Article - Courts and Judicial Proceedings
(a) (1) The administrative judge of each district, with the approval of the Chief Judge of the District Court, may appoint the number of commissioners necessary to perform the functions of the office within each county.
(2) In multicounty districts, the administrative judge shall obtain the recommendation of the resident judge in each county as to the number of commissioners required in the county and as to the persons to be appointed.
(b) (1) (i) Except as provided in subparagraphs (ii), (iii), and (iv) of this paragraph, commissioners shall be adult residents of the county or a county contiguous to the county in which they serve, but they need not be lawyers.
(ii) In Anne Arundel County, commissioners shall be adult residents of Anne Arundel County or a county contiguous to Anne Arundel County, except Baltimore City, but they need not be lawyers.
(iii) In Baltimore City, commissioners shall be adult residents of Baltimore City, but they need not be lawyers.
(iv) In Baltimore County, commissioners shall be adult residents of Baltimore County or a county contiguous to Baltimore County, except Baltimore City, but they need not be lawyers.
(2) Each commissioner shall hold office at the pleasure of the Chief Judge of the District Court, and has the powers and duties prescribed by law.
(3) Except without additional compensation, unless otherwise fixed by law, an employee of the District Court, who is an adult, may be granted, in the same manner, commissioner powers and duties in the county where the employee is employed.
(c) (1) A commissioner shall receive applications and determine probable cause for the issuance of charging documents.
(2) A commissioner shall advise arrested persons of their constitutional rights, set bond or commit persons to jail in default of bond or release them on personal recognizance if circumstances warrant, and conduct investigations and inquiries into the circumstances of any matter presented to the commissioner in order to determine if probable cause exists for the issuance of a charging document, warrant, or criminal summons and, in general, perform all the functions of committing magistrates as exercised by the justices of the peace prior to July 5, 1971.
(3) There shall be in each county, at all times, one or more commissioners available for the convenience of the public and police in obtaining charging documents, warrants, or criminal summonses and to advise arrested persons of their rights as required by law.
(4) A commissioner may exercise the powers of office in any county to which the commissioner is assigned by the Chief Judge of the District Court or a designee of the Chief Judge of the District Court.
(5) The Chief Judge of the District Court may authorize one or more commissioners to perform the duties of a commissioner regarding persons arrested in a county other than the county in which the commissioner resides and for which the commissioner was appointed when the arrested persons are brought before the commissioner by a peace officer of the jurisdiction in which that arrest was made.
(6) (i) An individual may file an application for a statement of charges with a District Court commissioner.
(ii) On review of an application for a statement of charges, a District Court commissioner may issue a summons or an arrest warrant.
(iii) A District Court commissioner may issue an arrest warrant only on a finding that:
1. There is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the offense charged in the charging document; and
2. A. The defendant previously has failed to respond to a summons that has been personally served or a citation;
B. The whereabouts of the defendant are unknown and the issuance of a warrant is necessary to subject the defendant to the jurisdiction of the court;
C. The defendant is in custody for another offense; or
D. There is probable cause to believe that the defendant poses a danger to another person or to the community.
(d) (1) The authority under this subsection applies only to a respondent who is an adult.
(2) A commissioner may issue an interim order for protection of a person eligible for relief in accordance with § 4–504.1 of the Family Law Article or a petitioner in accordance with § 3–1503.1 of this article.
(e) Notwithstanding the residence requirements set out in subsection (b) of this section, the Chief Judge of the District Court or a designee of the Chief Judge of the District Court may assign a commissioner of the District Court to serve temporarily in any county.