International Energy Conservation Code (catalog link opens in new window)

2012

REF 343.078 I 2011

amended by Baltimore County Council Bill #40-12

International Mechanical Code (catalog link opens in new window)

2012

REF 343.078 I 2011

amended by Baltimore County Council Bill #40-12

International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings (catalog link opens in new window)

2012

REF 343.078 I 2011

amended by Baltimore County Council Bill #40-12

BALTIMORE COUNTY ELECTRICAL CODE

EDITION IN EFFECT

CALL NUMBER

LOCAL AMENDMENTS ONLINE (PDFs open in new window)

National Electrical Code Handbook (catalog link opens in new window)

2011

REF 621.3 N 2010

amended by Baltimore County Council Bill #40-12

BALTIMORE COUNTY PLUMBING AND GASFITTING CODE

EDITION IN EFFECT

CALL NUMBER

LOCAL AMENDMENTS ONLINE (PDFs open in new window)

National Standard Plumbing Code Illustrated (catalog link opens in new window)

2012

REF 343.078 N

amended by Baltimore County Council Bill #17-13 and amended by Baltimore County Council Bill #40-12

BALTIMORE COUNTY FIRE PREVENTION CODES

EDITION IN EFFECT

CALL NUMBER

LOCAL AMENDMENTS ONLINE (PDFs open in new window)

NFPA 1: Fire Code, 2012 (catalog link opens in new window)

2012

REF 363.377 N 2011

amended by Baltimore County Council Bill #63-13

NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, 2012 (catalog link opens in new window)

2012

REF 363.3775 N 2011

amended by Baltimore County Council Bill #63-13

BALTIMORE COUNTY LIVABILITY CODE

EDITION IN EFFECT

CALL NUMBER

ONLINE ACCESS

Baltimore County Code in Article 35. Buildings and Housing. Title 5 Livability Code (catalog link opens in new window)

2003 with recent updated information

MD REF 348.752 B 2004

Online Edition (opens in new window):
http://www.amlegal.com/library/md/baltimoreco.shtml

MARYLAND ACCESSIBILITY CODE

EDITION IN EFFECT

CALL NUMBER

ONLINE ACCESS

Maryland Accessibility Code Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (COMAR 05.02.02)

Online only

NA

http://mdcodes2.umbc.edu/dhcd/access.htm

MARYLAND BUILDING REHABILITATION CODE

EDITION IN EFFECT

CALL NUMBER

MORE INFORMATION AT:

International Existing Building Code (catalog link opens in new window)

2012

REF 343.078 I

http://mdcodes2.umbc.edu/dhcd/rehab-new.htm

 

 

Monitors the Rental Housing Licenses and Registration program.

 

Miscellaneous Permits and Licenses provides dog and cat licenses, gaming permits, gathering permits, swimming pool permits, and dozens of other items.

 

Image of Baltimore County Flag

 

Baltimore County Codes and Regulations

 

Codes are where laws made by the County Council are grouped together by broad topics.

 

Regulations are laws made by executive branch departments, such as the County Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections and the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability.

 

These agencies have the authority to make regulations because laws passed by the County Council or Maryland General Assembly gave the authority to them.

 


 

Maryland Codes and Regulations

 

  • Maryland Code and Rules of Procedure (Unannotated) (Opens in new window)
    Word search or search by legal citation the full text record of public, general and permanent laws passed by the state of Maryland (the Maryland Code) and the rules governing the operation and procedures of Maryland courts.

 

 

Maryland Register
Proposed and recently adopted regulations, text changes whether by adoption, amendment, repeal or emergency action must be published in the Register

 

  • Gateway to Maryland Law (Opens in new window)
    Find links to the Maryland Code, the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), Maryland Register (proposed and recently adopted or amended COMAR content) and to other Maryland county and municipal codes.

