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Researching Maryland & West Virginia Law

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Posted On 01.10.13 by in General Information

 

There are many times when you may need to research Maryland or West Virginia law or cases.  If you are looking for a doctor, you might want to see if that doctor has ever been sued before.  If you are filing a small claims case, you might want to see if you can find the defendant’s address from old court cases.

Maryland Resources

State Cases

Maryland state courts do not permit electronic filing of documents (it’s coming in the next few years), but there is some basic information to be found online about criminal cases, traffic cases, medical malpractice cases and automobile accident cases, among others.  The Maryland Judiciary Case Search can be searched based on the name of a person or corporation, the court, the type of case (civil, criminal, traffic, civil citation) and a time frame of filing.  In many cases, the addresses of defendants are listed.

Federal Cases

The other half of the Maryland court system is the federal courts.  There are two United States courthouses located in Maryland—one in Greenbelt and one in Baltimore City.  Federal cases often include constitutional cases and cases where there is diversity.  In a diversity case, the plaintiff is from a different state than the defendant.  The public can search for and access federal cases through PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records).

Statutes

Most of Maryland’s laws are written in statutes.  These are laws that are passed by the state legislature year after year.  They govern everything from how our courts operate, to the rules of the road, to how insurance companies must conduct themselves.

Two good sources of statutory information are Justia and Lexis.  Justia has the 2010 Maryland Code in an easy-to-find format, organized by subject matter.  For example, Title 21 of the Transportation Article contains information about the rules for driving, bicycles, and traffic signals.  These rules are often important in automobile accident lawsuits to show whether a driver was negligent.

The same information can be found for free through Lexis.  The Lexis database has an easy-to-use search feature.

West Virginia Resources

State Cases

Unlike Maryland, West Virginia state court information is not available online.

Federal Cases

There are two federal courthouses in West Virginia—the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.  Like all federal cases, searches can be conducted through PACER.

Statutes

Justia  and Findlaw also provide access to West Virginia laws.

Contact Us

If you have questions after an automobile accident or on-the-job injury in Maryland or West Virginia, contact our personal injury lawyers at 1-800-776-4529, or send us some brief information about your situation to us through our online portal.  We’ll put our expertise to work for you right away.

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