The Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (“Rules Committee”) of the Court of Appeals is currently considering a proposed new Maryland Rule that would require reduction of the case records available for searches in the CaseSearch online database. If adopted, the rule would require a case record to be removed no later than five years after proceedings in the case have concluded. It appears that the purging would apply to all cases, both criminal and civil. At its meeting on March 10, the Rules Committee postponed reaching a decision on the proposal, but it is expected to be on the agenda for action in the near future.
Thus, anyone who wants to submit comments to the Rules Committee would be wise to do so promptly. Comments and requests for information may be addressed to the Committee through its Reporter, Sandra Haines, Esq. at Sandra.firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-260- 3630.
The impetus behind the proposed purging of cases is primarily political – to give a “second chance” to those with case records by (for instance) preventing respective employers from discovering information by using CaseSearch. At the March 10 meeting, two members of the House of Delegates (Barron and Dumais) spoke in favor of the proposed purging. Proposed Rule 16-911 – from March 10 agenda