March 2017 Maryland Certiorari Grants

The Maryland Court of Appeals posted the “questions presented” in seven March certiorari grants yesterday, though only six of them are now live appeals. One petition, Deon Leroy Williams v. State, was granted on March 3, only to be dismissed on reconsideration on March 24. The first on the list, Burak, may provide some key insights on how the Court of Appeals will apply last year’s de facto parenthood decision in Conover v. Conover. The six live certiorari grants, with questions presented, appear after the jump.

Natasha Burak v. Mark Burak, et al. – Case No. 97, September Term, 2016

Issues – Family Law – 1) May grandparents intervene in a custody dispute between parents to seek custody of their grandchild before there has been an adjudication of the unfitness of the custodial parents? 2) May the “exceptional circumstances” test set forth by this Court in Ross v. Hoffman, 280 Md. 172 (1977) be used to take custody away from a biological parent with whom the child has lived for his entire life? 3) May a parent be required to pay child support to grandparents, and if so, may such child support be awarded without consideration of the financial resources of the grandparents?

Schneider Electric Buildings Critical Systems, Inc. v. Western Surety Company – Case No. 96, September Term, 2016

Issue – Courts & Judicial Proceedings – Whether the surety on a performance bond issued for a subcontract is bound by an arbitration clause set forth in the subcontract where the bond expressly incorporates, and states that the surety is jointly and severally bound for the performance of, the subcontract?

Jamal Sizer v. State of Maryland – Case No. 1, September Term, 2017

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Where the police make an illegal stop of a person, discover a valid, pre-existing arrest warrant, and seize evidence from the person during a search incident to arrest, must the admissibility of that evidence be determined based on an application of the “attenuation factors,” as held in Utah v. Strieff, 136 S.Ct. 2056 (2016), Cox v. State, 397 Md. 200 (2007), and Myers v. State, 395 Md. 261 (2006), or may a court, as CSA did in this case, reject the attenuation doctrine and find that such evidence will always be admissible because the arrest warrant constitutes an “independent source”? 2) Did the hearing judge correctly rule that the discovery of a valid pre-existing arrest warrant did not attenuate the connection between the illegal stop of Petitioner and the evidence seized from him shortly thereafter? 3) Where a person is under no obligation to interact with the police, does flight to avoid that interaction, by itself, justify a Terry stop; and if so, does it still justify the stop where there is evidence that flight was provoked by the threatening or startling actions of the police officers? 4) Did the hearing judge correctly rule that police violated Petitioner’s Fourth Amendment rights where the only observation officers made regarding Petitioner before tackling him was that he immediately ran upon noticing the six bicycle-riding police officers riding towards him?

John W. Green, III v. State of Maryland – Case No. 4, September Term, 2017

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Does Md. Rule 4-263(d)(7)(B), which requires the State to disclose “[a]ll relevant material or information regarding…pretrial identification of the defendant by a State’s witness,” require the State to disclose all relevant material or information regarding pretrial identification of a co-defendant by a State’s witness? 2) Where Petitioner and co-defendant were both present at the scene of the crime and the eyewitness identification of the co-defendant as the non-shooter implicated Petitioner as the person who shot and killed the victim, did CSA err in holding that information regarding the identification of co-defendant did not fall within the scope of “relevant material or information regarding…pretrial identification of the defendant by a State’s witness,” under Rule 4-263(d)(7)(B)?

In re: C. E. – Case No. 2, September Term, 2017

Issues – Family Law – 1) Did the trial court err in holding that the waiver of reasonable efforts pursuant to Courts & Judicial Proceedings § 3-812 was constitutional and appropriate? 2) Did CSA err in holding that the ruling was not a final order and not appealable where the issue was not raised in any brief or argument?

University of Maryland Medical System Corporation et al. v. Brandon Kerrigan, a minor et al – Case No. 3, September Term, 2017

Issues – Civil Procedure – 1) Did CSA substitute its judgment and fail to defer to the wide discretion owed to the trial court’s reasoning in support of transfer? 2) Did CSA fail to review this case on its individual merits by placing too much reliance upon Scott v. Hawit, 211 Md.App. 620 (2013), a decision with different facts? 3) Did CSA err by holding that the residence of foreign plaintiffs should not factor into the convenience of the parties analysis under Md. Rule 2-327(c)?

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