September 2016 Certiorari Grants

One day after its first oral arguments of the new term, the Court of Appeals of Maryland on Friday dropped an unexpected bundle of certiorari grants — the second set to be released in as many weeks. In two of the cases, the primary question presented is whether the odor of marijuana gives a police officer probable cause to search a vehicle; as we briefly noted here, depending on how the Court resolves that issue, there could be a lot of remandin’ happening with these later on down the line. Check out all the grants after the jump.

[Blog editor-in-chief Steve Klepper was not involved in the review, editing, or posting of this piece.]

Granted September 2, 2016

The Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City v. Steven Kougl, et al.– Case No. 43, September Term, 2016

Issue – Alcoholic Beverages – Did the Liquor Board correctly interpret its rules to impose upon licensees strict liability for sexual display, performance, or illegal activity conducted on licensed premises, where the pertinent portions of the rules contain no language limiting a licensee’s responsibility to situations where the licensee has actual or constructive knowledge of the offending conduct?

Clifford Cain, Jr. v. Midland Funding – Case No. 45, September Term, 2016

Issues – Courts and Judicial Proceedings – 1) Did CSA err in concluding that a debt buyer’s pattern of filing thousands of collection actions in Md. courts, and obtaining judgments in those actions, was unrelated to a later putative class action seeking a judicial declaration that those earlier judgments were void and disgorgement of the money so obtained, thus finding the doctrine of waiver inapplicable and permitting the debt buyer to compel arbitration on an individual basis? 2) In concluding that no waiver of the right to arbitrate had occurred, did CSA err in disregarding the tactical timing of the debt buyer’s motion to compel arbitration, which it filed only after a CSA opinion in a related case that was adverse to the debt buyer’s litigation position?

Oscar Cruz-Quintanilla v. State of Maryland – Case No. 44, September Term, 2016

Issue – Criminal Law – May a sentencing court consider a criminal defendant’s gang membership when the State presents no evidence (1) that the underlying crime is gang related or (2) that the defendant committed any criminal actions on behalf of the gang?

Maryland Insurance Administration v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, et al. – Case No. 41, September Term, 2016

Issues – Insurance Law – 1) Does the exception in § 19-505(c)(1)(ii) of the Insurance Article permit an insurance company to exclude coverage under a motor vehicle policy that includes personal injury protection for an accident involving a taxicab owned by the insured and for which the owner was unable to obtain personal injury protection coverage? 2) Did the Md. Insurance Commissioner correctly determine that the insured was entitled to the benefit of his motor vehicle policy’s personal injury protection coverage for injuries sustained while driving his taxicab, for which he carried the insurance coverage required under the Transportation Article?

Vernon Harvey Spriggs, III v. State of Maryland – Case No. 46, September Term, 2016

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) When an officer detects the odor of marijuana coming from a car, does that 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?

State of Maryland v. Jeffrey D. Ebb, Sr. – Case No. 40, September Term, 2016

Issue – Criminal Law – Did the trial court properly deny a Petition for Writ of Actual Innocence in which the Petitioner neither (a) claimed innocence, or (b) presented any meaningful “new” evidence?

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al. – Case No. 42, September Term, 2016

Issue – Labor & Employment – Did CSA err when it held that this case does not involve a labor dispute and the National Labor Relations Act does not preempt Walmart’s claims?

Dexter Williams v. State of Maryland – Case No. 39, September Term, 2016

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) When an officer smells the odor of marijuana from the interior of a car and when the driver and sole occupant admits that he has an unspecified amount of marijuana in the 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?

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  1. Another September 2016 Certiorari Grant | Maryland Appellate Blog - September 28, 2016

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