October 2016 Maryland Certiorari Grants

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Six days after granting expedited review of a Baltimore City ballot dispute,  the Court of Appeals issued its regularly scheduled monthly batch of certiorari grants. The five grants include Norman v. State (previously covered by Chris Mincher as part of his COSA Dissent Watch feature), involving pat-downs of passengers when officers smell marijuana during a traffic stop. Continuing the theme of impaired driving, the Court of Appeals accepted two petitions by the MVA in cases where drivers refused intoxication tests. The entire list, including questions presented, appears after the jump.

Motor Vehicle Administration v. Robert Allen Krafft – Case No. 52, September Term, 2016

Issue – Transportation – In an alcohol test refusal, implied consent, case is it enough to support a license suspension that an officer reasonably believed that the licensee, whose vehicle was involved in an accident in front of his house and who is found in an intoxicated condition in his house with the door open had been driving his vehicle while intoxicated or must the MVA establish as much by a preponderance of the evidence?

Motor Vehicle Administration v. Paul McGuire Styslinger – Case No. 53, September Term, 2016

Issue – Transportation – Did the ALJ err, in a license-suspension hearing conducted under TR § 205.1(f), by requiring MVA to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a licensee who has refused to take a blood test was driving or attempting to drive when, as the ALJ found, the investigating officer had “reasonable grounds to believe” that the licensee was attempting to drive while impaired?

Joseph Norman, Jr. v. State of Maryland – Case No. 56, September Term, 2016

Issue – Criminal Law – Does the smell of raw marijuana coming from a car stopped for a traffic violation provide police with reasonable suspicion to believe that all passengers in the car are armed and dangerous, such that a pat down, or Terry frisk, of the passengers is permissible, in the absence of any factors suggesting that any of the passengers posed a risk to the officer?

State of Maryland v. Andrew Baker – Case No. 55, September Term, 2016

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did CSA err in concluding that the trial court failed to articulate sufficiently the basis for its determination of manifest necessity for a retrial? 2) Did the trial court properly exercise its discretion in finding manifest necessity to declare a mistrial?

State of Maryland v. Grason Lapole – Case No. 54, September Term, 2016

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did CSA err in concluding that the trial judge abused his discretion in asking the following question during voir dire: “Would any of you automatically give more or less weight to the testimony of a physician, a clergyman, a police officer, a firefighter, a psychiatrist or any other witness merely because of their title, profession, education, occupation or employment?” 2) Did CSA err in concluding that error in phrasing the police officer question was “by definition” not harmless, even though the police officer’s testimony was inconsequential?

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