Understanding an Appeal

An appeal is a proceeding in which a party to the case disagrees with the Circuit Court judge’s ruling and wants the case to be heard in a higher court. You or your attorney must file an appeal within 30 days after the final judgment is entered. The Circuit Court notifies the Court of Special Appeals if a defendant in a criminal case or either party in a civil or family law case does not agree with the court decision.

Once an appeal is filed with the Appeals Clerk at the Circuit Court (North Tower, Rm 1280), all necessary original papers, including the original transcript (to be provided by the person filing the appeal) are sent to the Court of Special Appeals by the deadline provided in the order from the Court of Special Appeals.

Filing Fees for Appeals

People’s Law Library of Maryland - Appeal or Enforce a Decision

Download the Maryland Court of Special Appeals Guide for Self-Representation (PDF)


Appeals Filed from the District Court to the Circuit Court


If you lost your case in District Court, you may appeal to Circuit Court. After the Circuit Court decision, if you wish to appeal a second time, you must file a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals, Maryland's Highest Court, in a timely manner. If your case was originally in Circuit Court, you must also file the petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals in Annapolis.

Download the Appeal from District Court to Circuit Court Form (PDF)

Administrative Appeals

An Administrative Appeal is a petition to the Court to review an agency’s decision-making process for yielding a particular decision or action of that agency. Administrative Appeals may be filed in the Civil Department (North Tower, Rm 1200). If you do not agree with decisions made or actions taken by a state or local government agency, you may file a Petition for Administrative Appeal in the Circuit Court. However, keep in mind that the Court does not substitute its judgment for that of the agency; the purpose of judicial review of agency decisions/actions is to examine its decision-making process in terms of the interpretation of applicable laws and the facts that the agency utilized in making decisions.

Additional information about how to file a Petition for Judicial Review is located below.

Download the Administrative Appeals Petition Template (PDF)


Questions About How to File a Petition for Judicial Review of Agency Actions of Decisions (Administrative Appeals)

A petition seeking judicial review of decisions made by “any agency, board, department, district, commission, authority, commissioner, official, the Maryland Tax Court, or other unit of the State or of a political subdivision of the State and the Client Protection Fund of the Bar of Maryland” may be filed with the Court (Maryland Rule 7-201 (b)).

You must include the following in the caption of your Petition:

  • Your name and address,
  • Name and address of the agency whose decision(s) you are seeking a Petition of Judicial Review, and
  • Agency proceeding, including the case number.

In the main body of the Petition, you must explicitly request judicial review, identify the order or action of which review is sought, and state whether you were a party to the agency proceeding. No other statements or allegations are necessary.

Make a copy of the Petition for each agency named and provide it to the Clerk of the Court when you file your Petition. Also make one copy for your records.

Yes, generally, you or your attorney must file a Petition for Judicial Review of an agency decision or action within 30 days after the decision or action in question was made, the notice of the order or action was sent (if the agency is required by law to send such a notice to you), or the day you received the notice of action or decision (if the law stipulates that you must receive such a notice).

The filing party will receive a written notice from the agency named in the caption, indicating the receipt of the Petition.

Within 60 days after the agency receives the first Petition for Judicial Review, the agency must provide the original or a certified copy of the proceedings, such as the transcript of testimony, exhibits, and other papers filed in the agency proceeding. If the testimony has been recorded but not transcribed before the filing of the Petition for Judicial Review, the filing party may be required to pay for the transcription. Upon the filing of the record, the Clerk of the Court will notify the filing party of the receipt of the record. A date for Administrative Appeal hearing will be scheduled upon the filing of the record.

Per Maryland Rule 7-207, within 30 days after the clerk sends notice of the filing of the record, a petitioner shall file a memorandum setting forth a concise statement of the questions presented for review, a statement of facts material to those questions, and arguments on each question, including citations of authority and references to pages of the record on which exhibits relied.

Within 30 days after service of the memorandum, any person who has filed a response, including the agency when entitled by law to be a party to the action, may file an answering memorandum in similar form. The petitioner may file a reply memorandum within 15 days after service of an answering memorandum. Except with the permission of the court, a memorandum shall not exceed 35 pages.

In an action involving more than one petitioner or responding party, any petitioner or responding party may adopt by reference any part of the memorandum of another.

If a petitioner fails to file a memorandum within the time prescribed by this Rule, the court may dismiss the action if it finds that the failure to file or the late filing caused prejudice to the moving party. A person who has filed a response but who fails to file an answering memorandum within the time prescribed by this Rule may not present arguments except with the permission of the court.

Based on the facts provided by the parties and agency, the Court may dismiss the action for judicial review; or may affirm, reverse, or modify the agency’s order, remand the action to the agency for further proceedings; or a combination of these.

Before filing a Petition for Judicial Review of a decision by the Workers’ Compensation Commission, you or your attorney must serve a copy of the Petition on the Commission and each party of record in the proceeding by first class mail. You or your attorney must also file a Certificate of Service when the Petition is filed with the Court. Memoranda are not required for a Petition seeking Judicial Review of a decision made by the Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Maryland Rules 7-201 through 210 (Chapter 200. Judicial Review of Administrative Agency Decisions) cover Judicial Review of administrative agency decisions. Maryland State Rules and Codes are available online from Maryland State Law Library.

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