lawlibrary Pro Bono

Lawyer in the Library Wrap-up: September and October 2022

In September and October, the Law Library held the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program. Thanks to volunteer attorneys, Steve Migdal, Jack Paltell, Richard Ronay, Jennifer Jones, and Leonard Englander for providing this service to the public. Twenty nine people took part in the program and were able to speak with the attorney for assistance with issues such as contracts, landlord/tenant, unemployment, and estate administration.

The Ask a Lawyer In the Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program held every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and on the 3rd Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The program is sponsored by Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service and hosted by the Anne Arundel County Public Library.  You can talk with a volunteer attorney for at least 20 minutes. Registration is required. All sessions are held remotely via Zoom videoconferencing or phone. More information can be found here.

Do you have a family law matter? Family Law matters are best addressed by the Family Court Help Center.

Do you have a criminal case? The Office of the Public Defender provides legal services to eligible individuals. Information about representation in criminal cases can be found here.


AACPLL Annual Report for FY2022

The Annual Report of the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library for FY2022 has been posted to this site. This report provides a picture of library use, programs, resources, services, staff and finances. The strategic plan with goals and actions taken is included.

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Celebrate Pro Bono in Anne Arundel

As we celebrate Pro Bono this week, it is a good time to recognize those attorneys who have donated their time helping those in need of legal assistance by volunteering for the Lawyer in the Library program.

Last year 11 attorneys helped 143 people by providing 86 hours of legal advice. Issues included landlord and tenant; wills and estates; consumer problems; and HOA neighbor disputes. Steve Migdal, last year’s recipient of the AABA President’s Award, was responsible for more than half of those hours. We would like to send a special thank you to all of the Lawyers in the Library:

Joe Gormley

William Moomau

Jessica Corace

Richard Ronay

Jennifer Jones

John Lynch

Carole Brown

Saul McCormick

Leonard Englander

Jack Paltell

Steve Migdal

Access to Justice Pro Bono

Pro Bono in Anne Arundel

Celebrate Pro Bono by volunteering to take a case or offer legal advice to those in need. See the following list of opportunities for Anne Arundel County attorneys:

Lawyer in the Library (virtual)Volunteer at a free non-family, civil clinic for a two-hour session via Zoom.  Provide brief advice to pro se litigants on general legal issues.  This is a great way to help members of the community in a concrete, manageable way.  During each session, you could speak with a litigant and provide brief advice about issues related to small claims, landlord/tenant, simple wills, and other legal issues.  Contact Joan Bellistri at, for more information. 

Family Law Skills and Study Group:  Join this study group/skills-honing group and learn more about practicing family law in Anne Arundel County.  Take a pro bono family law case and meet with the group to learn more, exchange ideas, and share your experiences.  You can gain knowledge and experience while helping underserved litigants in Anne Arundel County. Contact Tasnima Apol at to learn more.

YWCA Legal Services:  Intimate partner protective order petition cases in Anne Arundel County, serving in both the District and Circuit Courts: Volunteer in the legal department or as an advocate. Contact: Davida Bortmes, Esq. at or 410-626-7800.

Maryland Court Help Center: Provide assistance with civil issues via chat and phone. Lawyers answer questions on a full range of civil case types handled by both Circuit and District courts. Legal issues include:

  • Landlord and Tenant Matters
  • Family Law Matters (divorce, custody, child support, and guardianship)
  • Small and Large Claims
  • Expungement and Shielding of Records
  • Consumer Matters (car repossessions, debt collection, and credit card cases)
  • Return of Property (replevin and detinue)
  • Domestic Violence/Peace Orders
  • Foreclosure

Contact: Tattiana Goluskin @

MVLS – Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service is Anne Arundel County’s Pro Bono Referral Service:

Volunteers are supported with malpractice insurance, mentors, free training, use of MVLS offices to meet with clients, and reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses.

Maryland Free Legal Answers – (Pro Bono in your PJs): Provide legal advice via email to low income Marylanders.

Sign-up here:

PBRC – Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland is Maryland’s clearinghouse for and source of many pro bono opportunities:

​​​Not sure what is best for you? The Maryland Call to Action will match you with a Pro Bono Opportunity:  

The Joint COVID-19 Access to Justice Task Force, the Maryland Attorney General, Maryland Judiciary, Maryland State Bar Association and Maryland Access to Justice Commission joined forces to deliver an urgent call to action for pro bono. They urge every attorney in Maryland to take at least one pro bono case or provide a designated number of pro bono service hours over the next year to help in the areas with the most acute need, namely housing, consumer, public benefits or family law.

If you have questions or additional ideas about pro bono projects that you would like to see developed, please contact the law library at 410-222-1387 or

lawlibrary Maryland Law

Requesting Emergency Custody

Emergency Relief in Anne Arundel County

Emergency relief is a temporary order of protection from imminent, substantial harm or harassment for you or a minor child. To receive emergency relief, you must be able to show that you or a minor child are truly at risk of imminent, substantial harm or harassment.

