Services Provided by the Clerk’s Office
The Clerk’s Office is available to file papers and petitions and respond to requests to review case related documents filed with the court. Computer terminals are provided for access to the Court’s website and other bankruptcy-related websites to assist pro se parties in filing. Printing from public computer terminals is available at 10 cents per page. Basic assistance in using the public computer terminals is available from staff.
The Clerk’s Office provides notices of deficiencies in many circumstances to prevent automatic discharge or case closure for both debtors and creditors, or their attorneys. Though notices are usually provided, certain deficiencies can result in automatic dismissal without notice, like those in Local Bankruptcy Rule 1002-1.
The Clerk’s Office cannot:
- Provide legal advice (see below)
- Provide free copies of the bankruptcy filing forms - all forms are available for free on the Court’s website and are available for printing at the Clerk’s Office at a nominal fee
- Assist you in completing your filing forms
- Provide you with a hard-copy of the Local Rules, Bankruptcy Code, Federal Rules, or other legal reference materials - access to the Court’s online reference library is available for free through the Clerk’s Office intake terminals, but only limited access to hardcopy rules and codes are available in the Clerk’s Office. Additional access to legal information is available at any of Maryland’s public law libraries, including those libraries located in the courthouses with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
- Contact your creditors on your behalf or act as an enforcement agency (in preventing creditor harassment or other debt related issues) - if you need assistance with your creditors or other debt related issues, please visit In Debt? or Foreclosure Resources
What constitutes legal advice?
- Explaining the meaning of a particular statutory provision or rule
- Giving an interpretation of case law
- Explaining the result of taking or not taking an action in a case
- Helping you complete forms, or advising you regarding what is legally required when a form elicits information from you
- Telling you whether jurisdiction is proper in a case
- Telling you whether a complaint properly presents a claim
- Providing advice on the best procedure to accomplish a particular goal
- Applying a rule or statute
- Explaining who should receive proper notice or service