July 2014 Maryland Certiorari Grants

Ta-da! A new batch of cert grants to get you through the dog days of summer. Check out this sundry lineup of cases — including one on warrantless cell phone searches incident to arrest, a topic that’s all the rage these days in criminal procedure — after the jump.

Baltimore County, Maryland v. Carroll Thiergartner – Case No. 44, September Term, 2014

Issues – Labor & Employment – 1) Is the County entitled to a complete offset of workers’ compensation benefits due to Respondent’s election and receipt of a lump sum retirement benefit payment under the County’s Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) until such time as that DROP payment is fully accounted for by operation of Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. § 9-503? 2) What methodology is correct for calculation of the County’s offset of workers’ compensation benefits to effectuate the legislative purpose of § 9-503 where Respondent has elected and received a lump sum payment of retirement benefits under DROP?

Linda Connors, Individually Etc. v. Government Employees Insurance Company – Case No. 45, September Term, 2014

Issue – Insurance – Do the underinsured motorist provisions of GEICO’s insurance contract provide Petitioner a limit of underinsured coverage of $300,000 for each injured person, subject to an aggregate payment to all Petitioner’s claims by GEICO not to exceed $300,000?

In re: Tyrell A. – Case No. 49, September Term, 2014

Issues – Criminal Law (Juvenile) – 1) Does the term “victim,” defined in Md. Code (2001, 2008 Repl. Vol) Criminal Procedure Art., §§ 11-601(j) and 11-603(a), as “a person who suffers death, personal injury, or property damage or loss as a direct result of a crime or delinquent act,” include an individual who sustains personal injury while voluntarily participating in the crime or delinquent act? 2) Is an individual who sustains personal injury while voluntarily participating in the common law offense of affray a “victim” within the meaning of §§ 11-601(j) and 11-603(a)? 3) Should the definition of “victim” in §§ 11-601(j) and 11-603(a) be given a different interpretation in juvenile delinquency cases than in criminal cases? 4) Did the trial court lack authority to order Petitioner to make restitution in this case?

Maryland Casualty Company, et al. v. Blackstone International Ltd., et al. – Case No. 51, September Term, 2014

Issues – Insurance – 1) Did CSA err in holding that product packaging was “advertisement,” and that the “use of another’s advertising idea” need not be “wrongful use,” when it substituted its own definitions of those terms for the clear and unambiguous definitions contained in the Policy? 2) Did CSA err in applying this Court’s precedent requiring an insured to establish all three elements of coverage for “advertising injury” to trigger the duty to defend by concluding that the “causal relationship” element was not necessary in this case? 3) Did CSA err in finding that Petitioners waived policy exclusions as bases for denial of coverage and creating liability beyond the bounds of the Policy when, as a matter of public policy, coverage may not be expanded by waiver? 4) Did CSA err in finding that Petitioners waived policy exclusions as bases for denial of coverage when policy exclusion defenses were raised, argued and preserved in the trial court and on appeal?

Ronald Sinclair v. State of Maryland – Case No. 43, September Term, 2014

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) May the police search the contents of an arrestee’s cell phone without a warrant, incident to his valid arrest? 2) Did CSA mistakenly conclude that Rule 4-252 is satisfied, and appellate review is available, whenever a trial court allows a previously filed pretrial omnibus motion to be withdrawn “without prejudice”? 3) If so, has Petitioner “waived” his claim under Rule 4-252, thereby precluding any form of appellate review, even discretionary review under Rule 8-131(a)? 4) Even if review under 8-131(a) is legally available, should this Court decline to exercise its discretion to engage in such review here because the record is deficient?

State Department of Assessments and Taxation v. Kevin Andrecs – Case No. 50, September Term, 2014

Issue – Taxation – Did the MD Tax Court correctly calculate the “taxable assessment” for homestead tax credit purposes under § 9-105 of the Tax-Property Article where the statute requires the taxable assessment to include the value of substantially completed improvements that a homeowner makes to his dwelling?

State of Maryland v. Christopher David Manion – Case No. 48, September Term, 2014

Issue – Criminal Law – Where, consistent with State v. Coleman, 423 Md. 666 (2011), the trier of fact inferred an intent to deprive from acts subsequent to the defendant’s deception, did CSA err when it drew different inferences from the same conduct and reversed the conviction?

State of Maryland v. Kerryann N. Smith – Case No. 47, September Term, 2014

Issue – Criminal Law – Did CSA err in reversing the circuit court’s denial of Respondent’s petition for a writ of coram nobis where Respondent had waived her coram nobis claims, failed to meet her burden of proving that her guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered and was barred from seeking a writ of coram nobis on grounds of laches?

Wicomico Co. Dept. of Social Services v. B.A. – Case No. 46, September Term, 2014

Issue – Family Law – Where an instructor used class time to groom a student and lure her into a secret intimate relationship, should he be exempted from a finding of “indicated child sexual abuse” on the basis that his blatantly sexual behavior with the student occurred outside of class?

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