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Case Opening Screen

The first two screens collect statistical information from the Civil Cover Sheet and assist in proper assignment of the new case.  Definitions of the Civil Nature of Suit codes are available here.

Select a Divisional Office

It is very important you select the appropriate division corresponding to the appropriate county as required by Local Rule 501.

  • Northern Division Counties: Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick, Carroll, Howard, Baltimore City, Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Harford, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Worchester, Wicomico
  • Southern Division Counties: Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles, Calvert, St. Mary’s

The Clerk’s Office will change the divisional office if entered incorrectly.  If you need assistance in determining the correct division, call the Clerk’s Office for guidance.

The following fields are for court use only unless you are filing a notice of removal. If you are filing a notice of removal, add the name of the specific state court from which the case is being removed in the “Other court name” field (e.g. Circuit Court for Baltimore City).  Add the state court case number in the “Other court number field” (e.g. 18cv27861). Unless you are filing a notice of removal, do not change or add any information in these fields:

  • Case type (cv - Civil Case)
  • Lead case number
  • Association type
  • Other court name
  • Other court number
  • Related Cases

Click Next.

Enter General Information

Note: You should not use the browser’s Back button during this process. If you make a mistake, it is better to start the process from the beginning by selecting Civil on the top menu bar.

Use Filter to narrow the selection in the Cause of Action drop-down menu, enter words or numbers related to your search in the Filter field. For example, if you are looking for a cause of action pertaining to fraud, type “fraud” in the filter field. Then when you click on the drop-down arrow, the list to select from will be much shorter. There is also a Filter field for the Nature of suit field.

Field Information

There are five options.The CM/ECF system defaults to 3 (Federal Question), however, you may choose one of the other options.

  • 1 (U.S. Government Plaintiff)
  • 2 (U.S. Government Defendant)
  • 4 (Diversity) - If you select 4 (Diversity), you will be required to complete the Citizenship fields for both Plaintiff and Defendant.
  • 5 (Local Question)
Cause of Action Select the title that best applies to your case.  If the case is a notice of removal, select a removal cause of action that best fits the case.
Nature of Suit Select the appropriate Nature of Suit from your Civil Cover Sheet.  Definitions of the Civil Nature of Suit codes are available here.

Leave the default Origin code 1 (Original Proceeding).  If the case is a notice of removal, change to 2 (Removed from State Court).


(Diversity Jurisdiction only)

Make the appropriate selection of Citizenship plaintiff and Citizenship defendant only if Diversity was selected in the Jurisdiction field.

Jury Demand In addition to noting Jury Demand on the Civil Cover Sheet, the Jury Demand must also be requested in the Complaint or filed as a separate PDF document.

Class Action


This field is for Court Use Only. If this is a class action case, the Clerk’s Office will make the necessary modifications.


Enter the dollar amount (in thousands of dollars) being demanded. Example: $100,000 = 100. If the demand is greater than $10,000,000, then enter 9999.

Arbitration Code Leave blank

This field is a statistical code for the county of the first listed plaintiff. If the U.S. Government is the plaintiff or if this is a land condemnation case, use the county of residence of the first listed defendant or the location of the tract of land involved.

If the plaintiff is the State of Maryland, the County should reflect that county where the events described in the Complaint took place.

Fee Status
  • Select fp (in forma pauperis)
  • Select none (no fee required) if Jones Act (Seaman’s Act) applies
  • Select pd (paid) if being paid online with this filing.
  • Select pend (IFP pending) if submitting a motion to proceed in forma pauperis with filing.
  • wv (waived) is for US Attorney use only.
Fee Date Leave blank.
Date Transfer Leave blank.

Click Next.

Continue to Adding Parties