Location: Montgomery County Circuit Court
50 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Phone: (240) 777-9466
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court is a public institution rich in tradition and history of the State of Maryland. Established by the Maryland Constitution (Article 4, Part III, §25), the Clerk of Court is one of the oldest public offices in our state and dates back as far as 1658 to the first Maryland settlement in St. Mary's County.
The Clerk's Office was established as an independent keeper of the records to maintain their integrity in a safe and impartial manner. Ensuring the integrity of the court record ultimately ensures that the people are being served in a fair and just manner.
Maryland Code 2-201 delineates the general duties of the Clerk of a Maryland court as follows:
- Have custody of the books, records, and papers of the office.
- Make proper legible entries of all proceedings of the court and keep them in well-bound books or other permanent form.
- When requested in writing to do so, record any paper filed with his/her office and required by law to be recorded in the appropriate place, whether or not the title to land is involved.
- Unless prohibited by law or order of the court, provide copies of records or papers in his/her custody to a person requesting a copy, under the seal of the court if required.
- Issue all writs which may legally be issued from the court.
- Deliver a full statement of the costs of a suit to a party requesting a copy.
- Receive all books, documents, public letters, and packages sent to him/her pursuant to law, and carefully dispose of them as the law requires.
- Administer an oath.
- Replace worn books and records with new ones.
- In conjunction with the Motor Vehicle Administrator, establish uniform procedures for reporting both traffic cases and criminal cases involving a motor vehicle in the Circuit Court to the Motor Vehicle Administration.
- Perform any other duty required by law or rule.
In order to execute the tasks described above, the Clerk of the Court is assisted by approximately 190 state-employed staff working in eight key functional areas of the court including: Criminal, Civil, Family and Juvenile Departments, Land Records Division, License Department, Finance Department, and the Courtroom Clerks Office with a 9.5 million annual budget (FY2008). The Office of the Clerk of the Court collected over $50 million from the recording of land records, criminal bonds and fines, license fees, and filing fees in civil and other departments. Furthermore, the Clerk of the Circuit Court administers the Oath of Office to elected officials, judges, county police officers, sheriff officers, special police officers, assistant and deputy state's attorneys, fire department members, and gubernatorial appointees.
While the functions of the Clerk of the Court are multifaceted, the main function is to serve the public and the residents of Montgomery County, in particular. Some of the key services provided by the Office of the Clerk of the Court include:
- Performing marriage ceremonies (approximately 3,400, a year).
- Administering over 600 statutory obligations established by Maryland law.
- Addressing questions or concerns raised by court patrons regarding a variety of issues related to their cases.
If there are issues of concern, please contact the Clerk's Office by calling (240)777-9466. Suggestions and comments regarding ways to improve the Court’s service to Montgomery County residents are highly appreciated.
Below is a biographical sketch of Loretta E. Knight, the current Clerk of the Court, Montgomery County Circuit Court, Maryland.
Loretta Knight was elected as the Clerk of Montgomery County Circuit Court in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. She took office on December 1, 2006, and brought with her over 25 years of experience in Montgomery County Circuit Court. Before becoming the Clerk of the Court, she was Deputy Clerk and Manager of the Civil Division of 60 employees. As the Clerk of the Court, Ms. Knight takes great pride in ensuring that court records are accurate, efficiently processed and accessible to the public as stipulated by law. Under her leadership, the Court has initiated several new projects such as the Staff Interpreter Pilot Program, the Statewide Domestic Violence Database, Improved Case Processing Efficiency and Improved Court Security. Ms. Knight is Immediate Past-President of the Maryland Circuit Court Clerks Association and Chair of the State’s Conference of Circuit Court Clerks. She is a member of various organizations including the State of Maryland Security Advisory Board, the Maryland Access to Justice Commission, the Maryland Judicial Council, the Mid Atlantic Association of Court Management and Montgomery County’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission. She is also a departmental legislative contact for the Office of Intergovernmental Relations. As the Clerk of the Court, Ms. Knight has testified before the Maryland House, Senate and Joint Committee on a variety of issues for Montgomery County Circuit Court and for the Association of Circuit Court Clerks. As part of the Leadership Team for Montgomery County Circuit Court, Ms Knight is working closely with Administrative Judge John W. Debelius III and Court Administrator Judy K. Rupp to create a collaborative working environment in the court; ensuring that all functions of the Court work cohesively and productively to serve the needs of the county residents and the citizens of Maryland.
50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM