Archive | August 2017

September Term 2016 is a wrap!

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

At noon today, the Court of Appeals of Maryland hit a major milestone. For the fourth straight year, the Court of Appeals met its case management standard of deciding every single case in the same term in which it was argued. By August 31 of each year, the Court of Appeals issues its opinion in every case argued since September 1 of the previous year. This standard was the first major reform that Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera announced when she took over as Chief Judge in 2013. At the time, the Court had just issued multiple opinions that had taken years to decide. Four years later, Chief Judge Barbera is now four-for-four.

Judge Niemeyer’s dissent is the real headline in Maryland political gerrymandering case

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland stayed proceedings in Maryland’s political gerrymandering case, Benisek v. Lamone, pending the Supreme Court’s decision in the Wisconsin political gerrymandering case, Gill v. Whitford. The real headline, though, is Fourth Circuit Judge Paul Niemeyer’s dissent, which could have real implications for Gill. Read More…

A Procedurally Unusual En Banc Opinion from the Fourth Circuit

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Last Friday, in United States v. Chamberlain, the Fourth Circuit issued a unanimous en banc opinion overruling its precedents on “the pretrial restraint of a defendant’s innocent property pursuant to the federal criminal forfeiture statute.” The ruling was not a surprise, in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Luis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 1083 (2016).

But the ruling was a procedural oddity. Read More…

Marking #WomanJusticeDay in Maryland

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Over at the Twitter machine, Tracey Heinhold (@theinhold), Jack Metzler (@SCOTUSPlaces), and others are posting today with the hashtag #WomanJusticeDay to recognize the 126 women serving on states’ highest courts. Maryland is among the 11 states with female-majority supreme courts. The current female majority on the Court of Appeals of Maryland is four-to-three; it was briefly five-to-two before the retirement of Judge Lynne Battaglia.

Coincidentally, Steve Lash (@Steve_Lash) notes, from behind the paywall at The Daily Record, that the Court of Appeals “split along gender lines” this week in Porter v. State.  Read More…

Supreme Court requests response to State’s petition on marijuana odor

[Update, 10/2/2017: The Supreme Court has denied certiorari.]

This March, the Court of Appeals of Maryland held in Norman v. State that an “odor of marijuana alone emanating from a vehicle with multiple occupants does not give rise to reasonable articulable suspicion that the vehicle’s occupants are armed and dangerous and subject to frisk.”

The State of Maryland petitioned for certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States, posing the following question: Read More…

July 2017 Maryland Certiorari Grants

The Clerk’s office at the Court of Appeals has been busy since the Court’s July 27 special sitting and conference. The Court issued seven opinions and a per curiam order (opinion to come) on Friday. Then, after issuing two more decisions for good measure on Monday, the Court posted five new certiorari grants.

Before we get to the grants, though, let’s take a moment to appreciate the efficiency of the Court and its Clerk’s office. As of Monday, the Court has decided every case argued from September 2016 through February 2017. The oldest outstanding cases were argued March 3. Only 16 opinions are left heading into August.

The new grants appear, with questions presented, after the jump.  Read More…