November 2014 Maryland Certiorari Grants

With Thanksgiving only a week away, the Maryland Court of Appeals has laid a rather meager spread of fresh certiorari grants on the table. Appellate enthusiasts licking their chops for new issues have relatively few matters to pick from this caseload cornucopia, but those with an interest in administrative rule-making, parenting problems, jury instructions in criminal cases, and procedural quirks have some morsels to feast upon. Details after the jump.

Granted November 19, 2014

Mark G. Hranicka v. Chesapeake Surgical Ltd., et al. – Case No. 83

Issue – Workers’ Compensation –Whether the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission has the authority to generate its own administrative rule to relate a claim back to the date it was electronically filed, for limitations purposes.

In re: Aaliyah S. – Case No. 81

Issue – Family Law – Is the change of a child’s permanency plan from a sole plan of reunification to a concurrent plan of reunification and custody and guardianship with a relative an appealable interlocutory order pursuant to Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art. § 12-303?

Lauren McClanahan v. Washington County Department of Social Services – Case No. 79

Issues – Family Law – 1) Does the CSA decision that a parent can be strictly liable for child abuse by mental injury by seeking medical help for her five year old based on the child’s disclosures and symptoms, absent any finding that the parent acted intentionally, recklessly, or in bad faith to cause injury, violated the Due Process Clause, Family Law Article §§ 5-701 et seq., and Taylor v. Harford County Department of Social Services, 384 Md. 213 (2004)? 2) Did Petitioner’s attorney waive Petitioner’s objections to the privileged testimony of a therapist by discussing the assertion of privilege by the child’s attorney in the collateral child custody proceeding? 3) Did the ALJ’s decision against Petitioner violate the immunity provisions of Family Law Article § 5-708 and Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article § 5-620?

Dontae Preston v. State of Maryland – Case No. 80

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Is the “witness promised benefit” jury instruction part of a special class of instructions, as CSA held, such that it remains always discretionary even when it is supported by some evidence? 2) Did the lower court abuse its discretion in declining to give the instruction where an eyewitness provided some evidence that she exchanged her cooperation with the State for free, protective housing? 3) Did the lower court err as a matter of law in declining to instruct the jury as defense counsel requested? 4) Does the record show that there was a “promise” or “testimony” that was “as a result of” a promise? 5) Is protective housing provided to a witness in a first degree murder case the type of “benefit” contemplated by the “witness promised benefit” pattern instruction?

Frank D. Scarfield, Sr., et al. v. Peter A. Muntjan, et al. – Case No. 82

Issue – Civil Procedure – Does the filing of an amended complaint which presents a new claim and jury demand revive a previously waived right to a jury trial where the new claim is dismissed for a failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted?

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