Maryland

This page provides a breakdown of all major developments and right to counsel law that the NCCRC knows for this state, sorted by subject area. Click on either tab below to see the aspect it describes.

Color Key Explanation
Categorical Right To Counsel There is a right to counsel without qualification for all indigent individuals in this type of case (except that the individual may be required to request counsel).
Discretionary Appointment Of Counsel Courts are permitted but not required to appoint counsel for any indigent individual in this type of case. A request may be required.
Right Or Appointment Is Qualified The established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including: the only authority comes from a lower/intermediate court decision or a city government, not a high court or state legislature; a case has cast doubt on prior authority; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all individuals or proceedings within that type of case.
No Such Proceeding This state has no law creating a judicial proceeding of this type.
None While this state does not provide for or require appointment of counsel with respect to the given subject area, it does have something (such as a report or bar policy) that supports the right to or appointment of counsel for this subject area.
Other Because the "Other subject areas” category can include developments from different subject areas that do not work the same way as each other, a blanket categorization of this category is not possible.

Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

In Child in Need of Assistance proceedings, indigent parents have a right to counsel.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children in CINA proceedings are entitled to appointed counsel.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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All Basic Human Needs

Court Rule or Initiative

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel - disabled litigants

Court rules require appointment of an attorney for an individual under disability who is sued and does not have a guardian.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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ATJC effort

Maryland Access to Justice Commission Releases RTC Implementation Report

06/03/2011

The ATJC's report described how new rights to counsel might be implemented in MD, and put a price tag on such an implementation.

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Report

Two MD legislative commissions urge phased-in RTC in DV, and custody pilot

12/01/2014

One Maryland legislative task force and one commission urge the state to adopt a phased-in right to counsel in DV cases and a custody pilot.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon NCCRC staffers John Pollock and Debra Gardner testified before the Task Force.

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Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor

Legislation

No such proceeding

Maryland has no parental input requirement: a minor can get an abortion if the doctor determines the minor is mature and capable of consenting.

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Civil Contempt in Family Court

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

MD high court reaffirms right to counsel in civil contempt cases

09/25/2013

The Court of Appeals of Maryland has indirectly reaffirmed that people facing incarceration for civil contempt still have a right to counsel.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Court Rule or Initiative

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent defendants in civil contempt proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a statutory right to counsel in all civil commitment proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Custody Disputes - Parents

Litigation

MD high court avoids question of right to counsel in custody cases

03/04/2002

The Maryland Court of appeals narrowly avoided addressing whether parents have a right to counsel in custody cases.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon The Public Justice Center, which staffs the NCCRC, filed this case.

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Custody Disputes - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

The court may appoint counsel for children in certain custody proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The court must appoint counsel in various types of guardianship and conservatorship proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Housing - Discrimination

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court may appoint counsel for either side in a housing discrimination case.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Incarceration for Fees/Fines (incomplete)

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a statutory to counsel for indigent defendants in civil contempt proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Paternity - Petitioner or Child

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The Maryland Court of Appeals suggested a court may appoint counsel for a child in a paternity action in certain circumstances.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: yes

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Quarantine/Inoculation

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel - quarantine

There is a statutory right to counsel in quarantine proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Sexually Dangerous Persons - Commitment

Legislation

No such proceeding

There is no procedure in the state for confinement of a sexually dangerous/violent person.

Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Certain children have a right to counsel in certain types of adoption proceedings; otherwise, appointment is discretionary.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children have a right to counsel in termination of parental rights proceedings brought by the state.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

In adoption proceedings, there is a right to counsel for certain proceedings and a more limited right to counsel in others.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent parents have a right to counsel in a non-consensual action brought by the state to terminate parental rights.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Truancy - Petition Against Child

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children have a right to counsel in truancy proceedings (which are treated as "child in need of supervision" matters).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Other Subject Areas

Legislation

Legislation: body attachments

02/05/2018

A proposed bill would guarantee counsel when a body attachment to detain a tenant for failing to pay a money judgment to a landlord.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon

NCCRC helped provide the language of the bill.

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Mandatory/discretionary appointment of counsel - emergency period

A court must appoint counsel in certain proceedings during emergency periods, and may in others.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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