Montgomery county court maryland public records

However, if, for instance, the date of hire, the fact that an officer was a rookie, had just recently begun—and I don't suggest for a moment that was the case here, but I'm just trying to give by way of an illustration—that if date of hire was relevant to the conduct of the investigation; that is, that it in part explained perhaps why an officer did or did not do something, then it would be subject to disclosure.


So if the personal information is relevant, directly relevant to the investigation, it could be disclosed, but not unless directly relevant to the investigation. With respect to Count 2, where I'm asked to grant a writ of mandamus, mandamusing the custodian to abide by his or her statutory duties, and because there is no evidence before me that would lead me to believe, and no reason to believe, that the custodian will not follow his or her statutory duties, in fact because the Court has every reason to believe that the custodian will follow their statutory duties, the Court will grant the County judgment as to Count 2, all under the request for a writ of mandamus.

Let me finally say that the County has made an alternative argument that even if it's personal information, that it nevertheless would be subject to disclosure, notwithstanding the mandatory provisions of Section 10—, because it could nevertheless be disclosed in light of the County ordinance which created the Office of Inspector General and empowered the Inspector General to investigate issues concerning waste, management, et cetera, of various departments; and further, that the ordinance directed the custodian of records to provide, upon request, the information to the Inspector General in the conduct of those duties.

The Court finds, in light of the controversy as it was described by the parties, that it is unnecessary for the Court to reach that issue in this case, and particularly in light of the fact that there's no cross-claim for declaratory judgment, or any other kind of relief, I decline to decide that issue. This Court issued a writ of certiorari at this juncture, before the intermediate appellate court acted.

The Office of the Montgomery County Inspector General is a relatively new institution, created in , 8 identified in Section 2— a of the Montgomery County Code as having three objectives, namely to:. The Inspector General must attempt to identify actions which would enhance the productivity, effectiveness, or efficiency of programs and operations of County government and independent County agencies.

In developing recommendations, the Inspector General may:. In each project of the Office, the Inspector General should uphold the objective of complying with applicable generally accepted government auditing standards. Montgomery County Code, Section 2— h. The Inspector General is legally entitled to, and each department or office in County government and each independent County agency must promptly give the Inspector General, any document or other information concerning its operations, budget, or programs that the Inspector General requests.

The Inspector General must comply with any restrictions on public disclosure of the documents or information that are required by federal or state law. The Inspector General must immediately notify the Chief Administrative Officer, the County Attorney, and the President of the Council if any department, office, or agency does not provide any document or information within a reasonable time after the Inspector General requests it. The Chief Administrative Officer for departments and offices in the Executive branch of County government , the County Attorney for independent County agencies , and the Council President for offices in the legislative branch of County government must then take appropriate action including legal action if necessary to require the department, office, or agency to provide the requested document or information.

If the Inspector General does not receive all necessary information under paragraph 1 , the Inspector General may issue a subpoena to require any person to appear under oath as a witness or produce any record or other material in connection with an audit or investigation under this Section.

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Internal investigations of law enforcement officers are governed by Sections 3— et seq. Abell Publishing Co. Mezzanote, Md. Significant mandatory exemptions exist, nevertheless, in Section 10— and Section 10—, among others, 13 of the State Government Article. See Police Patrol v. Prince George's County, Md. Liquor Control, Md. State, Md. See University System v. Baltimore Sun, Md. Kirwan v. The Diamondback, Md. The essential difference between the mandatory and discretionary provisions was succinctly stated by Judge John C.

Eldridge, writing for this Court in Attorney General v. Gallagher, Md.

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Sections 10— [and 10—] are both mandatory provisions, meaning that when they are applicable to a particular record, the custodian must deny inspection of that record. In that case, a collegiate newspaper had requested documents from the University of Maryland relating to campus parking violations committed by members of the men's basketball team, as well as the team's head coach.

