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)   Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, a party is entitled to the assistance of counsel at every stage of any proceeding under this subtitle.
(b)   Except for the local department and the child who is the subject of the petition, a party is not entitled to the assistance of counsel at State expense unless the party is:
(1)   Indigent; or
(2)   Otherwise not represented and:
(i)   Under the age of 18 years; or
(ii)   Incompetent by reason of mental disability.
(c)   The Office of the Public Defender may not represent a party in a CINA proceeding unless the party:
(1)   Is the parent or guardian of the alleged CINA;
(2)   Applies to the Office of the Public Defender requesting legal representation by the Public Defender in the proceeding; and
(3)   Is financially eligible for the services of the Public Defender.
(d)    (1)   A child who is the subject of a CINA petition shall be represented by counsel.
(2)   Unless the court finds that it would not be in the best interests of the child, the court shall:
(i)   Appoint an attorney with whom the Department of Human Resources has contracted to provide those services, in accordance with the terms of the contract; and
(ii)   If another attorney has previously been appointed, strike the appearance of that attorney.
(e)   In addition to, but not instead of, the appointment of an attorney under this section, the court, in any action, may appoint an individual provided by a Court-Appointed Special Advocate Program created under § 3-830 of this subtitle.
(f)   The court may assess against any party reasonable compensation for the services of an attorney appointed to represent a child in an action under this subtitle.