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Maryland Court of Appeals

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Maryland Court of Appeals
Court information
Justices:   7
Founded:   1776
Location:   Annapolis, Maryland
Chief:  $
Associates:  $
Judicial selection
Method:   Comm. select., Gov. appt.
Term:   10 years
Active justices

Lynne Battaglia  •  Clayton Greene  •  Glenn T. Harrell, Jr.  •  Sally Adkins  •  Mary Ellen Barbera  •  Shirley Marie Watts  •  Robert N. McDonald  •  

Seal of Maryland.png

The Maryland Court of Appeals is the supreme court in Maryland. The court meets in the Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building in the state capital, Annapolis. The term of the Court begins the second Monday of September.


The court is composed of one chief judge and six associate judges.[1] Unlike most other states, the jurists on the Maryland Court of Appeals are called judges, not justices.

The Maryland Court of Appeals has 7 judges.
JudgeTermAppointed byParty
Judge Lynne Battaglia2001-2022Gov. Parris Glendening
Judge Clayton Greene2004-2016Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.
Judge Glenn T. Harrell, Jr.1999-2020Gov. Parris N. Glendening
Judge Sally Adkins2008-2018Gov. Martin O'Malley
Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera2009-2020Gov. Martin O'Malley
Judge Shirley Marie Watts2013-2024Gov. Martin O'MalleyDemocratic
Judge Robert N. McDonald2011-2022Gov. Martin O'Malley

There is one judge from each of the state's seven Appellate Judicial Circuits and each judge is required to be a resident of his or her respective circuit. The circuits are currently as follows:

Maryland Court of Appeals Judicial Circuits

Circuit Counties
1 Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico & Worcester Counties
2 Baltimore County & Harford County
3 Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard & Washington Counties
4 Prince George's County
5 Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles & St. Mary's Counties
6 Baltimore City
7 Montgomery County

Chief Judge

Robert Mack Bell was appointed to the court in 1991 by William Donald Schaefer, a Democrat. His current term expires in 2012. The Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals is selected by the Governor. As Chief Judge, Bell is the administrative head of the state's judicial system, according to the Constitution of Maryland.[1]


Throughout the year, the Court of Appeals holds hearings on "the adoption or amendment of rules of practice and procedure and supervises the Attorney Grievance Commission and State Board of Law Examiners in attorney disciplinary and admission matters."[1] The Court of Appeals has exclusive jurisdiction over death penalty appeals, legislative redistricting, removal of some officers, and is responsible for answering broad legal questions.[1]

Judicial selection

Judges are appointed to serve ten year terms by the Governor of the state, with the consent of the senate. At least one year after the appointment, the judge must run without opposition. If the judge is retained, he will serve a ten-year term, and all judges must retire by their 70th birthday.[2]


"The Judges of the court are required to be citizens of and qualified voters in Maryland. Prior to their appointment, they must have resided in Maryland for at least five years, and for at least six months in the appellate judicial circuit from which they are appointed. They must be at least thirty years of age at the time of appointment, and must have been admitted to practice law in Maryland. Appointees should be "most distinguished for integrity, wisdom and sound legal knowledge."

Removal of justices

"Maryland judges may be removed in one of four ways: Judges may be removed by the governor upon the address of the general assembly with the concurrence of two thirds of the members of each house. Judges may be retired by the general assembly with a two-thirds vote of each house and the governor's concurrence. Judges may be impeached by a majority of the house of delegates and convicted by two thirds of the senate. Judges may be removed or retired by the court of appeals on the recommendation of the commission on judicial disabilities."[3]


The Maryland Court of Appeals had experienced an excessive caseload, but in 1975, many cases were transferred to lower courts. The Court hears cases by way of certiorari.

Fiscal Year Appeals filed Appeals disposed Certiorari filed Certiorari disposed Total filings Total terminations
2010 143 140 624 597 767 737
2009 176 98 651 658 827 756
2008 165 135 611 600 776 735
2007 148 176 633 651 781 827
2006 146 139 651 628 797 767
2005 137 153 604 612 741 765
2004 157 136 651 664 808 800
2003 140 133 700 707 840 840



The Chief Justice of the Maryland Court of Appeals makes $181,352 annually, while associate justices make $162,352, as of January 2010.[5][6]

Notable decisions

History of the court

The Maryland Court of Appeals was created in 1776 with the ratification of the Maryland Constitution. Specifically, the court was created by Article 56 of the constitution. The Court was to be "composed of persons of integrity and sound judgment in the law, whose judgment shall be final and conclusive in all cases of appeal, from the general court, court of chancery, and court of admiralty . . ." Since it's conception, the Governor has appointed all judges in the state. In 1778, five judges held court, but in 1801, the number was reduced by two. In 1806, the court restructured with six judicial districts--a Chief Judge and two associate judges per district. The Constitution was amended in 1851 to divide the state by four judicial districts, and judges were to serve ten-year terms. The Constitution was amended several times, but by 1960, the number of justices increased to seven, the size of the current court.

Notable firsts

See also

External links


Portions of this article have been taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Copyright Notice can be found here.

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