June 2017 Maryland Certiorari Grants

The Court of Appeals granted certiorari in six cases yesterday. They’re a grab-bag of criminal law, civil procedure (judicial estoppel), administrative law, and takings law. The six grants, along with two earlier standalone grants we didn’t cover in prior posts, are after the jump.

Granted June 21, 2017

The Bank of New York Mellon, Trustee et al. v. Heinz Otto Georg et al. – Case No. 20, September Term, 2017

Issues – Civil Procedure – 1) Does judicial estoppel require a showing of an intention to mislead the court apart from a demonstration that the party “has succeeded in persuading a court to accept that party’s earlier position, so that a judicial acceptance of an inconsistent position in a later proceeding would create ‘the perception that either the first or the second court was misled[.]’” New Hampshire v. Maine, 532 U.S. 742, 750-51 (2001)? 2) Is a ruling that a party lacked standing to assert its claims, but subject to the caveat that if the court was found to be wrong with regard to standing, the party failed to prove its case on the merits, a contingent ruling on the merits and thus not a final judgment for purposes of res judicata and collateral estoppel, or are the ruling on standing and the ruling on the merits alternative rulings, each entitled to preclusive effect?

James H. Ellis et al. v. Olin L. McKenzie et al. – Case No. 16, September Term, 2017

Issues – Environmental Law – 1) Does the Dormant Mineral Interests Act (“DMIA”) violate Article 24 of the Md. Declaration of Rights and Article III, § of the Md. Constitution by retrospectively taking a vested property interest from a mineral owner and transferring it to a surface owner without compensation? 2) Is a notice of intent to preserve a severed mineral interest effective if recorded by the personal representative of a deceased owner’s estate while an action to terminate the interest is pending against the decedent’s descendants but not against the personal representative?

Maryland office of People’s Counsel et al. v. Maryland Public Service Commission et al. – Case No. 15, September Term, 2017

Issues – Public Utilities – 1) Did the Public Service Commission make an error of law by failing to conclude that the premium that PHI’s shareholders received as a result of its acquisition by Exelon Corp. violated § 6-105 of the Public Utilities Article and the regulatory compact governing the obligations and rights of monopolistic utilities in that it harmed customers and was inconsistent with the public interest? 2) Does the Commission’s unexplained conclusion that allegations of harm to the distributed generation and renewable energy markets resulting from Exelon’s acquisition of PHI were “speculation” render the Commission’s decision to approve the acquisition arbitrary and capricious?

State of Maryland v. Leonard Lee Simms – Case No. 19, September Term, 2017

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Does the State have the authority to enter a nolle prosequi on a charge after a conviction? 2) If the State does have the authority to do so, was Respondent’s appeal moot because the State entered a nolle prosequi in the circuit court as to the entire case, without objection?

Waterman Family Limited Partnership et al v. Kathleen B. Boomer et al. – Case No. 18, September Term, 2017

Issues – Local Government – 1) May county commissioners rescind an express approval in accordance with Local Government Article (“LG”) § 4-416 to place newly annexed land in a zoning classification that allows a land use or density different from the land use or density specified in the zoning classification of the county or agency with planning and zoning jurisdiction over the land prior to its annexation? 2) May county commissioners rescind an express approval in accordance with LG § 4-416 allowing development of annexed land for land uses substantially different than the authorized use, or at a substantially higher density, not exceeding 50%, than could be granted for the proposed development, in accordance with the zoning classification of the county applicable at the time of the annexation?

Barrington Dean Watts v. State of Maryland – Case No. 17, September Term, 2017

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Are intent to frighten and battery merely varieties of a single crime under Md’s assault statute or are they separate crimes, thus requiring individualized jury unanimity? 2) Is Petitioner’s claim of error unpreserved where Petitioner did not ask for the unanimity instruction he now claims was mandatory?

Granted June 9, 2017

Jane and John Doe et al. v. Alternative Medicine Maryland, LLC et al. – Case No. 98, September Term, 2016

Issues – Health General – 1) Are Appellants entitled to participate in a lawsuit, including a preliminary injunction hearing, where the Appellee (plaintiff in the trial court) has expressly asked to invalidate their award and any injunction would destroy their businesses, force them to lay off employees, cause substantial economic losses and deprive some Petitioners of needed cannabis therapy? 2) Should the trial court action be stayed pending resolution of the issue of indispensable parties, given that the Appellee waited months or years to seek a preliminary injunction and has no likelihood of success on the merits?

Granted May 23, 2017

Rudy Ismael Manchame-Guerra v. State of Maryland – Case No. 14, September Term, 2017

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Did this Court’s decision in Peterson v. State, 444 Md. 105 (2015), alter the threshold a factual proffer must satisfy to permit questioning of a witness’s subjective expectation of a benefit under Md. Rule 5-616(a)(4)? 2) Did the trial court err in prohibiting defense counsel from questioning the State’s main witness about whether he subjectively expected a benefit in exchange for his statements and testimony in this case?

 

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