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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Baltimore City

Baltimore City is the largest city in Maryland. It is an independent municipality, with about the same status as a county. It is bordered on the North, East and West by Baltimore County and on the South by Anne Arundel County.

Information about City operations is posted by the various agencies, offices, department and boards. A municipal telephone directory is produced and sold by the Municipal Telephone Exchange, a division of the Comptroller's Office (410-396-4926), or just use the City Contacts list posted by the City Council.

Legislation: The Charter of Baltimore City, the Baltimore City Code and the Code of Public Local Laws of Baltimore City (discussed below) are all posted on the city Charter and Codes page. Bills, ordinances, resolutions and other legislative materials are searchable in the Baltimore City Council's Legislative Information Center.

The Baltimore City Housing Code was formerly published as Division V of Article 13 of the Baltimore City Code. The Code editor explains "The Code was repealed by Ordinance 02-475, which enacted a new [Article called] Building, Fire and Related Codes of Baltimore City. The new article includes, as Part VII, a Property and Maintenance Code governing many of the same matters as the former Housing Code."

The Baltimore City Archives posts historical Ordinances and Resolutions from 1797 to 1922 and old Proceedings of the City Council.

For questions about Baltimore City legislation -- or to get copies of individual Ordinances -- call the Baltimore City Department of Legislative Reference (410-396-4730). Additional historical materials may be available at the Baltimore City Archives.

Certain Maryland state laws apply specifically to Baltimore City (City bond issues, police grievance procedures, etc.). These are published in the Code of Public Local Laws of Baltimore City. The current edition is posted on the City's Charter and Codes page.

Copies of Baltimore City urban renewal plans are available from the Baltimore Development Corporation and the Baltimore City Planning Department. If you can't find what you need online, call the BDC (410-837-9305) and/or the Planning Department (410-396-4329 or 410-396-7526).

Courts: The Maryland state Circuit Court for Baltimore City posts contact information and information about court procedures. The Court posts a few Civil Opinions each year and more Business and Technology Opinions. The telephone number for the Civil Division is 410-333-3722; the criminal division is 410-333-3750. To order a transcript of a court proceeding you fax a form to the court reports' office with the judge's name and the date; call the court reporters at 410-396-5010 to get the form.

Docket information for the Maryland Circuit and District Courts for Baltimore City are available from the Maryland Judiciary Case Search.

Fiduciary Powers: See "Wills, Trusts and Estates," below.

Libraries: Libraries holding Baltimore City materials include the Maryland State Library, the Baltimore Bar Library, the University of Maryland Thurgood Marshall Law Library, the University of Baltimore Law School Library and the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Other useful repositories include the Baltimore City Archives and the Maryland State Archives.

Memorandum of Understanding: To get Memos of Understanding involving Baltimore City call the Board of Estimates / Comptroller's Office at 410-396-4755. If that doesn't work, try calling the Law Department / City Solicitor's Office at 410-396-8398.

News: Information on Baltimore-oriented news sources are included in the "News" section of "Maryland - Other Useful Information."

Property Tax: You can print an actual Tax Bill and/or view any Tax Plat on the City's Real Property Tax Account Information page.

Wills, Trusts and Estates: Some Maryland firms record standard will and trust provisions and then incorporate those provisions by reference when they draft wills and trust documents. These provisions are recorded in books called the "Fiduciary Powers Docket," which are kept in a cabinet in Room 606 of the Clarence Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse, in the back of the Land Records office.

Zoning: The Zoning Code is published as an article of the Baltimore City Charter and Code. To look up the zoning designation for a Baltimore City property, search the property address in the Baltimore City iMap. The zoning designations are explained in the Zoning Code.

See Also
Local Laws
Maryland - Judicial Branch
Maryland - Other Useful Information

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman