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RULE 15-1501. PETITION FOR AUTHORIZATION FOR MINOR TO MARRY

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland RulesEffective: July 1, 2023

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 15. Other Special Proceedings
Chapter 1500. Marriage of Minors
Effective: July 1, 2023
MD Rules, Rule 15-1501
RULE 15-1501. PETITION FOR AUTHORIZATION FOR MINOR TO MARRY
(a) Applicability. This Rule applies to petitions filed pursuant to Code, Family Law Article, Title 5, Subtitle 2A for authorization for a minor who is 17 years old to marry.
Cross reference: See Rule 16-914 (q) concerning inspection of a case record in an action filed under this Rule.
(b) Petitioner. A petition for authorization for a minor to marry shall be filed by the minor seeking authorization who is 17 years old.
(c) Venue. A petition for authorization for a minor to marry shall be filed in the circuit court for the county in which the minor resides.
(d) Petition
(1) Contents of Petition. A petition for authorization for a minor to marry shall be titled “In the Matter of __________ for Authorization to Marry.” The petition shall comply with Rules 2-303 through 2-305 and shall set forth:
(A) the minor's full name, date of birth, address, and the length of time that the minor has resided at the stated address;
(B) the intended spouse's full name, date of birth, address, and the length of time that the intended spouse has resided at the stated address;
(C) a statement explaining (i) how the minor and the intended spouse met and (ii) how long the minor and the intended spouse have known each other;
(D) a statement explaining the minor's maturity, capacity for self-sufficiency, and capacity for self-support independent of the minor's parents, guardian, legal custodian, or intended spouse;
(E) the name and last known address of each living parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the minor;
(F) a statement of whether the minor and intended spouse are related by blood or marriage and, if so, in which degree of relationship; and
(G) a statement of whether the minor or intended spouse was married previously, and the date and place of each death or judicial determination that ended any former marriage.
(2) Exhibits. A petitioner for authorization for a minor to marry shall attach the following exhibits:
(A) a copy of any criminal record concerning either the minor or the intended spouse;
(B) a list of any cases previously filed between the minor and the intended spouse;
(C) a copy of any peace order or protective order issued against either the minor or the intended spouse;
(D) any documentary evidence that the minor is mature and capable of self-sufficiency and self-support independent of the minor's parents, guardian, legal custodian, or intended spouse;
(E) a copy of any divorce decree or death certificate that supports the marital status of the minor or the intended spouse;
(F) a copy of (i) the minor's birth certificate and (ii) the intended spouse's birth certificate; and
(G) if applicable, a certificate from a licensed physician, licensed physician assistant, or certified nurse practitioner stating that the physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner has examined one of the parties to be married and has found that the party is pregnant or has given birth to a child.
Cross reference: See Code, Family Law Article, § 5-2A-01.
(e) Appointment of Attorney
(1) Generally. Upon the filing of a petition by a minor, the court shall appoint an attorney for the minor if unrepresented and may appoint a Child's Best Interest Attorney.
Cross reference: See Rule 19-301.8 (1.8).
(2) Eligibility for Appointment. To be eligible for appointment to represent the minor, an attorney shall:
(A) be a member in good standing of the Maryland Bar; and
(B) have experience in matters concerning family law.
(3) Fees. The court may order that reasonable and necessary fees of an appointed attorney be paid by the intended spouse, the minor, the minor's parents, guardians, or legal custodians, or as the court otherwise directs.
(f) Notice
(1) Notice of Hearing. Upon the filing of a petition under this Rule, the court shall set a hearing date. The court shall send to the minor a written notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing.
(2) Notice to Minor. Upon the filing of a petition for authorization for a minor to marry, the clerk shall issue notice to the minor containing the information required by Code, Family Law Article, § 5-2A-02.
(3) Notice to Parent, Guardian, or Legal Custodian. Upon the filing of a petition for authorization for a minor to marry, the clerk shall issue notice to each living parent, guardian, or legal custodian listed in the petition. The notice shall advise that the parent, guardian, or legal custodian has a right to support or oppose the petition.
(g) Service
(1) Service on Intended Spouse. The minor shall serve on the intended spouse:
(A) a copy of the petition and attached exhibits; and
(B) a copy of the notice of the hearing issued by the court pursuant to subsection (f)(1) of this Rule.
(2) Service on Parent, Guardian, or Legal Custodian. The minor shall serve on each living parent, guardian, or legal custodian:
(A) a copy of the petition and attached exhibits;
(B) a copy of the notice of the hearing issued pursuant to subsection (f)(1) of this Rule; and
(C) a copy of the notice issued pursuant to subsection (f)(3) of this Rule.
(3) Method and Proof of Service. The method of service pursuant to subsections (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this Rule shall be as provided in Rule 2-121. Proof of service shall be filed in accordance with the method described in Rule 2-126.
(h) Hearing
(1) Hearing Required. The court may not act on a petition under this Rule without a hearing.
(2) In Camera Interview. The court shall conduct an in camera interview of the minor outside the presence of other parties, including the intended spouse and the minor's parents, guardian, or legal custodian.
(3) Applicable Presumptions. The presumptions applicable at a hearing on a petition for authorization for a minor to marry are governed by Code, Family Law Article, § 5-2A-03.
(4) Specific Issue Evaluation. To aid the court in evaluating the best interests of the minor, the court may order further proceedings, which may include a specific issue evaluation using the procedure set forth in Rule 9-205.3.
(i) Final Order
(1) Order Granting Petition for Authorization to Marry
(A) The court may grant a petition for authorization to marry if, after a hearing, the court makes written findings that: (i) the minor is 17 years old; (ii) the minor seeks to marry voluntarily and free from force, coercion, and fraud; and (iii) the minor is mature and capable of self-sufficiency and self-support.
(B) The clerk shall provide to the minor a certified copy of the order granting authorization to marry.
(2) Order Denying Petition for Authorization to Marry
The court shall deny a petition for authorization to marry if, after a hearing, the court makes written findings that:
(A) Marriage is not in the best interest of the minor;
(B) The intended spouse at any time has been in a position of authority over, in a position of special trust with, or has had a professional relationship with the minor;
(C) The intended spouse has been convicted or adjudicated delinquent for (i) any crime against a minor, (ii) a crime of violence pursuant to Code, Criminal Law Article, § 14-101, (iii) a sexual crime under Code, Criminal Law Article, Title 3, Subtitle 3, or (iv) human trafficking under Code, Criminal Law Article, Title 3, Subtitle 11;
(D) The minor or intended spouse is pregnant or has a child with the other party that evidences that the minor was the victim of a sexual crime committed by the intended spouse; or
(E) A protective order or peace order was issued against the intended spouse, regardless of whether the minor was the person to be protected.
Source: This Rule is new.

Credits

[Adopted April 1, 2023, eff. July 1, 2023.]
MD Rules, Rule 15-1501, MD R SPEC P Rule 15-1501
Current with amendments received through December 1, 2023. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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