Circuit Court Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I become a Notary Public?
- What is the Circuit Court, and how does it differ from the District Court?
- What is the status of my case?
- What about parking?
Q. How do I become a Notary Public?
A. Application must be made through the Secretary of State. Call 410-974-5521 to request applications. The address of residence determines which county will issue the commission. Upon notification from the Secretary of State, you will be directed to Circuit Court to be sworn in. The fee is $11 for the Secretary of State and $11 for the Clerk of the Court.
Q. What is the Circuit Court, and how does it differ from the District Court?
A. The Circuit Court is the highest common law and equity court of record exercising original jurisdiction within Maryland. The court has full common law and equity powers and jurisdiction in all civil, juvenile and criminal cases within the county and all the additional powers and jurisdiction conferred by the Constitution and by law. The Circuit Court also may decide appeals from the District court and certain administrative agencies. This court is responsible for hearing all major felony cases - including death penalty cases - as well as all criminal misdemeanor cases in which there is a request for a jury trial. All civil claims are heard in this court exclusively involving disputes over $20,000 in addition to all matters pertaining to divorce, custody, child support and/or visitation.
The District Court of Maryland is responsible for all traffic matters, civil matters under $10,000 (including small claims disputes) and all criminal misdemeanor cases.
Both the Circuit Court and District Court have mutual jurisdiction over civil matters, where the amount in dispute is between $10,000 and $20,000, and all domestic violence petitions.
- Civil Department: 410-887-2621
- Criminal Department: 410-887-2625
- Trust and Adoptions: 410-887-3469
- Criminal Assignment: 410-887-2694
- Civil Assignment:410-887-2660
- Juvenile Department: 410-887-3836
Q. What about parking?
A. Turn left on Chesapeake Avenue. Drive around the block to look for a meter outside of the Courts' Building and the Court House, or there are two parking garages on the right on Chesapeake Avenue.
Revised June 29, 2012