 

  • Guide to Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Maryland. 2011 (Opens in new window)
    By Maryland Office of the Attorney General and Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.  Not an exhaustive treatment of the legal obligations of Maryland businesses. Focuses on those matters regulated by State agencies. Covers state law impact on business organization, mergers, foreign business operations in Maryland, securities, taxation, labor and employment, agriculture business, natural resources, environmental law, consumer protection, franchises, antitrust laws, and more.

 

 

  • Maryland General Assembly
    History and status of bills, full-text of bills, hearings schedules, and more as well as information on the organization and members of the General Assembly.

 


 

United States Code and Regulations

 

  • United States Code (Opens in new window)
    Search by keyword or title and section in this consolidation and codification of the laws of the United States by subject. The Code does not include regulations issued by executive branch agencies, Federal court decisions, treaties, or laws enacted by state or local governments.

 

Search (Opens in new window)
by title and section or browse the table of contents (list of titles) or the Table of Popular Names for many laws. Additional search features provided by Cornell University Legal Information Institute.

 

View the video tutorial (4:03 minutes) (Opens in new window) on using the Cornell University Law School's United States Code site created by the Enoch Pratt Free Library/Maryland State Library Resource Center.

 

 

Federal Register (Opens in new window)
Proposed and recently adopted regulations and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential documents

 

  • FDsys: Federal Digital System (Opens in new window)
    From the United States Government Printing Office
    Free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government, including the Code of Federal Regulations, the Federal Register, Presidential materials, Congressional bills, the Congressional Record, recent or pending federal legislation, or other documents from all three branches of United States government

 

 

Search for the text of the Congressional Record since 1989 (Opens in new window).

 

 

Courts

Learn about the courts in:  Baltimore County | Maryland | United States

 


Baltimore County Courts

 

  • Baltimore County State’s Attorney
    Prosecutes the felony, misdemeanor and juvenile cases occurring in Baltimore County. This includes most Criminal Code violations and all traffic violations occurring in Baltimore County where the penalty is incarceration. The Victim/Witness Program assists with resources and support throughout their involvement in the criminal justice system.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions
How to obtain a marriage license, get a copy of a divorce decree, become a notary, who to call about land records (deeds) or licenses, and more

 

An online case search (Opens in new window) is available. See About Case Search for how far back the cases are coverd.

 

  • District Courts in Baltimore County
    Jurisdiction includes all landlord-tenant cases, replevin actions, motor vehicle violations, misdemeanors and certain felonies. Prosecutes all misdemeanor criminal offenses, traffic offenses punishable by jail and certain felonies. The District Court does not conduct jury trials. There are three District Court locations in Baltimore County - Catonsville, Towson and Essex.

 

An online case search (Opens in new window) is available. See About Case Search for how far back the cases are coverd

 

  • Orphans' Court of Baltimore County
    Specializes in cases involving disputes about wills and or codicils, the administration of estates, guardianships over property left to minors and protection of minors’ assets.  It is the state’s probate court. It also has jurisdiction over guardianships of minors.

 

  • Small Claims
    A division of the District Court that handles disputes involving no more than $5,000. Explains how to file a small claim in the District Court of Maryland

 


Maryland Courts

 

The Maryland Judiciary is comprised of four court levels: two trial courts and two appellate courts. A trial court considers evidence in a case and makes judgments based on the facts and underlying law and legal precedent. This may result in the awarding of monetary damages or other relief in a civil case, or the imposition of imprisonment or fines in a criminal case. Appellate courts review a trial court's actions and decisions in given cases and decide whether the trial judge properly followed the law and legal precedent.

 

 

  • Maryland Rules of Procedure (Opens in new window)
    Also called Maryland Court Rules. The Rules lay out the procedures for conducting the business of the Maryland courts. For example, the procedures to follow to serve a legal complaint on a person you want to sue. Limited number of court forms included in Appendix.

 

 

Search County and State Court Cases and Records

  

  • Court (Case) Records (Opens in new window)
    From Maryland Judiciary
    Public access to case information originating within the Maryland District Court system and the Circuit Courts. 

 

  • Estate Records (Opens in new window)
    Access to estate records from 1998 to present maintained by the Maryland Registers of Wills. This information includes decedent’s name, estate number and status, date of death, date of filing, personal representative, attorney, decedent alias, and docket history. Search by name, estate type, or county

 

 

  • Maryland Judiciary Case Search (MDJCS) (Opens in new window)
    Maryland District Court traffic, criminal and civil cases as well as Maryland Circuit Court criminal and civil cases, judgments and liens are available. The amount of historical data varies by jurisdiction. Information includes defendant name, city and state, case number, date of birth, plaintiff name (civil cases only), trial date, charge, and case disposition.

 

  • Maryland Land Record (MdLandRec.net) (Opens in new window) digitial image of land records. This service is currently being provided at no charge to individuals who apply for a user name and password.

 

 

  • Maryland SDAT real property records (Opens in new window) from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, which provides ownership and value information about every parcel of real property in the State of Maryland (approximately 2,000,000 accounts), as well as sales of real property.   

 


United States Courts

 

 

 

 

Law Libraries for Legal Research

 

 

Their extensive collection of law materials offers access to the laws and cases of all 50 states and the Federal government with strongest emphasis on Maryland law including county laws and codes, Court of Appeals briefs and more. Computer access to Lexis and Westlaw available. Self-service copiers are available.

 

The Law Library website links to selected legal resources, with particular focus on Maryland and Federal resources, and to Resource Guides to Law Library resources on topics such as landlord and tenant, changing your name, how to interpret legal citations, how to research a legal problem for a non-lawyer.

 

 

  • Maryland State Law Library
    Legal research facility whose services are available to the government and public. Click here (Opens in new window) to chat (limited hours during weekdays) or to submit an email inquiry directly to trained law librarians.

 

  • People's Law Library of Maryland
    Online legal and self-help information tailored to Maryland residents. Covers Maryland and federal law affecting low and moderate income persons and their families, including landlord-tenant rights, traffic and motor vehicle law, job discrimination, family law, consumer matters, disability and government benefits, domestic violence, homeownership, immigration, and more. 

 

  • Other Law Libraries in Baltimore
    Many law shools have libraries that are open to the public and allow the general public to use at least some of their resources.

 

 

Button to link to a Maryland Law Librarian

 

Now you can chat online with law experts...!
 

Law questions can be difficult to answer! The Maryland's AskUsNow! service can connect you via chat or email with staff from the Maryland State Law Library who can provide more authoritative expertise in answering your law inquiries. 

 

Click here (Opens in new window) to chat (limited hours during weekdays) or to submit an email inquiry directly to trained law librarians.

 

Lawyers and Legal Services

 

  • Get Help: The People's Law Library of Maryland
    A number of organizations provide legal and non-legal free, low-cost, and fee-based services around the state. Excellent starting place for people looking for mediators, self-help centers, fee-based legal assistance, as well as non-legal social services providers.

 

Legal Services Directory (Opens in new window)
Lists free and low cost service providers. Listings can be filtered by county and the type of services available.

 

 

Child Abuse and Neglect Resources

Domestic Violence Resources

Legal Rights and Resources

Rape

Runaway

 

  • Alternative Directions, Inc.
    Helps male and female prisoners, ex-prisoners and others in need to represent themselves in uncontested family legal matters, particularly in matters involving temporary guardianship, divorce, or child support.

 

 

  • Baltimore County Legal Services for Senior Citizens Program
    through Baltimore County Department of Aging.  Free legal assistance, consultation and/or representation to Baltimore County residents age 60 or over. No income or resource eligibility requirements. Addressed legal problems: Social Security benefits; Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits; Medical Assistance benefits; Medicare; food stamps; evictions; and other legal problems that threaten a person's income, health or safety. Does not handle wills, deed changes, estate planning, power of attorney, criminal charges, personal injury cases, traffic tickets, and disputes with neighbors.

