Maryland FOIA procedures

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Each state varies slightly in the procedures used to gain access to public documents. This article serves to describe specifically the steps used in Maryland. To read the history and details of Maryland’s sunshine laws please see Maryland Public Information Act

How to request public records in Maryland

Records requests should be directed to the records custodian in possession of the records.

Purpose and use

There are not requirements concerning a statement of purpose. However, if the custodian of the records deems that inspection would go against the public interest, he or she may deny the record for up to ten days and petition for a court hearing to permanently exempt the record.[1]

The only restriction placed on the use of records is the prohibition of the use of criminal records for the solicitation of legal services.

Who may request public records?

See also: List of who can make public record requests by state

All people and governmental units are able to make public records requests unless otherwise indicated by statute.[2]


See also: How much do public records cost?

The Maryland law allows departments to charge a reasonable fee which includes both the cost of duplication as well as any staff time in excess of 2 hours involved in the search, compilation, or reproduction of materials. Waivers are permitted considering the person requesting the documents financial status and the public interest in the release of the information.[3]

Response time

See also: Request response times by state

Maryland law allows the department 30 days to either grant the materials or deny the request.[4]

See also

External links