Category Archives: Maryland

Maryland

Online Resources From Your Local Library

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Did you know that you can access a wide variety of electronic resources provided by your local public library from the comfort of your own home? Libraries across the country subscribe to a number of premium research databases that are not available to the general public, such as genealogy, national and local newspapers, history and geography, magazines and journals, almanacs, encyclopedias, consumer information, and more. These databases are available 24 hours a day for its patrons through the Internet.

For example, you can search several online databases provided by the Columbia County Library in Washington, including census records, Revolutionary War … Read More

What is the “assessed value” of your home?

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As you know, real estate values have declined in recent years. Are you wondering about the value of the homes in your neighborhood? One way to check the value of your property or the property down the street is to review the “assessed value.”  Although the assessed value of property is not the same as the appraised value or market value, it can be useful for comparison purposes.

All states have a system for establishing the value of land and buildings referred to as the “assessed value.” The “assessed value” is used for the purpose of calculating property taxes. Property … Read More

Researching your Ancestors?

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Are you researching your ancestors?  Do you need to find historic birth, death or marriage certificates?  There are many sites available to search such records.  However, do you only have general information such as the State rather than the specific County?  Or approximate date rather than the exact birth date, date of death or wedding date?

Many states offer online searches of vital records statewide rather than by individual counties saving you hours of time spent searching individual counties one-by-one.   You can access available links to all of the states by using “Vital Statistics Records Resources.”  Each State … Read More

Phoning In Your Court Appearance

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Telephonic appearances by attorneys have been common in certain types of court hearings for years. They have gone mostly unnoticed by the general public, because they have only been used for hearings on motions and other matters that don’t require the presentation of evidence or sworn testimony. These hearing are routine court procedures, not the dramatic trials you see on television.

Allowing some of these routine hearings to be done over the phone saves time for both court staff and attorneys, and thus saves money for clients. Attorneys for both sides may phone in their appearances, or one attorney may … Read More

State Attorneys General Provide Legal Resources and Legal Research for Free

Generally when we hear about state attorneys general in the news, it is because they are suing tobacco companies, or defending high-profile state laws in court. But state attorneys general (“SAGs”) can also be a good resource for guidance on everyday legal issues. SAGs are tasked with providing legal protection to their state’s residents, which means pursuing big lawsuits sometimes, but also providing guidance on issues such as consumer fraud, elder abuse, and victims’ rights.

The websites of various SAGs provide a variety of resources. The Arizona SAG site, has a section on what to do about annoying telemarketers … Read More

Need Building Permit Information?

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If you’re thinking of building a garage, an addition to your home or even building a new home, you can probably get the building permit information that you need online. By using Free Public Records Directory – Permits and Inspections, you can determine if your jurisdiction has an online link.

On each State page, there are links to the counties and cities that have online information. In addition to general information about obtaining the permit, many counties and cities offer online applications including permit status searches and online inspection requests. For instance, the City of Las Vegas has a … Read More

CourtReference: Your Guide to Free Legal Help

Are you experiencing legal trouble and unsure of how to proceed? Do you need a lawyer but think you cannot afford one? You might be surprised at the number of free or low-cost legal services available in your state and how easy it is to find them through CourtReference.

Legal aid and legal referral services may be offered by state government, county government, or private organizations. Some agencies offer general legal services, such as help with most non-criminal matters. Others offer specialized services for a group of people, such as senior citizens or victims of domestic violence, or a … Read More

Online Tools Take Some Pain Out of Parking Tickets

Recently, I returned to my car after running an errand and discovered one of those dreaded parking ticket envelopes under my windshield wiper. Yes, the meter had expired, but when I opened the envelope, it was empty. Elation mixed with confusion – had I received a parking ticket or not? Was the empty envelope some sort of parking ticket “warning?” Unsure of whether and how to submit payment without a citation number, I forgot about the incident, and two weeks later a Second Notice of Parking Ticket came in the mail with a $25.00 late charge on top of the … Read More

Looking for a New Business Location?

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If you’re looking for a new location for your business, many states and counties have websites to search for available commercial and industrial real estate.  One great website is the State of Maryland’s Buildings and Sites website.  You can search for industrial buildings, office buildings and available sites by county and up to 30 other selection criteria such as size, type of construction, price per square foot or acre, utilities, and owner.

Other states and counties have similar websites which you can find through “Free Public Records Directory.”  Using the website, click on the state and then the … Read More

Online Access to Maryland Probate Records

Maryland recently instituted a new, free statewide or county specific search of the Maryland Register of Wills records.  This database, covering records dating back to 1998, may be searched by name, estate type, estate status, county , estate number or filing date.   The party name may be the decedent,  guardian, minor, interested party, or personal representative.   Estate status means whether the case is open or closed and the type of estate may refer to guardianship, small matter, foreign proceeding or non-probate. A default setting is to search all types of estates.

This search is separate from the Maryland District Read More