In this Title the following definitions apply except as expressly otherwise provided or as necessary implication requires:
(a) Appellate Court. “Appellate court” means the Court of Appeals or the Court of Special Appeals, whichever the context requires.
(b) Business Day. “Business day” means a day that the clerk's office is open for the transaction of business. For the purpose of the Rules in this Title, a “business day” begins at 12:00.00 a.m. and ends at 11:59.59 p.m.
(c) Clerk. “Clerk” means the Clerk of the Court of Appeals, the Court of Special Appeals, or a circuit court, an administrative clerk of the District Court, and authorized assistant clerks in those offices.
(d) Concluded. An action is “concluded” when
(1) final judgment has been entered in the action;
(2) there are no motions, other requests for relief, or charges pending; and
(3) the time for appeal has expired or, if an appeal or an application for leave to appeal was filed, all appellate proceedings have ended.
Committee note: This definition applies only to the Rules in Title 20 and is not to be confused with the term “closed” that is used for other administrative purposes.
(e) Digital Signature. A digital signature means the visual image of the signer’s handwritten signature or the signer’s cursive signature that was affixed using a digital program.
(f) Filer. “Filer” means a person who is accessing the MDEC system for the purpose of filing a submission and includes each person whose signature appears on the submission for that purpose.
Committee note: The internal processing of documents filed by registered users, on the one hand, and those transmitted by judges, judicial appointees, clerks, and judicial personnel, on the other, is different. The latter are entered directly into the MDEC electronic case management system, whereas the former are subject to clerk review under Rule 20-203. For purposes of these Rules, however, the term “filer” encompasses both groups.
(g) Hand-Signed or Handwritten Signature. “Hand-signed or handwritten signature” means the signer's original genuine signature on a paper document.
(h) Hyperlink. “Hyperlink” means an electronic link embedded in an electronic document that enables a reader to view the linked document.
(i) Judge. “Judge” means a judge of the Court of Appeals, Court of Special Appeals, a circuit court, or the District Court of Maryland and includes a senior judge when designated to sit in one of those courts.
(j) Judicial Appointee. “Judicial appointee” means a judicial appointee, as defined in Rule 18-200.3.
(k) Judicial Personnel. “Judicial personnel” means an employee of the Maryland Judiciary, even if paid by a county, who is employed in a category approved for access to the MDEC system by the State Court Administrator.
(l) MDEC or MDEC System. “MDEC” or “MDEC system” means the system of electronic filing and case management established by the Court of Appeals.
Committee note: “MDEC” is an acronym for Maryland Electronic Courts. The MDEC system has two components. (1) The electronic filing system permits users to file submissions electronically through a primary electronic service provider (PESP) subject to clerk review under Rule 20-203. The PESP transmits registered users' submissions directly into the MDEC electronic filing system and collects, accounts for, and transmits any fees payable for the submission. The PESP also accepts submissions from approved secondary electronic service providers (SESP) that filers may use as an intermediary. (2) The second component--the electronic case management system--accepts submissions filed through the PESP, maintains the official electronic record in an MDEC county, and performs other case management functions.
(m) MDEC Action. “MDEC action” means an action to which this Title is made applicable by Rule 20-102.
(n) MDEC County. “MDEC County” means a county in which, pursuant to an administrative order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals posted on the Judiciary website, MDEC has been implemented.
(o) MDEC Start Date. “MDEC Start Date” means the date specified in an administrative order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals posted on the Judiciary website from and after which a county first becomes an MDEC County.
(p) MDEC System Outage.
(1) For registered users other than judges, judicial appointees, clerks, and judicial personnel, “MDEC system outage” means the inability of the primary electronic service provider (PESP) to receive submissions by means of the MDEC electronic filing system.
(2) For judges, judicial appointees, clerks, and judicial personnel, “MDEC system outage” means the inability of the MDEC electronic filing system or the MDEC electronic case management system to receive electronic submissions.
(q) Redact. “Redact” means to exclude information from a document accessible to the public.
(r) Registered User. “Registered user” means an individual authorized to use the MDEC system by the State Court Administrator pursuant to Rule 20-104.
(s) Restricted Information. “Restricted information” means information that, by Rule or other law, is not subject to public inspection or is prohibited from being included in a court record absent a court order.
Committee note: There are several Rules and statutes that (1) make certain categories of records inaccessible to the public except by court order or (2) preclude certain information from being included in judicial records that otherwise are accessible to the public. See generally the Rules in Title 16, Chapter 900 and Rule 1-322.1. Filers of submissions under MDEC need to be aware of those provisions and alert the clerk to whether a document, or a part of a document, included in a submission is that kind of document or contains that kind of information. See Rules 20-201 (h), 20-201.1, and 20-203 (d), (e), and (f). Failure to comply with the requirements in those Rules may result in rejection or striking of the submission.
(t) Scan. “Scan” means to convert printed text or images to an electronic format compatible with MDEC.
(u) Signature. Unless otherwise specified, “signature” means the signer's typewritten name accompanied by a visual image of the signer's handwritten signature or by the symbol /s/.
Cross reference: Rule 20-107.
(v) Submission. “Submission” means a pleading or other document filed in an action. “Submission” does not include an item offered or admitted into evidence in open court.
Cross reference: See Rule 20-402.
(w) Tangible Item. “Tangible item” means an item that is not required to be filed electronically. A tangible item by itself is not a submission; it may either accompany a submission or be offered in open court.
Cross reference: See Rule 20-106 (c)(2) for items not required to be filed electronically.
Committee note: Examples of tangible items include an item of physical evidence, an oversize document, and a document that cannot be legibly scanned or would otherwise be incomprehensible if converted to electronic form.
(x) Trial Court. “Trial court” means the District Court of Maryland and a circuit court, even when the circuit court is acting in an appellate capacity.
Committee note: “Trial court” does not include an orphans' court, even when, as in Harford and Montgomery Counties, a judge of the circuit court is sitting as a judge of the orphans' court.
Source: This Rule is new.
[Adopted May 1, 2013, eff. July 1, 2013. Amended Dec. 7, 2015, eff. Jan. 1, 2016; June 6, 2016, eff. July 1, 2016; June 20, 2017, eff. Aug. 1, 2017; Oct. 10, 2017, eff. Jan. 1, 2018; Oct. 10, 2018, eff. Jan. 1, 2019; May 15, 2019, eff. July 1, 2019; June 29, 2020, eff. Oct. 1, 2020; Feb. 9, 2022, eff. April 1, 2022.]
MD Rules, Rule 20-101, MD R EFILING Rule 20-101
Current with amendments received through February 1, 2023. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.