District Court FAQ’s

How do I file a lawsuit in Maryland?

Generally, you file a complaint at the District Court in the county where the defendant lives, works or is employed. However, Maryland Courts are now encouraging everyone to file their complaint through the MDEC, which is Maryland’s new online website for filing and administering cases (Maryland attorneys are required to utilize the MDEC).

How do I defend a lawsuit against me?

You must file an answer to your adversary’s complaint, called a Notice of Intention to Defend. Also, if you cannot appear at the time designated for trial, you may ask the Court to postpone the hearing to a future date. You should ask for a postponement as soon as you know that you will not be able to make it. If you ask for a postponement too near the trial date, the judge may deny your request. Furthermore, if you do not appear for trial, or if your postponement request has been denied, the judge may rule against you for the amount claimed or for some other amount. This is called a default judgment.

What are the costs for filing a case?

Filing fees vary depending mainly upon the amount of damages you are seeking. Thus, a small claim in Maryland ($5000.00 or under) requires one fee and a large claim (over $5000.00) requires another fee. In rare cases, the Court may not require you to pay a fee if you file a fee waiver request.

When do I file my case?

You should file your case as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the defendant may win the case by arguing that you didn’t bring your case within a certain period of time. In Maryland, most cases must be filed within three years of when you have been monetarily damaged but some must be filed sooner and some may be filed later.

What do I do after I get a money judgment against someone?

After a Court has awarded you a judgment, you must wait 30 days before you can attempt to collect on the judgment. But you can try to collect by garnishing the person’s wages, by levying their bank account, and/or by selling their property through a sheriff’s sale. Each method has its own procedure and certain forms need to be filed before any action can be taken.

What do I do if someone tries to collect on a judgment they have against me?

There are certain exemptions under Maryland law that you may be able to use to stop a creditor from taking your money and assets to satisfy a judgment they have against you. You should speak to an attorney who can assist you with applying theses exemptions to any attempts by a creditor to take your money or property.


This information is intended to provide basic answers to commonly asked questions about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Maryland. It is not intended to be individual legal advice nor is it intended to be the practice of law. This information does not substitute for the advice of your own attorney. You need to consult with your own attorney regarding your own specific legal questions. No attorney-client relationship is established through this presentation.

Copyright 2017 by The Law Firm of Shaw & Crowson, P.A. All rights reserved.