October 2017 Maryland Certiorari Grants

The Maryland Court of Appeals has posted six certiorari grants. The list is heavy on procedural questions, such as the “prison mailbox rule” and interlocutory appeals in criminal cases. (Incidentally, Michael Wein posted yesterday about civil interlocutory appeals.) The list of grants, with questions presented, appears after the jump. We’ve added, in brackets, a link to the Court of Special Appeals opinion.

Rina Calvo v. Montgomery County, Maryland– Case No. 48, September Term, 2017 [Unreported Opinion (Wright, J.)]

Issues – Workers’ Compensation – 1) Where the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Commission is statutorily presumed to be correct and the appellate courts have held that whether an injury “arose out of and in the course of employment” constitutes a question of fact, should the trial court’s grant of summary judgment where Petitioner prevailed before the Commission be reviewed? 2) Should this Court review the holding that, as a matter of law, the “special mission” exception to the “going and coming” rule cannot be considered, notwithstanding that Petitioner was on her way to a different assignment, at a different work site, at the direction of her employer, in the furtherance of her employer’s business, and on her normal off day? 3) Given MD case law holding an injury compensable when it occurs in a place the employee would not have been “but for” her employment and/or while engaged in an activity “incidental” to her employment and Petitioner was involved in an accident only because she was traveling to training at the direction of her employer, did CSA err in finding that Petitioner’s claim was not “in the course of” her employment?

Heather Stanley Christian v. Maternal-Fetal Medicine Associates of Maryland, LLC, et al.– Case No. 51, September Term, 2017 [Unreported Opinion (Meredith, J.)]

Issues – Courts & Judicial Proceedings – 1) Did CSA apply the correct legal standard in affirming, in part the trial court’s prior determination that Petitioner did not have a good faith basis under Md. Rule 1-341 to bring a claim for fraud in the inducement, negligent misrepresentation and wrongful termination/constructive discharge where CSA viewed the record in the light most favorable to Respondent, ignored evidence and inferences that supported Petitioner’s good faith basis to bring those claims, and did not instruct the trial court to review on remand the entirety of information supporting Petitioner’s claims rather than solely the evidence admitted at trial? 2) Should this Court adopt the legal standard set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Fox v. Vice, 563 U.S. 826 (2011) in determining the movant’s burden of proof for establishing damages for a claimed violation of Md. Rule 1-341, namely that where a complaint contains both frivolous and non-frivolous claims, the movant may only recover attorney’s fees which would not have been incurred but for the frivolous claims?

Thoyt Hackney v. State of Maryland– Case No. 53, September Term, 2017 [Unreported Opinion (Kenney, J.)]

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Does the “prison mailbox rule,” under which a pleading is deemed to have been filed by a pro se prisoner when the prisoner delivers the pleading to prison authorities for mailing, apply to the filing of a pro se petition for post-conviction relief pursuant to Crim. Proc. § 7-103(b), which states that unless “extraordinary cause is shown,” a petition “may not be filed later than 10 years from the imposition of sentence,” and Md. Rule 1-322(a), which states that pleadings “shall be made by filing them with the clerk of the court”? 2) Under the “extraordinary cause” provision of § 7-103(b), is the ten-year deadline for filing a petition for post-conviction relief tolled or otherwise extended when a pro se prisoner delivers his or her petition to prison authorities for delivery to the post-conviction court prior to expiration of the ten-year deadline? 3) Did the post-conviction court err in dismissing Petitioner’s pro se petition for post-conviction relief on grounds that it was not timely filed within the ten-year deadline where Petitioner was sentenced on October 23, 1998, his petition includes a certificate of service dated October 20, 2008, his petition was postmarked October 22, 2008, and date-stamped as received by the clerk’s office on October 24, 2008, and Petitioner was incarcerated when he filed his petition?

State of Maryland v. Bashunn Christopher Phillips– Case No. 49, September Term, 2017 [Reported Opinion (Leahy, J.)]

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Was Respondent precluded from taking an interlocutory appeal of a non-constitutional evidentiary ruling by the trial court? 2) Are the statutory limitations on State appeals inapplicable to State requests for in banc review?

State of Maryland v. Robert Clifford Weddington– Case No. 52, September Term, 2017 [Unreported Opinion (Beachley, J.)]

Issue – Criminal Procedure – Did CSA err in holding that where a criminal defendant expresses dissatisfaction with counsel in a letter to the court less than two weeks prior to a trial date, received by the clerk’s office four days before trial, and of which the trial judge was not aware at the time of trial, the defendant has satisfactorily invoked Md. Rule 4-215, and did not waive the rule by failing to express his dissatisfaction to the judge during trial?

Robert Wheeler v. State of Maryland– Case No. 50, September Term, 2017 [Reported Opinion (Alpert, J.)]

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Where the defendant in a criminal case makes a timely and proper demand under Courts & Jud. Proc., §§ 10-1002 and 1003, for the presence of all persons in the chain of custody, is it legal error for the trial court to admit drug evidence where the State fails to call the “packaging” officer as a witness; or as CSA held in this case, is the admission of drug evidence under such circumstances subject to review for abuse of discretion? 2) Did the trial court err or abuse its discretion in allowing the admission of the drug evidence in view of the lack of a proper chain of custody?

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