Officials at the courthouse called for bolt cutters at about 10 a.m. when they were unable to get the inmate out of the cuffs.
The unidentified inmate was brought to Bel Air from a state correctional facility, according to the Harford County Sheriff's Office, which handles security at the courthouse.
"Apparently this morning a key briefly jammed in an offender's handcuffs, which were then cut off," Erin Julius, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Corrections, said via e-mail.
"The offender sustained no injuries and did not miss his court appearance," Julius said.
The bolt cutters available from the county did not fit the type of cuffs on the inmate, Eddie Hopkins, Harford County Sheriff's Office spokesman, said.
Officials requested bolt cutters from the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, which is about two blocks from the courthouse