October 2014 Maryland Certiorari Grants
With Halloween right around the corner, the Court of Appeals of Maryland has decided to address some potential nightmare scenarios for criminal defendants — being stuck without legal representation, or having claims of actual innocence given short shrift by the justice system. Check out those cases and the rest of yesterday’s cert grants after the jump.
Alexander Dykes v. State of Maryland – Case No. 70
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) When it finds meritorious grounds for granting a motion to discharge counsel, what is the extent of the trial court’s authority to appoint counsel? 2) After finding meritorious reasons for discharge and after discharging both Petitioner’s public defender specifically and the Office of the Public Defender generally, did the trial court err in denying Petitioner’s repeated pretrial requests for court-appointed counsel on the grounds that he was now “on his own” and that it did not have the authority to appoint counsel?
Scott Shader, et ux. v. Hampton Improvement Assoc., Inc. – Case No. 75
Issues – Real Property – 1) Whether the trial court properly held that Respondent was not estopped from claiming that the covenant in question was still valid in light of a prior, unappealed ruling that the covenant had been waived by abandonment? 2) Whether the trial court properly held that the covenant at issue had not been waived or abandoned? 3) Whether beneficiaries of covenants can permit violations of one part of a covenant and still seek enforcement of other parts of the same covenant? 4) Whether the trial court abused its discretion in not granting pre-trial summary judgment, where collateral estoppel should have prevented the Respondent from re-litigating facts which had been found against it in an unappealed prior action?
State of Maryland v. Kevin Hardy – Case No. 73
Issues – Criminal Law – Did CSA incorrectly reverse the trial court’s denial of Respondent’s amended petition for writ of actual innocence without a hearing where Respondent did not satisfy the statutory requirements of Section 8-301 and where the CSA ruling was inconsistent with its own case authority on the issue?
State of Maryland v. Ronnie A. Hunt – Case No. 72
Issue – Criminal Law – Did CSA incorrectly reverse the trial court’s denial of Respondent’s amended petition for writ of actual innocence without a hearing where Respondent did not satisfy the statutory requirements of Section 8-301 and where the CSA ruling was inconsistent with its own case authority on the issue?
State of Maryland v. William Westray – Case No. 74
Petition and cross-petition both granted.
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did CSA err in determining that, where Respondent was represented by counsel and requested discharge of counsel, the trial court was required to determine and announce on the record that he was knowingly and voluntarily waiving the right to counsel? 2) Did the trial court abuse its discretion in denying Respondent’s request for the appointment of pro bono counsel on the grounds that it lacked the power to appoint pro bono counsel for Respondent?
Nancy Lee Kathryn Thompson, et al. v. UBS Financial Services, et al. – Case No. 76
Petition granted and protective cross-petition denied.
Issues – Torts – 1) Should this Court adopt RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TORTS § 242(2) and, in doing so, find that CSA erred in reversing the jury verdict for petitioners on conversion? 2) Did CSA err in reversing the jury verdict for petitioners on constructive fraud?
Lydia G. Wilcox, et al. v. Tristan J. Orellano – Case No. 77
Issue – Torts – Did CSA err in concluding that a stipulation of dismissal signed by both parties in a health care malpractice claim constituted a “voluntary dismissal … by the party who commenced the action” as intended by MD Code Ann., Courts & Jud. Proc. § 5-119(a)?