 

 

  • Family Law Hotline
    Free advice and counsel to callers through The Women's Law Center of Maryland. Links to publications (English and Spanish) on topics of domestic violence, legal rights of marriage and divorce in Maryland, legal rights of unmarried cohabitants, and sex discrimination in employment.

 

 

  • Legal Hotlines (Opens in new window)
    If you need advice and are trying to figure out if you need an attorney, try calling a Maryland legal hotline. 

 

  • Maryland Legal Services Program (MLSP)
    Provides legal representation in the State's Circuit Court to children and indigent adults, in which either the local Department of Social Services or the Office of Aging is a party to the case.

 

  • Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Services
    Matches professional lawyers with people who need legal help in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, consumer, tort defense, wills, guardianship, landlord-tenant, deed change, name change, tax disputes and tax returns. Clients must meet income eligibility requirements. Does not handle criminal, DWI, class action, fee generating (e.g., SSI, SSDI, discrimination, harassment, workers' comp), child or spousal abuse, paternity, child support, or contempt cases.

 

  • Tenant-Landlord Hotline (410-243-6007) by Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.
    Counselors provide information to callers but not legal advice.  Free packets to tenants and landlords which answer commonly asked questions, such as, security deposits, evictions, rent court, maintenance, and proper notice. Also provides information on anti-discrimination laws pertaining to the sale or rental of housing. Additional contact information is also available on Fair Housing.

 

  

Legal Forms

 

 

 

Paper application forms for new, first pets only are available at the Accounts Desk in our Baltimore County Public Library branches. Please note that a $2 library convenience fee per license will be applied.

 

 

 

 

For older records, the Maryland State Archives maintains many records that are invaluable for biographical and genealogical research.

 

  • Circuit Court of Maryland Forms (Opens in new window)
    Civil case information forms, family law forms, land record intake sheet, expungement of record, and more

 

  • District Court of Maryland Forms (Opens in new window)
    Includes Renewal of Request for Summons, Notice to Renew Judgment, Order of Satisfaction, Civil Appeal/Request for Transcript, Purchase Orders for Civil Forms, expungement of record, and all Peace and Protective Order forms, and more

  

  • Family Law Forms for Maryland (Opens in new window)
    For Marylanders who do not have a lawyer and need to file papers in one of the following areas: divorce, custody, visitation, child support, alimony, name changes, or contempt. 

 

  • Federal Forms by USA.gov
    Has many, but not all, of the forms issued and used by Federal agencies

   

  • Legal Forms Helpline a project of The Women's Law Center of Maryland, Inc
    Free telephone service for Marylanders who are able to file their family law cases themselves, because their cases are uncomplicated and uncontested but who may need some assistance understanding the process or completing forms 

 

 

  • Maryland Business Forms and Articles of Incorporation by Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation.
    Anyone wishing to legally form, end, revive or update information about a business does so through the Corporate Charter Division. Such businesses include corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and business trusts. Out-of-state entities doing business in Maryland also must register with the Division.

 

 

  • Rental Housing Licenses and Registration in Baltimore County
    by Baltimore County Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections.  All buildings or a portion of a building that contain one to six dwelling units intended or designated as rental units must register and be licensed with Baltimore County before a tenant moves into the property. Must renew every 3 years and the property must be re-inspected upon renewal.  Find PDF fillable applications such as registration applications, inspection guide, exemption affidavit and more.

 

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Verification Form Compliance required with every change of tenant

 

Maryland Department of Environment Lead Poisoning Program - Rental Property Owners Maryland’s Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing law requires owners of rental properties built before 1950 to register their units with Maryland Department of the Environment

 

 

 

Click button below to enter the legal forms research database...

 

Legal Form Research Database button

 

 

Please note:  A library card registered with Baltimore County Public Library is needed to use this online resource.

 

 

 

BCPL has LOTS of books like the one below with forms that you may need for your legal needs. (Opens within our catalog in a new window) Click on the image below to see what BCPL owns ...

 

Click on the image to see other BCPL materials  which provide legal forms