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Volume 466, Page 48   View pdf image (33K)
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You stated in your letter that in the various courthouses through-
out the State there are various items such as shotguns, rifles, animal
traps and tongs, which are being stored as records of the clerks of the
courts. You further advised that these items were exhibits in court
cases. You requested our opinion as to whether or not these items are
records, as contemplated in Article 41, Section 178 of the Annotated
Code of Maryland. You further asked if your Commission could set
aside these items for destruction, if we ruled that such items were not
records as contemplated in Section 178, supra.

I have checked all available sources of law and I have been unable
to come up with a definite answer to your first question. Generally
speaking, the items you mentioned would be considered part of a case
record, when such case is appealed to the Court of Appeals. It should,
however, be kept in mind that the existence of these items is normally
stipulated to in the brief of the attorney in the case. One should also
keep in mind that the items which you mentioned are still owned by
the individual that owned them at the time they were confiscated by
the police or other court officials. It has been the practice in many
counties that these items are returned to the true owner following
their use in court.

I would suggest that appropriate legislation be enacted by the Gen-
eral Assembly of Maryland to remedy the problem you raised, so as to
make available the valuable storage space now being occupied by these
items. If you will advise the Department of Legislative Reference of
your problem, they will draft the necessary legislation.

If you have any further problems, please call me.
Very truly yours,

Gerard Wm. Wittstadt
Assistant Attorney General

August 15, 1963

Honorable Thomas B. Finan
Attorney General

Dear Mr. Finan:

Some months ago the Records Management Division of the Hall
of Records Commission surveyed the records of the City of Cumber-


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Volume 466, Page 48   View pdf image (33K)
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