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RULE 16-919. CREATION OF NEW JUDICIAL RECORDS

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland RulesEffective: October 1, 2021

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 16. Court Administration
Chapter 900. Access to Judicial Records
Division 2. Limitations on Access
Effective: October 1, 2021
MD Rules, Rule 16-919
RULE 16-919. CREATION OF NEW JUDICIAL RECORDS
(a) Scope. This Rule applies to requests for (1) the creation of a new judicial record from electronic databases maintained by a judicial agency or special judicial unit or (2) a reformatting of existing judicial records in any form.
Cross reference: See Rule 16-918 for electronic access to existing electronic records.
(b) Definition. In this Rule, “reformatting” includes indexing, compilation, programming, or reorganization of existing judicial records, documents, or information.
(c) Generally.
(1) Except as required by other law, a custodian, judicial agency, or special judicial unit is not required to create a new judicial record or reformat existing judicial records not necessary to be created or reformatted for judicial functions.
(2) The removal, deletion, or redaction from a judicial record of information not subject to inspection under the Rules in this Chapter in order to make the judicial record subject to inspection does not create or reformat a new record within the meaning of this Rule.
(3) If a custodian, judicial agency, or special judicial unit (A) reformats existing judicial records or other documents or information to create a new judicial record, or (B) comes into possession of a new judicial record created by another from the reformatting of other judicial records, documents or information, and there is no basis under the Rules in this Chapter to deny inspection of that new judicial record or some part of that judicial record, the new judicial record or part for which there is no basis to deny inspection shall be subject to inspection.
(d) Request. A person who desires to obtain judicial records pursuant to section (a) of this Rule shall submit to the custodian a written request that describes with particularity the information that is sought. If there is no known custodian, the request shall be made to the SCA, who shall designate a custodian.
(e) Review and Response.
(1) Generally. The custodian shall review the request, may consult with other employees, legal counsel, or technical experts, and, within 30 business days after receipt of the request, shall take one of the following actions:
(A) Approve the request to the extent that the information requested is subject to inspection under the Rules in this Chapter or Title 20 and that will not directly or indirectly impose significant fiscal or operational burdens on any court, judicial agency, or special judicial unit.
(B) Conditionally approve a request to the extent that the information requested is subject to inspection under the Rules in this Chapter or Title 20 but will directly or indirectly impose significant and reasonably calculable fiscal or operational burdens on a court, judicial agency, or special judicial unit, on condition of the requester's prepayment in full of all additional expenses reasonably expected to be incurred as a result of the approval.
(C) Deny the request and state the reason for the denial if or to the extent that:
(i) the request seeks inspection of information from judicial records that is not subject to inspection under the Rules in this Chapter or Title 20;
(ii) the requester fails or refuses to satisfy a condition imposed under subsection (e)(1)(B) of this Rule;
(iii) granting the request would impose significant and reasonably calculable operational burdens on a court, judicial agency, or special judicial unit that cannot be overcome merely by prepayment of additional expenses under subsection (e)(1)(B) of this Rule;
(iv) the request directly or indirectly imposes a significant but not reasonably calculable fiscal or operational burden on any court, judicial agency, or special judicial unit; or
(v) the request is a repeated one by the same or affiliated person for the same records that were previously provided or that were the subject of a prior request that was properly denied and there has been no material change in the basis for the denial.
Cross reference: See Glass v. Anne Arundel Cty., 453 Md. 201 (2017).
(2) Considerations. In determining whether to grant or deny the request, the custodian shall consider the following, to the extent relevant:
(A) whether the data processing system, operational system, electronic filing system, or manual or electronic storage and retrieval system used by or planned for the court, judicial agency, or special judicial unit that maintains the judicial records can currently provide the inspection requested in the manner requested and in conformance with the Rules in this Chapter, and, if not, any changes or effort required to enable those systems to provide that inspection;
(B) whether any changes to the data processing, operational, electronic filing, or storage or retrieval systems used by or planned for other courts, other judicial agencies, or other special judicial units in the State would be required in order to avoid undue disparity in the ability of those courts, agencies, or units to provide equivalent inspection of judicial records maintained by them;
(C) any other fiscal, personnel, or operational impact of the request on the court, other judicial agency, or special judicial unit or on the State judicial system as a whole;
(D) whether there is a substantial possibility that information retrieved may be used for any fraudulent or other unlawful purpose or may result in the dissemination of inaccurate or misleading information concerning judicial records or individuals who are the subject of judicial records and, if so, whether there are any safeguards to prevent misuse of disseminated information and the dissemination of inaccurate or misleading information;
(E) whether (i) the request would be unduly burdensome for the custodian or judicial agency, (ii) there is any practicable way to narrow the request to make it manageable, and (iii) the burden on the custodian or judicial agency would outweigh the public interest in the information; and
(F) any other consideration that the custodian finds relevant.
(3) Before invoking subsection (e)(1)(C)(iii) or (iv) of this Rule, the custodian shall extend to the person making the request an opportunity to confer with the custodian in an attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions.
(4) Notice of Denial. If the custodian denies the request, the custodian shall give written notice to the requester and summarize the reasons for the denial. If the denial is on the basis that compliance with the request would be unduly burdensome, the notice shall state the relevant facts supporting that conclusion.
Source: This Rule is derived from former Rule 16-909 (f) (2019).

Credits

[Adopted June 29, 2020, eff. Aug. 1, 2020. Amended July 9, 2021, eff. Oct. 1, 2021.]
MD Rules, Rule 16-919, MD R CTS J AND ATTYS Rule 16-919
Current with amendments received through May 15, 2022. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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