lawlibrary Maryland Law

New Maryland Laws Take Effect October 1, 2013

The two laws that have been in the news as October 1 approaches concern the sale of firearms and the use of cell phones while driving.

The Firearm Safety Act of 2013 (CH427) makes changes to current laws regulating the sale of certain firearms and ammunition, gun dealers and to

Senate Bill 339/House Bill 753 (CH638/CH637) makes violation of the law prohibiting cell phone use while driving a primary offense, that is one for which the driver can be stopped, and increases the fines and penalties,

Another road safety bill was Senate Bill 87 (CH 179) which requires the use of seat belts for passengers in the rear seat of a motor vehicle.

The “Slayers Rule” was codified in Maryland by SB489/HB1211 (CH485/CH486) which would disqualify “a person who feloniously and intentionally kills, conspires to kill, or procures the killing of the decedent is disqualified from inheriting, taking, enjoying, receiving, or otherwise benefitting from the death, probate estate, or nonprobate property of the decedent, or from receiving a general or special power of appointment conferred by the will or trust of the decedent, or from serving as a personal representative, guardian, or trustee of a trust created by the decedent ….”

The Task Force to Study Implementing a Civil Right to Counsel in Maryland was created by SB262 (CH35) to “study the current resources available to assist in providing counsel to low–income Marylanders compared to the depth of the unmet need, including the resulting burden on the court system and the stress on other public resources; study whether low–income Marylanders should have the right to counsel at public expense in basic human needs cases, such as those involving shelter, sustenance, safety, health, or child custody, including review and analysis of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission’s “Implementing a Civil Right to Counsel in Maryland” report and each other previous report by a task force, commission, or
workgroup on this issue; study alternatives regarding the currently underserved citizenry of the State and the operation of the court system; study how the right to counsel might be implemented in Maryland; study the costs to provide meaningful access to counsel and the savings to the court system and other public resources; study the possible revenue sources; and make recommendations regarding the matters …”

This is just a small sampling of new laws enacted by the 2013 session that will go into effect October 1, 2013. To read about more laws resulting from that session, see the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2013 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services of the General Assembly of Maryland.

Maryland Law

Maryland: New Laws in Effect Today (10/01/2012)

The news this weekend was full of reports on the new laws effective today, October 1, 2012.  The new “scooter law” seemed to be mentioned the most.

The MVA has information on the scooter law,  House Bill 149/Senate Bill 309 (CH. 210), including how to apply for a title and title decal on their website: The MVA has also posted more information about other vehicle laws here: The laws include House Bill 313/Senate Bill 185 (CH. 47 ) which requires children, under the age of 8, to sit in a child safety seat unless they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, regardless of their weight and House Bill 67 / Senate Bill 177 (CH. 44 ) establishes how drivers must respond to non-functioning traffic lights.

An article in the MSBA September Bar Bulletin, New Maryland Laws Taking Effect Oct. 1 Background on bills affecting legal community, by Richard A. Montgomery, III  lists laws that deal with subjects such as criminal procedure, family law, real property and witnesses

Maryland General Assembly, Department of Legislative Services, The 90 Day Report: A Review of the 2012 Legislative Session , is a great resource for an in-depth review of the legislation passed in the last Maryland legislative session.

Links to all of the 2012 Session bills can be found at the Maryland General Assembly website on the  Prior Session Page.

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Kinship Care Resources

“Informal kinship care” means a living arrangement in which a relative of a child, who is not in the care, custody, or guardianship of the local department of social services, provides for the care and custody of the child due to a serious family hardship. (Md. EDUCATION Code Ann. §4-122.1 and Md. HEALTH GENERAL Code Ann.  §20-105)

A new page on the topic of  kinship care has been added to the AACPLL Self Help and Pro Bono WIKI .  Here you will find links to Maryland code sections and COMAR as well as information provided by various agencies.  The forms and information sheet handout available in the Anne Arundel County Family Self Help Center are also included.

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National Inventory of Primary Legal Materials

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) believes that the public should have “no-fee, permanent public access to authentic online legal information on government Web sites” as stated in the Government Relations Office Issue Brief, AALL Working Groups to Ensure Access to Electronic Legal Information.

The Government Relations Office of AALL has coordinated a major project, the National Inventory of Primary Legal Materials, to collect information on the availability of all primary legal materials in the United States at every level of government from the judicial, legislative and executive branches.  Once information from all fifty states, D.C. and the Federal Government is collected, it “will be analyzed and used by experts working with, the Law Library of Congress and AALL public policy committees according to the Issue Brief.  The data will provide a picture as to the availability of primary legal material.  The inventory collects such information as the availability of online and print versions and whether the material is copyrighted.  Other information collected for the inventory for online materials include provisions for authentication, preservation and permanent public access.

Authentication ensures that online  information is, in fact, the law.  This is done through the use of certifying marks and the establishment of chain of custody of the electronic document.  A more detailed description of authentication can be found in the Executive Summary of the AALL State-by-State Report on Authentication of Online Legal Resources Full Report.

It is important that electronic online legal materials be preserved by an appropriate government entity.  Print resources are easily preserved by court libraries and archives by storing the books in a proper environment.  Digital information presents a problem.  The technology for methods and media for accessing electronic information can change quickly.  Preservation would involve making sure that the digital information migrates to new platforms as technology changes.  The preserved information should remain accessible to the public permanently. The above principles were outlined in  the AALL policy paper, Principles and Core Values Concerning Pubic Information of Government Websites.

