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§ 2-406. Performance of marriage ceremony

West's Annotated Code of MarylandFamily LawEffective: October 1, 2009

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Family Law (Refs & Annos)
Title 2. Marriage (Refs & Annos)
Subtitle 4. Licensing and Performance (Refs & Annos)
Effective: October 1, 2009
MD Code, Family Law, § 2-406
§ 2-406. Performance of marriage ceremony
“Judge” defined; authorized officials
(a)(1) In this subsection, “judge” means:
(i) a judge of the District Court, a circuit court, the Court of Special Appeals, or the Court of Appeals;
(ii) a judge approved under Article IV, § 3A of the Maryland Constitution and § 1-302 of the Courts Article for recall and assignment to the District Court, a circuit court, the Court of Special Appeals, or the Court of Appeals;
(iii) a judge of a United States District Court, a United States Court of Appeals, or the United States Tax Court; or
(iv) a judge of a state court if the judge is active or retired but eligible for recall.
(2) A marriage ceremony may be performed in this State by:
(i) any official of a religious order or body authorized by the rules and customs of that order or body to perform a marriage ceremony;
(ii) any clerk;
(iii) any deputy clerk designated by the county administrative judge of the circuit court for the county; or
(iv) a judge.
Period during which marriage ceremony may be performed
(b) Within 6 months after a license becomes effective, any authorized official may perform the marriage ceremony of the individuals named in the license.
Performance of marriage ceremony by unauthorized individual
(c)(1) An individual may not perform a marriage ceremony unless the individual is authorized to perform a marriage ceremony under subsection (a) of this section.
(2) An individual who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of $500.
Performance of marriage ceremony between individuals within prohibited degrees
(d)(1) An individual may not knowingly perform a marriage ceremony between individuals who are prohibited from marrying under § 2-202 of this title.
(2) An individual who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of $500.
Performance of marriage ceremony without license
(e)(1) An individual may not perform a marriage ceremony without a license that is effective under this subtitle.
(2) An individual who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500.
Ceremony performed by a clerk or deputy clerk
(f) The county administrative judge of the circuit court for the county shall designate:
(1) when and where the clerk or deputy clerk may perform a marriage ceremony; and
(2) the form of the marriage ceremony to be recited by the clerk or deputy clerk and the parties being married.
Forms of religious ceremonies
(g) This section does not affect the right of any religious denomination to perform a marriage ceremony in accordance with the rules and customs of the denomination.

Credits

Added by Acts 1984, c. 296, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1999, c. 336, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 1999; Acts 2002, c. 207, § 1, eff. June 1, 2002; Acts 2004, c. 199, § 1, eff. July 1, 2004; Acts 2009, c. 324, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2009.
Formerly Art. 27, §§ 392, 394; Art. 62, §§ 3A, 4, 15.

Editors' Notes

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
1999 Legislation
Acts 1999, c. 336, § 2, in subsec. (b), substituted “becomes effective” for “is issued”; and in subsec. (e)(1), substituted “that is effective” for “issued”.
Acts 1999, c. 336, § 3, provides:
“SECTION 3. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That a license issued before the effective date of this Act remains as valid as if this Act had not been enacted.”
2002 Legislation
Acts 2002, c. 207, § 1, rewrote subsec. (a), which previously read:
“(a) A marriage ceremony may be performed in this State by:
“(1) Any official of a religious order or body authorized by the rules and customs of that order or body to perform a marriage ceremony;
“(2) Any clerk; or
“(3) Any deputy clerk designated by the county administrative judge of the circuit court for the county.”
2004 Legislation
Acts 2004, c. 199, § 1, rewrote subsec. (a)(1), which previously read:
“(a)(1) In this subsection, ‘judge’ means a sitting or retired judge of the District Court, a circuit court, the Court of Special Appeals, the Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, or a sitting or retired judge of another state or federal court that has substantially equivalent jurisdiction.”
2009 Legislation
Acts 2009, c. 324, § 1, in subsec. (a)(1)(iii), inserted “, or the United States Tax Court”.
2012 Legislation
Acts 2012, c. 2, § 2, provides:
“SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That an official of a religious order or body authorized by the rules and customs of that order or body to perform a marriage ceremony may not be required to solemnize or officiate any particular marriage or religious rite of any marriage in violation of the right to free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by the Maryland Constitution and Maryland Declaration of Rights. Each religious organization, association, or society has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine, policy teachings, and beliefs regarding who may marry within that faith. An official of a religious order or body authorized to join individuals in marriage under § 2-406(a)(2)(i) of the Family Law Article and who fails or refuses to join individuals in marriage is not subject to any fine or other penalty for the failure or refusal.”
MD Code, Family Law, § 2-406, MD FAMILY § 2-406
Current through legislation effective July 1, 2020, from the 2020 Regular Session of the General Assembly.
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