About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.

Statute Text

Article - General Provisions
(a)   The exceptions in subsection (b) of this section shall be strictly construed in favor of open meetings of public bodies.
(b)   Subject to subsection (d) of this section, a public body may meet in closed session or adjourn an open session to a closed session only to:
(1)   discuss:
(i)   the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of an appointee, employee, or official over whom it has jurisdiction; or
(ii)   any other personnel matter that affects one or more specific individuals;
(2)   protect the privacy or reputation of an individual with respect to a matter that is not related to public business;
(3)   consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related to the acquisition;
(4)   consider a matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State;
(5)   consider the investment of public funds;
(6)   consider the marketing of public securities;
(7)   consult with counsel to obtain legal advice;
(8)   consult with staff, consultants, or other individuals about pending or potential litigation;
(9)   conduct collective bargaining negotiations or consider matters that relate to the negotiations;
(10)   discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including:
(i)   the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and
(ii)   the development and implementation of emergency plans;
(11)   prepare, administer, or grade a scholastic, licensing, or qualifying examination;
(12)   conduct or discuss an investigative proceeding on actual or possible criminal conduct;
(13)   comply with a specific constitutional, statutory, or judicially imposed requirement that prevents public disclosures about a particular proceeding or matter; or
(14)   discuss, before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process.
(c)   A public body that meets in closed session under this section may not discuss or act on any matter not authorized under subsection (b) of this section.
(d)    (1)   Unless a majority of the members of a public body present and voting vote in favor of closing the session, the public body may not meet in closed session.
(2)   Before a public body meets in closed session, the presiding officer shall:
(i)   conduct a recorded vote on the closing of the session; and
(ii)   make a written statement of the reason for closing the meeting, including a citation of the authority under this section, and a listing of the topics to be discussed.
(3)   If a person objects to the closing of a session, the public body shall send a copy of the written statement to the Board.
(4)   The written statement shall be a matter of public record.
(5)   A public body shall keep a copy of the written statement for at least 1 year after the date of the session.