September 2017 Maryland Certiorari Grants

The merits docket for September Term 2017 is filling up fast, with 12 new grants posted yesterday on the Maryland Court of Appeals website. We’re now up to 47 merits cases, meaning that the merits dockets is probably about half full. The cases involve a drug-sniffing dog, a woman who needed to visit the rest room before submitting to a breathalyzer test, a challenge to the authentication of business records, a wrongful death claim against a pyschiatrist who discharged a patient from involuntary commitment, a statute-of-repose defense against an asbestos claim, and many more. The full list appears after the jump.

Leroy C. Bell, Jr. and Bon Secours Hospital Baltimore, Inc. v. Patricia Chance, individually and as personal representative of the estate of Brandon Mackey– Case No. 36, September Term, 2017

Issue – Torts – In a wrongful death action based on a suicide, is a defendant psychiatrist who discharged the decedent instead of continuing his involuntary commitment entitled to civil immunity under Health-General Article § 10-618 and Williams v. Peninsula Regional Medical Center, 440 Md. 573, 103 A.3d 658 (2014)?

Kyle Blackstone et al. v. Dinesh Sharma et al.; Terrance Shanahan et al. v. Seyed Marvastian et al. – Case No. 40, September Term, 2017

Issues – Corporations & Associations – 1) Is a mortgage foreclosure action, which is a purely in rem proceeding against the subject real property, a “consumer claim” for “money owed” under the Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Act (“MCALA”)? 2) Is filing a mortgage foreclosure action, which by statute is not “doing business in this State,” nevertheless “doing business as a collection agency in this State” under MCALA? 3) Is the CSA’s ruling in Finch v. LVNV Funding, LLC, 212 Md.App. 748 (2013) – i.e., that a judgment in favor of an unlicensed debt collection agency is void as opposed to voidable – applicable to mortgage foreclosure judgments?

June Diane Duffy, as personal representative of the estate of James F. Piper v. CBS Corporation, F/K/A Viacom, Inc., F/K/A Westinghouse Electric Corp. – Case No. 41, September Term, 2017

Issues – Torts – 1) Did CSA err in holding that the term “arising” used in § 2 of the original statute of repose actually means “accruing” in contravention of this Court’s holding in John Crane, Inc. v. Scribner? 2) Did CSA err in holding that Respondent had a constitutional vested right to repose prior to the effective date of the 1991 amendment to the statute which explicitly exempted manufacturers of asbestos-containing products from the scope of repose? 3) As applied, does CSA’s decision violate Petitioner’s constitutional right to access the courts?

Martin S. Goldberg et al., Substitute Trustees v. Martha Lynn Neviaser et al. – Case No. 47, September Term, 2017

Issues – Corporations & Associations – 1) Can the trial court dismiss a foreclosure because a foreign statutory trust lacks a collection agency license under the Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Act (“MCALA”), despite established Md. authority holding that entities, such as a trustee of the trust and its substitute trustees, may enforce a promissory note indorsed in blank in their possession, regardless of who owns the debt or the foreign statutory trust’s legal status? 2) Does pursuing a foreclosure constitute “doing business as a collection agency” in Md. under MCALA? 3) Is a foreclosure action a “consumer claim” to collect “money owed” under MCALA? 4) Does a foreign statutory trust that owns mortgage assets fall under MCALA’s “trust company” exemption?

Brian Grimm v. State of Maryland – Case No. 37, September Term, 2017

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) When a defendant challenges the reliability of a drug-sniffing dog overall and the reliability of the dog’s alert to the possible presence of drugs in a vehicle driven by the defendant, in accordance with Florida v. Harris, 568 U.S. 237 (2013), and the trial court rules that the dog’s alert established probable cause to search the vehicle, what is the applicable standard of appellate review? 2) Whatever standard of review applies, did the trial court err in ruling that the police had probable cause the search the vehicle driven by Petitioner? 3) Even if the police did not have probable cause to search Petitioner’s car, should this Court decline to apply the Fourth Amendment’s exclusionary rule because the police relied on the drug-sniffing dog’s alert in objective good faith?

In the Matter of Sue A. Weintraub for the Appointment of a Guardian of the Property – Case No. 44, September Term, 2017

Issue – Estates & Trusts – Did CSA err in finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Petitioner’s motion to vacate?

Patricia Lamalfa v. Janis Hearn et al. – Case No. 39, September Term, 2017

Issues – Torts – 1) Were Defense Exhibits 2-5 inadmissible hearsay due to the failure of authentication as a condition precedent to the business records exception to the hearsay rule? 2) Did the trial court err by admitting medical records pursuant to Md. Rule 5-703 without an appropriate foundation for establishing the truthfulness of the records?

Motor Vehicle Administration v. Megan E. Smith – Case No. 42, September Term, 2017

Issue – Transportation – Did the ALJ err in dismissing an Order of Suspension for a driver who had a breath-test result of .18 blood-alcohol concentration because the investigating officer refused to allow her to visit the rest room before submitting to a breath test, where the officer (1) had reasonable grounds to believe that she had been driving while under the influence of alcohol and 2) fully and correctly advised her of the administrative sanctions that could be imposed?

Laura O’Sullivan et al. Substitute Trustees v. Jeffrey Altenburg et al. – Case No. 45, September Term, 2017

Issues – Corporations & Associations – 1) Can the trial court dismiss a foreclosure because a foreign statutory trust lacks a collection agency license under the Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Act (“MCALA”), despite established Md. authority holding that entities, such as a trustee of the trust and its substitute trustees, may enforce a promissory note indorsed in blank in their possession, regardless of who owns the debt or the foreign statutory trust’s legal status? 2) Does pursuing a foreclosure constitute “doing business as a collection agency” in Md. under MCALA? 3) Is a foreclosure action a “consumer claim” to collect “money owed” under MCALA? 4) Does a foreign statutory trust that owns mortgage assets fall under MCALA’s “trust company” exemption?

Precision Small Engines, Inc., et al. v. City of College Park, et al. – Case No. 43, September Term, 2017

Issue – Land Use – Did CSA err in declaring that the memorandum of understanding between the City of College Park and the county restricts the authority of the city to issue non-residential building and occupation permits?

Amy Shealer v. George Straka – Case No. 38, September Term, 2017

Issues – Estates & Trusts – 1) Did CSA err in holding that probate proceedings are to be stayed upon the filing of a caveat petition before judicial probate or after administrative probate, continuing the procedure under predecessor statutes recognized by Keene v. Corse, 80 Md. 20 (1984) and its progeny, despite the enactment of Estates & Trusts Article §5-207(b) which omits any language concerning a stay of proceedings from its text? 2) Was the harmless error standard satisfied by merely showing that the underlying decision from which an appeal is sought is final and binding upon the parties?

Carrie M. Ward et al. v. Catherine Martinson – Case No. 46, September Term, 2017

Issues – Corporations & Associations – 1) Can the trial court dismiss a foreclosure because a foreign statutory trust lacks a collection agency license under the Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Act (“MCALA”), despite established Md. authority holding that entities, such as a trustee of the trust and its substitute trustees, may enforce a promissory note indorsed in blank in their possession, regardless of who owns the debt or the foreign statutory trust’s legal status? 2) Does pursuing a foreclosure constitute “doing business as a collection agency” in Md. under MCALA? 3) Is a foreclosure action a “consumer claim” to collect “money owed” under MCALA? 4) Does a foreign statutory trust that owns mortgage assets fall under MCALA’s “trust company” exemption?

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