December 2016 Maryland certiorari grants include life without parole, rule against perpetuities

The Court of Appeals of Maryland today posted nine certiorari grants. The full list, with questions presented, appears after the jump.

Darrell Bellard v. State of Maryland – Case No. 72, September Term, 2016

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Does Criminal Law Article, § 2-304 give criminal defendants the right to have a jury determine whether they should be sentenced to life with parole or life without the possibility of parole? 2) Is Maryland’s sentencing scheme for life without the possibility of parole unconstitutional?

Damar Brown v. State of Maryland – Case No. 74, September Term, 2016

Issue – Criminal Procedure – Did CSA err in concluding that when the State charges misdemeanors by criminal information in the circuit court no preliminary hearing is required?

Chateau Foghorn LP v. Wesley Hosford – Case No. 73, September Term, 2016

Issue – Real Property – Did CSA err in its preemption analysis by concluding that Section 8-402.1 of the Real Property Article (Md. Code Ann.) does not do “major damage” to the clear and manifest intent of Congress and the express language of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s implementing regulations for project-based rental subsidy programs?

Clarksville Residents Against Mortuary Defense Fund, Inc. et al. v. Donaldson Properties et al. – Case No. 70, September Term, 2016

Issues – Zoning & Planning – 1) Was the Board required to make the considerations set forth in Section 130.C of the Zoning Regulations? 2) Did the Board satisfy the “adverse effects” test of Schultz v. Pritts when it failed to conduct an analysis based on the “ordinary or inherent adverse effects” of a Funeral Home? 3) Did the Board satisfy the “adverse effects” of Schultz v. Pritts when it approved the Funeral Home in spite of the surrounding Asian community’s deep-seated cultural aversion to the death industry? 4) Did the Board satisfy the “adverse effects” test of Schultz v. Pritts when it approved the removal of a natural forest along a Tier II stream to accommodate construction of the Funeral Home?

Electrical General Corp. et al. v. Michael L. Labonte – Case No. 69, September Term, 2016

Issue – Workers’ Compensation – 1) Did the previously determined finding that the Respondent sustained a subsequent intervening accident bar any further liability of the Employer and Insurer for workers’ compensation benefits due to a prior work injury? 2) Did the trial court err in allowing the jury to consider whether the Respondent sustained a subsequent intervening accident to his back because litigation of that issue was precluded under the doctrine of collateral estoppel? 3) Did the trial court err in submitting the jury question of whether the Respondent’s back condition was causally related to the work injury because the question was insufficient to resolve the factual disputes between the parties and improperly shifted the burden of proof to Employer and Insurer? 4) Did the trial court err in allowing the jury to decide issues that were not previously decided by the Workers’ Compensation Commission?

Fredia Powell et al. v. Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – Case No. 77, September Term, 2016

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) After a court finds a criminal defendant incompetent to stand trial and in need of mental health treatment and orders the person committed to DHMH for such treatment under § 3-106(b) of the Criminal Procedure Article (“Crim. Proc.”), does the court have the authority to specify the date by which DHMH must comply with the court’s order? 2) After a court finds a defendant incompetent to stand trial and in need of mental health treatment, does Article 24 of the Declaration of Rights require the individual to be removed from jail or detention and placed in a DHMH mental health facility by the date set in the court’s §3-106(b) commitment order or by a reasonably short time thereafter?

Stanley Rochkind v. Starlena Stevenson – Case No. 76, September Term, 2016

Issues – Torts – 1) Did CSA err when it determined under Frye-Reed that it is “generally accepted” that lead exposure causes ADHD (general causation)? 2) Did CSA err by conducting its own, non-adversarial Frye-Reed analysis on whether lead exposure causes ADHD rather than remanding to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing? 3) Did CSA err when it failed to apply the “reliable methodology” requirement of Rule 5-702 to the medical expert’s opinion that lead exposure “caused” Respondent’s ADHD (specific causation)?

Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. v. Saddlebrook West Utility Company, LLC et al. – Case No. 71, September Term, 2016

Issues – Real Property – 1) Can the procedure for lien creation be read out of the Maryland Contract Lien Act? 2) Has the rule against perpetuities been eliminated in Maryland? 3) Does the holder of an interest in property have standing to challenge the grant of rights in that property to another party by the government?

Michael Vito et al. v. Candace Grueff – Case No. 75, September Term, 2016

Issue – Estates & Trusts – Did CSA err by ignoring the intent of the settlor, as expressed in the plain and unambiguous language of the Trust instrument, by holding an amendment clause cannot be used to modify the beneficiary section of the Trust, even though the amendment complied with the plain language of the amendment clause?

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