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. 

Elizabeth Haring Coomes v. Maryland Insurance Administration – Case No. 24, September Term, 201

Issues – Insurance Law – 1) Did the hearing officer violate Petitioner’s procedural rights and err when she granted the agency’s motion for summary disposition and revoked Petitioner’s Md. Producer license, finding that Petitioner had committed fraud or other dishonest conduct where the Commissioner made that finding without the benefit of an evidentiary hearing to determine whether Petitioner had the requisite intent to commit the fraud or dishonest conduct alleged? 2) Did the hearing officer err when she found that Petitioner’s voluntary surrender of her Virginia producer’s license was an “adverse administrative action”? 3) Did the hearing officer err when she declined to apply the law of Double Jeopardy, the doctrine of Merger or the Rule of Lenity to the administrative proceeding? 4) Did the trial court err when it denied Petitioner’s motion for leave to offer additional evidence?

Williams A. Dabbs, Jr. et al. v. Anne Arundel County – Case No. 23, September Term, 2017

Issues – County Government – 1) Did the lower courts err in determining that “…the rough proportionality test [or the rational nexus test] has no application to development impact fees. . .where monetary exactions are imposed,” in contravention of Howard County v. JJM, 301 Md. 256 (1984)? 2) Did the lower courts err in permitting the retroactive application of legislation and not finding a taking under Article III, section 40 of the Maryland Constitution?

In the Matter of the Albert G. Aaron Living Trust – Case No. 21, September Term, 2017

Issue – Estates & Trusts – Did the trial court err in entering an order approving restatement of the living trust in which the court approved the Trustees’ restatement of the trust with respect to the survival of the Aaron Family Foundation?

State of Maryland v. Casey O. Johnson – Case No. 22, September Term, 2017

Issue – Criminal Law – Did CSA properly conclude that the police lacked probable cause to search the trunk of respondent’s car based on drug evidence found on the person of her front-seat passenger?

Harold Eugene Williams v. State of Maryland – Case No. 25, September Term, 2017

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Is a conviction that is more than fifteen years old irrelevant as a matter of law to a character witness’s opinion about a defendant? 2) Were questions revealing Petitioner’s prior conviction, which occurred at least a decade before any of his character witnesses had met him, irrelevant to their opinions as to his reputation for peacefulness? 3) Were questions revealing Petitioner’s prior conviction substantially more prejudicial than they were probative of the witnesses’ opinions as to his reputation for peacefulness?

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