August 2016 Maryland Certiorari Grants
It’s been a slightly elongated layover since the Maryland Court of Appeals made their July certiorari decisions, but, with nine new cases, it’s clear the gears are starting to grind for the upcoming term. Included in the mix is Johnson v. State (we called it!), the much-publicized prosecution for the murder of Phylicia Barnes that ended in acquittal… or did it? Some big double-jeopardy questions in that one for the Court to figure out. Check out the rest of the grants after the jump.
Granted August 19, 2016
Bainbridge St. Elmo Bethesda Apartments, LLC v. White Flint Express Realty Group Limited Partnership, LLLP – Case No. 30, September Term, 2016
Issue – Contract Law – Did CSA undermine Nova Research v. Penske Truck Leasing Co., 405 Md. 435 (2008), concerning the limited circumstances under which a contractual indemnity provision can be read as a first-party fee shifting provision overriding the American Rule that each party bears its own attorneys’ fees?
Jenny J. Copsey, Individually, and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Lance D. Copsey, Deceased, et al. v. John S. Park, et al. – Case No. 34, September Term, 2016
Issues – Torts – 1) Did the trial court err in admitting evidence of the negligence of non-party, subsequent treating physicians, including evidence that they were once defendants in the instant suit? 2) Did the trial court err in instructing the jury on superseding cause when the negligence of all the treating physicians amounted to one indivisible injury, that being death?
Elvaton Towne Condominium Regime II, Inc. v. William Kevin Rose, et ux. – Case No. 33, September Term, 2016
Issues – Real Property – 1) Does Md. law permit and do Petitioner’s Declaration and Bylaws provide authority to implement rules that temporarily suspend unit owners who are delinquent in their condominium assessments from using the community parking lot and pool? 2) Did CSA err by finding that Respondents were precluded from pursuing a declaratory judgment related to Petitioner’s Statement of Lien, which established an interested in Respondents’ real property, and Respondents’ only procedural remedy was to pursue a defense in a money damages consumer collection action pending in the District Court?
Rahul Gupta v. State of Maryland – Case No. 36, September Term, 2016
Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) When a judge violates Md. Rule 4-326(d) by communicating an ex parte answer to a juror’s question that “pertains to the action”, without disclosing it to the defendant or any lawyer, can the presumption of prejudice be overcome by adding a new standard of review claiming the judge’sex parte answer was not “substantive” enough? 2) Did the trial court err by not granting pre-trial suppression of Petitioner’s custodial interrogation statement after finding he communicated repeated demands for a lawyer to police officers while he was locked up in a cell just before being interrogated?
Michael M. Johnson v. State of Maryland – Case No. 38, September Term, 2016
Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Did the trial court’s grant of Petitioner’s Motion for Judgment of Acquittal (“MJOA”) on the express basis of legally insufficient evidence preclude further proceedings under the Md. common law of double jeopardy and/or the Federal Constitutional prohibition upon double jeopardy? 2) Was the trial court’s grant of the MJOA procedurally proper because the trial court has the authority to reconsider and retract the grant of a mistrial? 3) Was the trial court’s grant of the MJOA legally proper because the court retained fundamental jurisdiction to render the ruling? 4) Even assuming arguendo that the grant of the MJOA was procedurally flawed, under the Md. common law of double jeopardy was an acquittal upon the express basis of legally insufficient evidence nevertheless final and binding?
Jermaul Rondell Robinson v. State of Maryland – Case No. 37, September Term, 2016
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) When an officer detects an “overwhelming smell” of “fresh marijuana” coming from a car, does the officer have probable cause to search the car in light of the fact that possession of less than ten grams of marijuana is now a “civil offense” punishable only by a fine? 2) Did the trial court err when it denied Petitioner’s motion to suppress?
Daniel Rohrer v. Humane Society of Washington County – Case No. 32, September Term, 2016
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Does Criminal Law § 10-615 permit the notice and removal of an animal under §§ 10-615(c) and (d) when the animal was seized pursuant to a search and seizure warrant and is in the custody of the State? 2) Must the factors and conditions that permit the removal of an animal pursuant to § 10-615(c) exist at the time the “notice of removal” is given to the owner under § 10-615? 3) Does the denial of a petition for the return of animals pursuant to § 10-615(d)(2) during the pendency of a criminal charge against the owner pursuant to § 10-604 result in the loss of ownership and disposal of those animals, or is the denial temporary until there is a final disposition of the criminal matter?
URS Corporation et al. v. Fort Myer Construction Corporation – Case No. 31, September Term, 2016
Issues – Courts and Judicial Proceedings – 1) Did CSA err in deciding Respondent’s appeal when there is no final judgment in the case? 2) Did CSA err in holding that the trial judge’s finding that Respondent had maintained its case without substantial justification was clearly erroneous? 3) Did CSA err in holding that the trial judge’s denial of Respondent’s amended motion for reconsideration was an abuse of discretion?
Daniel S. Yuan v. Johns Hopkins University – Case No. 35, September Term, 2016
Issues – Labor & Employment – 1) Did CSA err in precluding Md. employees from bringing wrongful termination claims based on retaliation for reporting research misconduct, by refusing to recognize the federal law prohibiting research misconduct as a public policy basis, contrary to this Court’s recognition of wrongful termination claims? 2) Did CSA err in precluding Md. employees from bringing conversion claims based on the employer’s conversion of the employee’s personal research materials, by improperly drawing inferences in favor of Respondent when it interpreted Respondent’s research materials policy?