Quick Evictions in Maryland

It has come to my attention that there are national companies marketing on the internet that market towards landlords to help them evict their tenants. They have catchy names and logos to capture the imagination of prospective clients that this is an easy process.

This tactic and marketing strategy may be effective in other jurisdictions, however, here in Maryland, most evictions and tenant issues can be resolved by the litigants themselves without requiring attorney intervention. The District Court of Maryland hears the majority of landlord tenant disputes in Maryland. Some counties, specifically, Montgomery County has a separate Landlord Tenant Commission to help resolve disputes between landlords and tenants prior to filing in the District Court.

While many potential litigants, both landlords and tenants may feel overwhelmed by the process and uncomfortable going to court, attorneys can be a helpful resource. However, the District Court provides a web site with links to all the necessary forms and has frequently asked questions and answers available. Click on the following link to obtain all relevant information from the District Court. This site has links for forms and simple instructions on how to complete the forms.

http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/forms/civil/dccv082br.html

You may also click on this link (http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/dctcivforms.html )for access to all available forms from the District Court. Many can be downloaded in pdf format and typed on your computer and then printed while a few must be picked up for free from any District Court location.

 

Prior to filing a complaint, the court requires proof that any defendant is not in active military service. There is a link for the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/scra/scraHome.do
This website can help determine whether someone is currently in active military service or not.

 

In the State of Maryland, landlord’s can file actions in rent court, a subdivision of the District Court seeking to collect unpaid rent when tenants fail to pay rent and money for damages caused by tenants when they move out. Landlords may file a complaint for failure to pay rent or for breach of lease. Prior to filing a complaint, the landlord must provide written notice to the tenant to vacate the property.

Landlords must give 30 days notice (or 14 days if there is clear and imminent danger of the tenant or person who is on property doing serious harm to themselves, other tenants, the landlord, the landlord’s property or representatives, or any other person on the property).

You must provide proof that each defendant has been served prior to a hearing being scheduled.

If you have questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact me or any other attorney or click on one of these high profile eviction companies. But remember that there is plenty of free information available from the Courts.

New Maryland No Fault Divorce Law effective October 1, 2011

 

 

Maryland currently has two “no-fault”

 

grounds for an absolute divorce: a mutual and

 

voluntary separation of one year, or a separation

 

of two years. As of October 1, 2011, the new

 

law eliminates voluntary separation as a ground

 

for absolute divorce and shortens the

 

period the parties must be living separate and apart

 

from two years to one year.

 

This is a major change in Maryland Divorce Law. It shortens

 

the time a spouse, who does not have an

 

agreement to separate or a fault ground for

 

divorce, has to wait for a divorce to one year

 

down from two years.

 

Maryland’s  no fault ground requires

 

that there be no sexual relations during the one

 

year separation and that both spouses live in separate

 

residences for the entire year.

 

 

 

When to consider shared physical custody in Maryland

Under Maryland law sole physical custody becomes shared custody as the number of over nights spent with the non custodial parent exceeds 35% or 128 per year. The non custodial parent, the one who has less visitation than the primary care giving parent should make sure they have more than 128 overnights of visitation with their child after the date of separation prior to filing for shared custody.  There are two important principles the court takes into consideration when deciding a Maryland Custody Order. One is what kind of living arrangement is in the best interest of the child. The other principal is one of the factors embedded into the best interest of the child list- is maintaining the status quo and to not grant additional visitation to the non custodial parent who has not recently had a significant involvement in their child’s life. That requesting shared custody in a Maryland custody case without already exceeding 35% of the yearly overnights will be very unlikely to be granted absent testimony that questions the custodial parent’s ability to parent, discipline and care for the child. In other words, what kind of informal agreement have the parties been operating under leading up to the custody hearing and has the child been doing well under that arrangement. If yes, then more likely than not, the court will fashion a Maryland custody order according to the present arrangements.

Too many times, parents know about their equal right to the upbringing of their child, but are not aware of the best interest factors a court takes into consideration when deciding Maryland custody. Establishing and maintaining the status quo is an important factor to plan for so that your day in court will truly reflect what is in the best interest of the child, as opposed to being the result of your ignorance of the law. In the event that one parent denies visitation, or flees out of state, consult with your Maryland Child Custody attorney as to what your parental rights are in response.Finally, don’t forget to ask your Maryland custody attorney about a consent order regarding an initial custody order.

New Child Support Guidelines

On October 1, 2010, the new child support guidelines went into effect.  The guideline amount that the custodial parent will receive has increased. This increase is not automatic. If you have a current child support order, this amount will not change unless it is modified by the court.   To modify an order, you must be able to prove there has been a material change in circumstances OTHER THAN the new law.  A material change is either an increase or decrease in either parent’s income or whether the number of over night visitation has changed significantly.