lawlibrary Maryland Law

Legal Resources on Adoption

“Air Force family adopts child from Ukraine” from DVIDSHUB is licensed under CC BY 2.0

We now have a resource page on adoption listed on our FAQs page, where you can find relevant laws, online articles, and library materials on adoption law in Maryland.

lawlibrary Maryland Law

HeinOnline: National Survey of State Laws

HeinOnline is available in the law library through the Thurgood Marshall State Law Library and on judiciary computers. One of the many databases there includes the National Survey of State Laws. 

Topics that are in the news – abortion, gun control and voter laws –  have been updated in advance of the updated 9th edition that will be available soon. Previous editions are available for historic research comparisons.

Maryland Law Self Represented

Learn About Trusts

Our FAQs page now links to our new resources page on trusts. There, you will find a bibliography of manuals and treatises on the topic, as well as links to relevant statutes, forms, and articles.

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The Law Library will be closed for the 4th of July – Independence Day

The Law Library and the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court will be closed July 4, 2022 for the Independence Day holiday.  The Law Library will reopen on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.  A list of Court Holidays is available on the Circuit Court’s website at Except on Court Holidays, the Library is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. A federal holiday since 1941, Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July, has been celebrated in the United States since 1776.  If you are interested in learning more about Independence Day and the events leading up to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, check out the following:

lawlibrary Maryland Law

Maryland 2022 Session: New Laws in Effect July 1, 2022

New laws go into effect in Maryland on July 1, 2022.  While most of the laws enacted in the 2022 session will go into effect on October 1, there are laws that will take effect in July. The Department of Legislative Services General Assembly of Maryland Dates of Interest 2022 SESSION indicates that on July 1 budgetary, tax, and revenue bills take effect and that October 1 is the usual effective date for bills.

The Maryland Manual explains the effective dates in the article, “THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW”:

All bills passed by the General Assembly become law when signed by the Governor, or when passed over the Governor’s veto by three-fifths of the membership of each house. According to the Constitution, laws thus approved take effect on the first day of June after the session in which they were passed, except when a later date is specified in the act, or the bill is declared an emergency measure. For many years, most laws took effect July During the 1992 Session, however, October 1 began to be used as the standard effective date for legislation, coinciding with the start of the federal government’s fiscal year. Emergency bills, passed by three-fifths of the total number of members of each house, become law immediately upon their approval by the Governor.

All passed bills, except the budget bill and constitutional amendments, must be presented to the Governor within twenty days following adjournment of a session. The Governor may veto such bills within thirty days after presentation. If a passed bill is not vetoed, it becomes law. The budget bill, however, becomes law upon its final passage and cannot be vetoed. Constitutional amendments also cannot be vetoed; they become law only upon their ratification by the voters at the next general election.

Bills going into effect on July 1 include:

Inclusive Schools Act (HB850/CH739) prohibits “county boards of education and certain schools and prekindergarten programs from taking certain discriminatory actions because of a person’s race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.”

Abortion Care Access Act (HB937/CH56) creates the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program in the Maryland Department of Health to ensure that there are a sufficient number of health professionals to provide abortion care.

Retirement Tax Elimination Act of 2022 (SB405/CH4 and HB1468/CH3) allows a subtraction modification under the Maryland income tax.

Time to Care Act (SB275/CH48) establishes the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (SB598/CH5 and HB2/CH6) allows employers that claim the federal work opportunity credit to claim a credit against the State income tax.

A full listing of bills effective July 1, 2022 is here.

There are laws that were passed in previous sessions that take effect this July 1. For example a law affecting the calculation of child support was passed in 2020 (HB496/CH 383 and SB809/CH384) but was delayed in 2021 (HB1339/CH305) to take effect this year on July 1.

See the “The 90 Day Report: A Review of the 2022 Legislative Session” for more information on the 2022 session.  There is a similar report that covers the last five years: Major Issues Review 2019-2022.


Lawyer in the Library: Wrap-Up for June 2022

Steve Migdal was THE “Lawyer in the Library” this month providing legal assistance with such issues as homeowner association disputes, small claims, debt collection and administrative appeals.

“Ask a Lawyer in the Library” is held every Wednesday of the month from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and on the third Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (The evening program will not be held this summer and will resume in September.) You can talk with a volunteer lawyer for at least 20 minutes about your civil, non-family legal problem for free. All sessions are now conducted over Zoom or by phone.

The Family Court Help Center is available to help with divorce, child custody, child support, name change and other family law related issues, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. (The center is closed for lunch from 1:00 – 2:00)

This Lawyer in the Library program is sponsored by Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, and the Anne Arundel Bar Association. It is hosted by the Anne Arundel County Public Library.

Register online here or call the law library for help. Once you have registered, you will be sent a link to an intake sheet. Instructions for meeting with the attorney will be sent once the intake is competed.

Contact the library if you have questions: (phone) 410-222-1387 or (email)


Supreme Court Opinions

Opinions of the United States Supreme court are certainly in the headlines. Opinions of the Supreme court are available on the Supreme Court’s website ( on the day the opinions are announced beginning at 10:00 a.m. If there is more than one opinion, they will be released in ten-minute intervals.

Recent decisions are highlighted on the main page and all are available on the opinions page. The website provides a listing of “Online Sources Cited in Opinions” and a “Case Citation Finder” which will “retrieve the citation, in the form recommended by the Reporter of Decisions, for every signed, per curiam, or in-chambers opinion published (or soon to be published) in the United States Reports.”

The U.S. Reports page provides links to the U.S. Reports with the following caution:

Only the printed bound volumes of the U. S. Reports contain the final, official opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States. In case of discrepancies between a bound volume and the materials included here—or any other version of the same materials, whether print or electronic, official or unofficial—the printed bound volume controls.

Supreme Court opinions are also available on Lexis and Westlaw in the law library.

The SCOTUSblog is a source of news and analysis of the Supreme Court. See our post from October on the beginning of this term to learn more.

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Anne Arundel County Public Law Library Closed for the Juneteenth Independence Day Holiday

The Anne Arundel County Public Law Library and the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County will be closed on Monday, June 20, 2022 for the Juneteenth holiday. The law library and court will reopen on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021 when President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act. Read the Presidential Proclamation from June, 18, 2021 here. Juneteenth (June 19th) commemorates the anniversary of the last African American slaves being freed in Texas, more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Visit the govinfo page to find out more.

Except on Court Holidays, the Library is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. A list of Court Holidays can be found at


Flag Day

Photo by Sharefaith on

June 14 is Flag Day. It was on this day in 1777 that the Second Continental Congress adopted the flag. For more information see History of Flag Day and fun facts and What is Flag Day at

The “Flag Code” is often referenced regarding the handling of the United States Flag. It can be found in Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code (4 USC §§1-10).

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The Justice Gap: The Report

The Legal Services Corporation has released its report, The Justice Gap: The Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans. “LSC defines the justice gap as the difference between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs.”

Statistics from the report show that “[l]ow-income Americans did not receive any or enough legal help for 92% of their civil legal problems.” Read the report to understand the full impact on the lives of so many Americans who cannot afford legal representation. “With the resources currently available, LSC-funded organizations are able to provide legal help for one-half of the legal problems brought to their doors.”