Maryland law librarians formed a Working Group to address the issues of authentication, preservation and permanent public access.  The Working Group has contributed to the National Inventory of Primary Legal Materials by collecting the information for Maryland primary legal materials.  The project was completed as of June 1, 2011.  All of the information was entered into a Google spreadsheet for the sate, county and municipal levels all of the  branches of Maryland government.  The Maryland Inventory Spreadsheet will be added to the information collected by other state working groups to form the National Inventory of Primary Legal Materials.

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New Maryland law for traffic tickets in effect on January 1, 2011

The new law will require that trials must now be requested for payable traffic tickets.  Trial dates will no longer be automatically assigned.  Links to information follows:

Judiciary press release

Link to judiciary website information: New Traffic Ticket Process

Text of  CH 196 of the Laws of 2010 (HB 829)

Text of Transportation Article 26-201 and 26-204

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New Maryland Cell Phone Law and More — effective October 1, 2010

Most laws passed during the Maryland legislature’s 2010 session will go into effect on October 1, 2010.   Just a few are highlighted below.


The law prohibiting hand-held cell phone use while driving except to “initiate or terminate a wireless telephone call or to turn on or turn off the handheld telephone” has been getting a lot of press as the deadline nears.  The new law enacted per CH538/716 can be found at MD. CODE ANN., TRANSP.  § 21-1124.2.


Child Support Guidelines have not had a major revision since being adopted in 1989.   The child support schedule found at MD. CODE ANN., FAM. LAW.  § 12-204 as enacted by CH262/263 now has a higher upper income  limit.  However, not all amounts have adjusted upwards.  Some at the lower income levels have actually decreased.


Print copies of county codes will no longer have to be distributed to the county’s legislative delegation if an electronic version is available.  However, print copies will still have to be distributed to the Maryland State Archives, the Maryland State Law Library and the State Department of Legislative Services.  This was a great relief to Maryland librarians as the bill, as first introduced, would not have required the distribution of any print copies.  It is hoped that print versions of important sources of primary law not be eliminated unless the online version can be authenticated and provisions are made for permanent public access.  Changes to  Art. 25A,  §7 and  Art. 25B,  §12 were enacted by CH 654.


CH. 486 made changes to MD. CODE ANN., CTS. & JUD. PROC. §7-202 and §7-301 as well as to MD. COD ANN., HUM. SERV. §11-208 . The law increases the maximum filing fee in civil cases used to fund the Maryland Legal Services Corporation.  As the funding from IOLTA funds has dropped dramatically for the MLSC the demand for MLSC funded services has risen at a great rate as well.  This increase in the filing fee surcharge is intended to address the shortfall.


These laws are obviously just a few of the many laws passed this last session.  The 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2010 Legislative Session prepared by Karl S. Aro, the Executive Director of the Department of Legislative Services, provides a detailed overview of the last session including a discussion of the legislation that passed and the bills that did not.  Additional information can be found at the Maryland General Assembly website:

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New Maryland Foreclosure Laws and Rules

HB472/CH. 485, Residential Property Foreclosure Procedures – Foreclosure Mediation, makes changes to MD. CODE ANN., REAL PROP.  7-105.1 (2009). Changes include requirements for notice of intent to foreclose and mediation.  These changes are effective July 1, 2010.

There are new corresponding rules that will go into effect on July 1 as well.  The 164th report of the Court’s Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure was submitted on May 21, 2010 and the order was filed on June 7, 2010.  The Rules order with amendments to Rules 14-102, 12-202, 14-205, 14-206, 14-207, 14-208, 14-211, 14-212, and 14-214 will take effect on July 1, 2010.   The new rules were published in the June 18, 2010 issue of the Maryland Register (37:13 Md. R. 840-847 (June 18, 2010)).  They can also be found at the Rules Committee website.  They should be available on Lexis by July 1 – but the history should be checked before relying on them.

Other foreclosure laws passed were SB562/CH. 322 (crossfiled with HB633/CH. 323) Real Property – Mortgages and Deeds of Trust – Authority to exercise a Power of Sale, SB654/CH. 587 (crossfiled with HB711/CH. 588) Real Property – Tenants in Foreclosure – Conforming to Federal Law, and SB784/Ch. 611 Maryland Statutory Trust Act.  All of these are effective June 1, 2010.

A notebook containing printouts of these new laws and rules is available in the law library.  Copies will also be on the LAN @ J:\Lawlib\Foreclosure 2010 changes.


Maryland Code receives updates

Most new Maryland laws go into effect October 1 so it is important that the 2009 pocket parts and supplements are received in time.  Both of the library’s sets, published by Thomson/West or LexisNexis/Michie have been received and filed.

For a review of what has gone into effect the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2009 Legislative Session, published by the Department of Legislative Services, provides a comprehensive discussion of  the new laws.  The report is  broken into 12 subject areas.  Each section contains a discussion of the majority of related bills passed.  It includes a table of major issues and an index of new bills.

There have also been some news reports on the new laws with the no texting while driving law getting a lot of press.  Here are just two links.

From WJZ: New Laws in Maryland Focus on Road Safety and in the Baltimore Sun: New Laws take effect Thursday: Drivers, gun owners among those affected