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Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Attorney General's Office give me legal advice?
The Attorney General's Office is the attorney for the state and its agencies and cannot offer legal advice to individuals. If you need help with a personal legal matter you may want to contact a private attorney. The Office does assist individuals with consumer problems through the mediation service offered by the Consumer Protection Division.

Can the Attorney General's Office refer me to an attorney?
No. However, the Maryland State Bar Association maintains a list on its Web site of county bar associations that provide lawyer referral services, with contact phone numbers. See www.msba.org/public/referral.htm. Also, the www.peoples-law.org website has information on how to find an attorney or free or low-cost legal help.

What is the difference between the Maryland Attorney General and Local State's Attorneys? 
The Attorney General is the legal counsel for the State of Maryland. In comparison, State's Attorneys represent each county and Baltimore City and they are responsible for prosecuting crimes against persons and non-state entities. As such, this office provides legal advice and assistance to state agencies and investigates and prosecutes crimes against the state. In Maryland, State's Attorneys are independently elected officials and do not come under the authority or supervision of the Attorney General. The decision to prosecute a criminal case or not, lies within the sound discretion of the State's Attorney.

Where can I file a complaint against an attorney?
Complaints against attorneys are handled by the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland. Call the Commission at (410) 514-7051 or 1-800-492-1660. The Commission's website is www.courts.state.md.us/attygrievance/index.

I have a complaint against a business. Where can I get help?
Contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division. The Division offers a mediation service that may be able to resolve the problem between you and the business.

My employer is holding my final paycheck.  What can I do?
This is best answered by the division of Labor and Industry at the Maryland Department  of Labor, Liscensing and Regulation: http://www.dllr.state.md.us/labor/wagepay/

I think my car is a lemon. Where can I get information about the Maryland Lemon Law?
See our publication on the lemon law (Maryland's Automotive Warranty Enforcement Act), and contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division for assistance.

I want to look up a state law. Where can I find it?
Many public libraries have copies of state statutes, known collectively as the Annotated Code of Maryland. You can also access the Maryland Code online via the Maryland State Law Library at http://www.lawlib.state.md.us/researchtools/sourcesmdlaw.html.

Does Maryland recognize handgun carry permits issued by other states, and how can I transport my handgun through Maryland?
Questions regarding the transportation of handguns or handgun permits should be directed to Assistant Attorney General Mark Bowen at e-mail: msp.lcu@maryland.gov or 410-653-4228.

How can I get a public record from a government agency in Maryland?
You should request the record from the government agency that has the record. You may be asked to put your request in writing, and there may be a charge for searching for the record, as well as for copying it, if you request a copy.

The Maryland Public Information Act (PIA) governs the inspection and copying of public records held by state and local government agencies. The PIA is similar in some respects to the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which governs the disclosure of documents held by U.S. government agencies.

The PIA requires that its provisions be "construed in favor of permitting inspection of a public record." However, the law also exempts certain records from disclosure. If you are denied access to a record held by a state or local agency, you may ask a court to review whether the denial was appropriate under the PIA.

You can find additional information about the PIA in the Public Information Act Manual.

I am having trouble collecting child support payments. Where can I get help?
Questions concerning child support should be directed to the Maryland Department of Human Resources. E-mail questions to childsupporthelp@dhr.state.md.us or call 1-800-332-6347. See the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Program Web site at http://www.dhr.state.md.us/csea/.

My health insurance company is refusing to pay for some hospital bills. What can I do?
Contact the Attorney General's Health Education and Advocacy Unit at 1-877-261-8807, toll-free in Maryland. The Unit can assist you in appealing your health insurance company's decision.

Also, see our Consumers' Frequently Asked Questions page.

To what address should a private foundation send a copy of its 990PF tax return?
Mail to: Office of the Attorney General, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore MD 21202 Attention: Central Files.

 

 


Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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