Paul Mannes, Chief Judge, 2000


The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland is part of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. With separate clerks' offices and court dockets, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court administers debtors' estates and hears petitions of debtors seeking relief from bankruptcy.

Although Congress enacted emergency bankruptcy laws in 1800, 1841, and 1867, the National Bankruptcy Act of 1898 was the first comprehensive statute and governed bankruptcy cases for almost 80 years. Under the act, the U.S. District Court appointed "referees in bankruptcy" to handle these cases. The federal Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 established independent bankruptcy courts and judges, a move declared unconstitutional in 1982 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act of 1984 (P. L. 98-353) remedied the jurisdictional problems of the 1978 act by designating bankruptcy courts as units of the federal district courts.

For Maryland, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit appoints four bankruptcy judges to fourteen-year terms. The Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit names the Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The bankruptcy judges appoint the bankruptcy clerk.

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2001

April 1, 2001   
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