E-Alert Case Updates
New Maryland Rule 1-322.2 Is Stayed Until September 1, 2014
Amendments to Maryland Rule 1-322.1 and New Rule 1-322.2 available at:
Stay of New Rule 1-322.2 available at:
by Richard J. Medoff, Summer Associate
New Maryland Rule 1-322.2 was supposed to take effect on July 1, 2014. The Rule requires that every pleading or paper filed in a litigated civil or criminal case in the Maryland State courts contain a certificate of compliance with Maryland Rule 1-322.1, the Rule requiring the exclusion of personal identifier information from court records. On June 17, 2014, however, the Court of Appeals issued a stay of the implementation of Maryland Rule 1-322.2. The effective date of the Rule is deferred and its operation is stayed until September 1, 2014, “pending further study of the rule by the Court.” The Order concerning the stay can be found here: http://mdcourts.gov/coappeals/pdfs/rulesorder20140617rule13222.pdf.
Personal identifier information includes “an individual’s Social Security number or taxpayer identification number, or the numeric or alphabetic characters of a financial or medical account identifier.” See Rule 1-322.1(b). The committee note to Rule 1-322.1(b) specifies that “financial accounts” include “credit and debit card accounts, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, insurance policies, and annuity contracts,” and additionally states that “PIN numbers or other account passwords also may need to be redacted, as well as health information identifiers.” See committee note to Rule 1-322.1(b). Rule 1-322.1 also sets forth alternatives for when it is necessary to include personal identifier information. See Rule 1-322.1(c)(1-5).
Under Rule 1-322.2, the clerk was not to accept a filing if it did not contain a Rule 1-322.2 certificate of compliance starting on July 1, 2014. See Rule 1-322.2(b). There are exceptions to the Rule since Rule 1-322.1 applies only to Maryland State courts and it does not apply to several types of court documents. First, it "does not apply to administrative records, business license records, or notice records, as those terms are defined in [Rule] 16-1001(a)." See Rule 1-322.1(a). "Notice records" include "deeds, mortgages, and other documents filed among the land records; financing statements filed pursuant to Code, Commercial Law Article, Title 9; and tax and other liens filed pursuant to statute." See Rule 16-1001(i). Also, the Rule does not apply to papers filed by a "a judge or judicial appointee," see Rule 1-322.1(a), with "judicial appointee" meaning "an auditor, examiner, or master appointed by a court of this State" or "a District Court commissioner appointed pursuant to Article IV, § 41G of the Maryland Constitution," see Md. Rule 16-814(a).
Instead, Rule 1-322.1 applies to all "pleadings and other papers filed in an action . . . by a person other than a judge or judicial appointee." See Rule 1-322.1(a). The Rules define "action" to mean "collectively all the steps by which a party seeks to enforce any right in a court or all the steps of a criminal prosecution." See Rule 1-202(a). Accordingly, Rule 1-322.2 requires a certificate of compliance with Rule 1-322.1 for every such "pleading or paper filed in an action" in a Maryland State court, whether civil or criminal, and whether at the trial court or appellate level, except as specified above.
Once the Maryland Electronic Court (MDEC) program begins, which is scheduled to be rolled out state-wide on a county by county basis starting in the fall of 2014, Rule 1-322.2(a)(2) will require that electronically filed pleadings or papers filed in an action contain a certificate that complies with Rule 20-201(f)(1)(B). Rule 20-201(f)(1)(B) requires that documents filed electronically via MDEC “contain a certificate by the filer that the submission does not contain any restricted information.” See Rule 20-201(f)(1)(B). However, Rule 20-201(f)(1)(B)’s certificate requirement only becomes applicable after the MDEC program has been instituted in a specific county. See Rule 20-102(a)(1). The Maryland Judiciary has not yet approved a specific Rule 20-201(f)(1)(B) compliant form, and recommends that filers familiarize themselves with Rule 20-201, and the other Rules in Title 20, before filing any documents electronically via MDEC.
In conclusion, Maryland litigators are still required to comply with Maryland Rule 1-322.1 regarding personal identifier information, however, the certificate of compliance that was going to be required starting on July 1, 2014, has been deferred until September 1, 2014.
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