Filing Exceptions to the Magistrate’s Report

Guidelines & Recommendations

You may file exceptions to the decision of a magistrate as provided by Maryland Rule 9-208. The Maryland Rules may be found in the law library at the courthouse. 

Filing Deadline

Exceptions must be filed no later than the exceptions date stated in the magistrate’s recommendations or the proposed order, which is either ten days from the date the recommendations are placed on the record or are served pursuant to Maryland Rule 9-208(e). If exceptions are not timely filed, an order will be signed based upon the recommendations. 

In Writing

Exceptions must be in writing, and the asserted error stated with particularity. Any error not stated in the exceptions will be considered waived unless the court finds that justice requires otherwise. The exceptions are filed with the clerk’s office, and you must mail or personally deliver a copy of the exceptions to the opposing party or their attorney, if they are represented. At the time exceptions are filed, you must order a transcript of the proceedings, make an agreement for payment to insure preparation of the transcript and file a certificate of compliance stating that the transcript has been ordered and the payment agreement has been made.  

Transcript Required

An exceptions review by a judge of the circuit court is based upon the testimony which was taken before the magistrate unless the court determines otherwise. You must request a transcript of the testimony at the time the exceptions are filed unless otherwise provided in the Maryland Rule 9-208(g). Failure to follow this rule may result in your exceptions being denied or dismissed. 

Obtaining a Transcript

Transcripts of proceedings before the magistrate are available through one of the court reporters.  The cost of a transcript depends on the type of record and the number of pages in the final typed transcript.  Recordings of court proceedings in any format are not available.

To order a transcript, you will need the case number, date(s) of the proceeding you want transcribed and courtroom number.  Complete and submit the appropriate order form as directed below.  The order form is available here or from a court reporter.  If you need to speak to a court reporter, please see the contact information below. 

Paying for Your Transcript

A court reporter will provide an estimate in advance, but will not know the final cost until the transcript is completed.  Payment in full based on the estimate is due upon placing an order.  Any additional costs beyond the initial payment shall be paid prior to delivery of the transcript.  Any overages will be refunded upon delivery of the transcript. If you cannot afford a transcript, you may file an affidavit of indigency and motion requesting the court accept an electronic recording of the proceedings as the transcript. 

Office of the Court Reporter

Mailing Address:   Court Reporter
175 Main Street
Prince Frederick, MD  20678

Telephone: 410-535-1600 ext. 2419
Fax: 410-535-9336 

Family Law Assistance Program

The Family Services Office at the courthouse offers the Family Law Assistance Program every Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; intake begins at 8:30 a.m. The Family Law Assistance Program provides the opportunity to speak with an attorney free of charge. They cannot represent you but can give you some procedural guidance in your case. 
Note: This information is a guide only and is not a substitute for review of the Maryland Rules.