Subsequently, in Governor v. Washington Post, Md. In that case, the Washington Post had requested telephone and scheduling records from the Office of the Governor. The simple record of what number was called, or with whom the Governor met, about possible future employment would not relate to the discipline, promotion, dismissal, status, job performance, or achievement of an existing or former employee. In Baltimore v.

Maryland Committee, Md. We further emphasized the significant public interest in preserving the confidentiality of internal police investigations both in promoting cooperation by civilian witnesses and police officers. In the present case, the Internal Affairs Division inquiry explored whether Sergeant Shropshire and Captain Parker—Loan had committed administrative rule violations in connection with the accident investigation involving Assistant Fire Chief Gregory J. Moreover, as we recognized in Maryland Committee, where, as here, an investigation clears the officers of wrongdoing, there is a significant public interest in maintaining confidentiality, both in fairness to the investigated officers and cooperating witnesses.

Finally, records of internal investigations contain significant personal information, such as the investigated officer's name, date of birth, address, social security number, level of education, as well as the complaint, transcripts of witness interviews, and the investigator's notes, that if disclosed, could be potentially detrimental to not only the officers, but also the witnesses. The County asserts that the internal affairs records are, nevertheless, disclosable, referring us to Maryland State Police v.

The present case is distinguishable, because the internal affairs records specifically reference the acts taken by Sergeant Shropshire and Captain Parker—Loan during the investigation of a discrete motor vehicle accident and the unsustained allegations against them, rather than statistics compiled regarding the acts of a group of officers without identification of their personal information. Records of alleged systemic racial profiling by a police department as a whole clearly are differentiated from records investigating alleged administrative rule violations by identified police officers in connection with a specific incident.

Finally, the County's reference to Blades v. Woods, Md. Henschen, Md. We shall direct that the case be remanded to the Circuit Court for entry of an appropriate declaratory judgment to that effect, in conformance with this Opinion. See Kirwan v. Diamondback, Md. Here, however, the majority glosses over this policy in order to rush to a conclusion that would undermine it.

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The playing field is not level, however, as the burden to show that an exemption exists rests squarely on the shoulders of the party seeking to prevent disclosure, in this case, the police officers. Cranford v. The Circuit Courts of Maryland are the state trial courts of general jurisdiction in Maryland. They are Maryland's highest courts of record exercising original jurisdiction at law and in equity in all civil and criminal matters, and have such additional powers and jurisdiction as conferred by the Maryland Constitution of as amended, or by law.

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Probate and estate matters are handled by a separate Orphans' Court. The Circuit Courts are the only Maryland state courts empowered to conduct jury trials. Each of Maryland's 23 counties and the independent city of Baltimore has its own Circuit Court. The number of judges on each of the Circuit Courts is set by statute. Each circuit encompasses two or more counties, except for the Eighth Circuit, which consists solely of Baltimore City. Judges of the Circuit Courts of Maryland are elected to year terms in the general election.

Representatives congressmen. Judges must be at least 30 years old, qualified voters, members of the Maryland bar , and residents both of Maryland for at least five years and for at least 6 months of the place for which they are elected to serve. It makes this database publicly available on its website. Use the Maryland SOR Search to find registered sex offenders living, working, and schooling in Montgomery County and other parts of the state.

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To find an individual booked into a Montgomery County jail, call the Inmate Records Section at The Montgomery Circuit Court hears most of the civil and criminal cases held in the county. Records for this court, as well as those of the District Court, are available online. The Montgomery Circuit Court is also responsible for issuing certified copies of marriage licenses. Records dating back to are available in its database.

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To request for a certified copy of a marriage license, download and complete the Request for Marriage Record form. Bring or mail it to:. The License Department opens to the public between a. For copies of marriage licenses issued between January 1, and , visit the website of the Maryland Vital Statistics Administration. To obtain certified copies of licenses issued prior to , check Maryland Archives. The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services issues certified birth and death certificates for the county.

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