How to File for Emergency Relief

Because an emergency relief order is temporary, the court requires you to file for permanent relief, such as for divorce, custody, or custody modification. This additional petition needs to be filed at the same time or earlier than the motion for relief.

The Emergency Custody Packet includes:

  • Instructions for filing
  • Sample motion for emergency and ex parte relief
  • Sample certificate of service
  • Sample notice of emergency hearing
  • Sample declaration that you gave notice to the other party

To receive emergency relief from the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, do the following:

  1. At least 24 hours before the hearing takes place, notify the other person or persons involved in the case (MD Rules, Rule 1-351(b). The form is included in the packet. Emergency relief hearings take place only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 1:30 pm.
  2. File your motion in room 100 of the first floor of the courthouse before 12:30 pm on the day the hearing will take place.
  3. At the same time or earlier, file for a permanent form of relief, such as divorce, custody, custody modification, etc. Form packets can be found on the family law resource pages.
  4. Serve the other party or parties of your relief motion. The form is included in the packet. Find out more about service of process here.
  5. During the hearing, you must prove that you or a minor child are at risk of immediate and substantial harm or harassment. The court will not grant relief for harm that is based only on speculation. (See Magness v. Magness, 79 Md. App. 668) The court will then decide whether to grant you relief based on the facts you present.

The time length of the relief order depends on your situation.

There are attorneys at the the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Family Court Help Center who can help with this and other family law matters.

Library Print and Electronic Resources

  • Child safety : a guide for judges and attorneys / Therese Roe Lund, Jennifer Renne (American Bar Association, 2009) (KF3735 .L86 2009)

Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Information


Law Library is closed for the Columbus Day Holiday

The Law Library is closed today, Monday, October 10, 2022, for the Columbus Day holiday.  Read about the holiday at

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is also celebrated on the second Monday in October. There was a Presidential Proclamation in 2021 recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Anne Arundel County Resolution 41-20 was passed in 2020 recognizing Monday, October 12, 2020 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Anne Arundel County.

H.R. 5473 was introduced but not passed in the United States Congress last year “to designate Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a legal public holiday and replace the term “Columbus Day” with the term “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

Records of the indigenous peoples of Maryland can be found at the Mayis Indigenous Records site of the Maryland archives.

The Law Library will reopen tomorrow, Tuesday, October 11, 2022. 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 is available on the Circuit Court’s website


Supreme Court Term Begins on the First Monday in October

The United State Supreme Court begins its term today, the first Monday in October. Here is a repeat of our post last year outlining where information on the Court can be found – the SCOTUSblog is the place for all information on the Supreme Court.

Information there includes a listing of cases to be heard this year, petitionssupreme court statistics and the newsfeed. Find even more under the “CATEGORIES” tab to find Book Reviews , the Academic Round-Up for “news about recent court-related scholarship,” and discussion of Cases in the Pipeline

The official website for the Supreme Court is here . Supreme Court Opinions can be found in the law library using Lexis and Westlaw.

lawlibrary Maryland Law

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

October 1, 2022 marks the day when most of the legislation passed during the 2022 legislative session goes into effect. There were 783 laws passed in 2022. Listings of bills for the House and Senate introduced and passed can be found on the Maryland General Assembly website.

New laws enacted include the following:


CH41/SB691 & CH42/HB459 Juvenile Justice Reform

CH18/HB425 & CH19/SB387 Untraceable Firearms

CH722 /HB 521 Shielding of certain landlord and tenant court records

CH619/HB 808) & CH620/SB508 – Guardianship of Minors

CH175/HB83 Marriage of Minors

CH45/HB1 Constitutional Amendment – Cannabis – Adult Use and Possession

CH56/HB937 Abortion Care Access Act

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.

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Online Legal Information Resources

In an August 31, 2022 Press Release, the American Association of Law Libraries announced that the AALL Advancing Access to Justice Special Committee has developed a new resource, the Online Legal Information Resources (OLIR, “for information professionals—law librarians, legal information professionals, and public librarians—and members of the public to easily locate online primary legal materials.”

“The new Online Legal Information Resources (OLIR) includes information for U.S. states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, the U.S. Federal Government, and Canada. The OLIR includes links to session laws, statutory codes, registers, administrative codes, and court opinions. To help users easily identify reliable online sources, the OLIR contains information about whether the legal materials are official, authentic, preserved, and copyrighted. The OLIR also includes contact information for state and local public law libraries, covering whether services to incarcerated people are provided.”

lawlibrary Libraries

ALA Banned Books Week September 18 – 24, 2022

According to a press release of the American Library Association in April of this year:

Library staff in every state faced an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons.

“The 729 challenges tracked by ALA represent the highest number of attempted book bans since we began compiling these lists 20 years ago,” said ALA President Patricia “Patty” Wong. “We support individual parents’ choices concerning their child’s reading and believe that parents should not have those choices dictated by others. Young people need to have access to a variety of books from which they can learn about different perspectives. So, despite this organized effort to ban books, libraries remain ready to do what we always have: make knowledge and ideas available so people are free to choose what to read.”