April 2016 Maryland Certiorari Grants

The Court of Appeals of Maryland has posted its certiorari grants from yesterday’s conference. The biggest news is that the Court will review the decision of the Court of Special Appeals holding that, under the Supreme Court’s decision in Walker v. Texas Div., Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Motor Vehicle Administration properly rejected a “MIERDA” vanity plate. Alan Sternstein’s December post criticizing the Court of Special Appeals decision is here.

The full list of grants, with questions presented, appears after the jump.

Granted April 22, 2016

Attar V. DMS Tollgate – Case No. 12, September Term, 2016

Issues – Zoning and Planning – 1) Does Maryland’s special exception jurisprudence require the Baltimore Co. Board of Appeals to define the boundaries of the neighborhood of the proposed special exception before approving that special exception? If so, did the Board of Appeals’ opinion satisfied Maryland’s minimum requirements for articulating the facts found regarding the neighborhood’s boundaries? 2) Did CSA err in holding that the Applicant met its burden of proof, as articulated by the concurring opinion in People’s Counsel for Baltimore County v. Loyola College in Maryland, 406 Md. 54 (2008)?

Balfour Beatty Infrastructure v. Rummel, Klepper & Kahl – Case No. 14, September Term, 2016

Issues – Torts – 1) Did CSA err by applying the economic loss doctrine to a limited class of professionals – designers in government contracts – to shield an engineer from liability to a contractor when the engineer knows that its services will be relied upon to the contractor’s detriment if the engineer’s services are negligently performed? 2) Does the economic loss doctrine bar a government contractor’s action under Restatement of Torts (Second) § 552 against an engineer who negligently supplied information when all other elements are met and when other professional providers of information are not so protected? 3) Does the economic loss doctrine bar a government contractor’s action for negligent misrepresentation against an engineer when the engineer: (a) intended the contractor to rely upon the representations; (b) knew that the contractor would rely upon the design; and (c) knew that the contractor would be harmed if the design was negligently performed?

Breck v. Maryland State Police – Case No. 13, September Term, 2016

Issue – Public Safety – Did CSA err in holding that Extra-Duty Secondary Employment, as that term is used by the Maryland State Police, is not Secondary Employment within the meaning of Public Safety § 3-103(b)?

Md. Board of Physicians v. Geier – Case No. 11, September Term, 2016

Issues – Civil Procedure – 1) Did the trial court err in rejecting the defendants’ assertion of absolute quasi-judicial immunity and denying reconsideration of its default order on liability? 2) Did the trial court err in compelling the production of personal financial information in aid of punitive damages despite the defendants’ absolute quasi-judicial immunity? 3) Did the trial court err in granting the Respondents’ motion for sanctions based on the Petitioners’ refusal to produce materials protected by the deliberative process, executive, attorney-client, and attorney-work-product privileges and the mandatory nondisclosure requirement of Health Occupations § 14-410?

Mitchell v. Md. Motor Vehicle Administration – Case No. 10, September Term, 2016

Issues – Constitutional Law – 1) Did CSA err in concluding that personalized vanity plates are a non-public forum in which motorists who pay the fee to express their 7-character message may be censored despite expressing otherwise constitutionally protected private speech? 2) Did CSA err in choosing to censor a Spanish word based on the most offensive definition it could imagine, despite the existence of innocuous definitions of the term?

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