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)   After the filing or preparation of a complaint under § 5–516 of this subtitle, the Joint Ethics Committee shall review the complaint and proceed in accordance with § 5–519 of this subtitle unless, after examining the complaint and the issues raised by it, the Committee finds that further proceedings are not justified because:
(1)   the complaint is frivolous;
(2)   the complaint does not allege actions on the part of the accused legislator that provide reason to believe that a violation may have occurred;
(3)   the matters alleged are not within the jurisdiction of the Joint Ethics Committee;
(4)   the violations alleged were inadvertent, technical, or minor, or have been cured, and, after consideration of all of the circumstances then known, further proceedings would not serve the purposes of this subtitle; or
(5)   for other reasons, after consideration of all the circumstances, further proceedings would not serve the purposes of this subtitle.
(b)    (1)   If a finding is made under subsection (a) of this section, the Joint Ethics Committee shall:
(i)   submit a report of its conclusions to the presiding officer or to the membership of the branch of the legislature of which the accused legislator is a member, and the proceedings shall be terminated;
(ii)   provide advice or guidance to the accused legislator; or
(iii)   provide the accused legislator with an opportunity to cure any minor violation of ethical standards.
(2)    (i)   Subject to § 5–517 of this subtitle, notice of the Joint Ethics Committee’s action shall be provided to the accused legislator and to any person who filed the complaint.
(ii)   On request, the accused legislator may see the complaint and the report.
(c)   If no finding is made under subsection (a) of this section, the Joint Ethics Committee shall prepare an allegation summary, based on its examination under subsection (a) of this section, setting forth the alleged facts and the issues then known that merit further proceedings.
(d)   After review of a complaint, the Joint Ethics Committee shall provide a statement of its findings to the accused legislator.