February 2015 Maryland Certiorari Grants

What will warm you up on this coldest of winter days? Certiorari grants? No, probably not. But since you’re hopefully not venturing into the cold tonight, you’ll have extra time to read through today’s grants of review by Maryland’s highest court. (And no, the grants do not include an own-motion grant of certiorari in Syed v. State, as we recently wildly speculated.)

The Brownstones at Park Potomac Homeowners Association v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, National Association – Case No. 13, September Term, 2015

Issue – Real Property – Whether the first trust lender who takes physical possession of a property subject to a homeowners’ declaration and bylaws is liable for homeowners’ dues.

Kathy Fuller, et al. v. Republican Central Committee of Carroll County, Maryland – Case No. 92, September Term, 2014

Issues – State Government – 1) Does Article 3, Section 13 of the Constitution of Maryland (“Section 13”) prohibit a party central committee from submitting more than one name to the Governor to fill a single vacancy in the General Assembly? 2) Is a temporary restraining order appropriate relief to prevent a party central committee from violating Section 13.

George Cameron Seward v. State of Maryland – Case No. 12, September Term, 2015

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) In a case of alleged innocence, where the State concedes the new alibi evidence is “material”, can an appellate court rest a decision to reverse the granting of a Writ of Actual Innocence on the belief that trial counsel failed to investigate the alibi, without considering the evidence regarding what counsel did to locate that evidence? 2) Does the State have the right to appeal a trial court decision granting a Writ of Actual Innocence under Md. Code, Criminal Procedure § 8-301 in light of this Court’s prior precedent in Douglas v. State, 423 Md. 156 (2011) and the General Assembly’s decision not to put an appellate right into the statute? 3) Did CSA err in mischaracterizing the record evidence and factual findings by the trial court to the extent that CSA’s decision rests on a misunderstanding of the record?

State of Maryland, et al. v. Vadim Roshchin, et al. – Case No. 10, September Term, 2015

Issue – Transportation Law – Does a law enforcement officer have the authority to arrest an individual based on probable cause to believe that the individual has committed a misdemeanor aviation offense in violation of Title 5 of the Transportation Article?

Jacqueline Wagner v. State of Maryland – Case No. 11, September Term, 2015

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Is it impossible, as a matter of law, for a person to be guilty of theft from a multiple-party bank account to which she is a party in the absence of any language in the account agreement restricting that party’s use of funds? 2) Was the evidence sufficient to support a misappropriation conviction where the state never proved and the court did not find that Petitioner was a fiduciary?

Deandre Ricardo Williams v. State of Maryland – Case No. 9, September Term, 2015

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did police violate Petitioner’s right to remain silent during a custodial interrogation when he said “I don’t want to say nothing. I don’t know, – “ to which the police responded “But you don’t have to say nothing” but continued with the interrogation? 2) Did the police interrupting Petitioner while he invoked his right to remain silent convert an unambiguous invocation into an ambiguous invocation? 3) Was Petitioner’s confession involuntary under Md. Common law because the police implied that Petitioner might see outside again if he confessed to a robbery gone bad instead of a premeditated murder? 4) Where the officers were still in the process of explaining Petitioner’s rights to him, did CSA err in holding that Petitioner was being interrogated for purposes of Miranda?

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