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 - Courts and Judicial Proceedings
(a)   In this subtitle the following terms have the meanings indicated.
(b)   “Employee theft” means the theft of any merchandise from a mercantile establishment by an employee, agent, or contractor of the mercantile establishment.
(c)   “Mercantile establishment” means any place where merchandise is displayed, held, or offered for sale, either at retail or wholesale.
(d)   “Merchandise” means any goods, wares, commodity, money, or other personal property located on the premises of a mercantile establishment.
(e)   “Merchant” means the owner or operator of a mercantile establishment.
(f)   “Responsible person” means:
(1)   Any individual, whether an adult or a minor, who commits or attempts to commit an act of shoplifting or employee theft; and
(2)   The parents or legal guardians of an unemancipated minor who commits or attempts to commit an act of shoplifting or employee theft.
(g)   “Shoplift” means any 1 or more of the following acts committed by a person without the consent of the merchant and with the purpose or intent of appropriating merchandise to that person’s own use without payment, obtaining merchandise at less than its stated sales price, or otherwise depriving a merchant of all or any part of the value or use of merchandise:
(1)   Removing any merchandise from its immediate place of display or from any other place on the premises of the mercantile establishment;
(2)   Obtaining or attempting to obtain possession of any merchandise by charging that merchandise to another person without the authority of that person or by charging that merchandise to a fictitious person;
(3)   Concealing any merchandise;
(4)   Substituting, altering, removing, or disfiguring any label or price tag;
(5)   Transferring any merchandise from a container in which that merchandise is displayed or packaged to any other container; or
(6)   Disarming any alarm tag attached to any merchandise.