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A simple and accurate circuit model for microstrip filtering structures with slotted ground plane is presented. The unit cell model consists of a series inductance and shunt capacitance for the microstrip line, an ideal transmission line characterized by its impedance and electrical length for the slot, and an ideal transformer to model coupling to the slot. The coupling mechanism to the slots resonances and subsequent emergence of transmission gaps is explained for different positions of the microstrip line. Excellent agreement with measurement is demonstrated over the broad bandwidth of dc to 20 GHz.