January 2018 Maryland Certiorari Grants
The Court of Appeals has granted 5 writs since our last certiorari post:
Nancy K. Kopp et al. v. Dennis R. Schrader et al.– Case No. 72, September Term, 2017
(On Bypass from the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County – Petition for Writ of Certiorari granted prior to review by the CSA – The Daily Record obtained a copy of the Circuit Court’s Memorandum Opinion)
Issues – State Government – 1) Does the Governor have the power under the Md. Constitution to withdraw the nomination of a recess appointee before a Senate vote and then reappoint that nominee during the interim, thereby circumventing Senate confirmation or rejection? 2) Does the General Assembly have the power under the Md. Constitution to enact a budget restriction prohibiting the expenditure of funds to pay the salaries of cabinet secretaries whose recess appointments circumvented the Senate’s confirmation power? 3) Does the Treasurer have an obligation to decline to disburse salary funds where the disbursement would conflict with a budget restriction and there is thus no appropriation for the expenditure? 4) Does the State have sovereign immunity from any claims for retrospective back pay from the State Treasury?
In re: J.C.N.– Case No. 73, September Term, 2017
Issues – Health General – 1) Did CSA err when it found that Petitioner’s challenge to the involuntary admission was moot? 2) Did CSA err when it concluded that the hospital complied with the 10 day deadline for the involuntary admission hearing and that dismissal was inappropriate? 3) Did CSA err when it found substantial support in the record for the administrative law judge’s conclusion that Petitioner presented a danger to the life or safety of herself or others?
C&B Construction, Inc. v. Jeffrey Dashiell, et al.– Case No. 76, September Term, 2017
Issues – Real Property – 1) Does §9-204(a) of the Real Property Article, the Maryland Construction Trust Fund Statute, limit its application to projects covered by the Maryland Mechanics’ Lien law and Little Miller Act even though the plain language of the statute as a whole and §9-204(a) specifically contain no such limitation? 2) Did the trial court err in granting judgment to Respondents despite evidence showing that funds received by the general contractor were earmarked for payment to Petitioners?
Julius Devincentz, Jr. v. State of Maryland– Case No. 74, September Term, 2017
Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Did the trial court err by prohibiting a defense witness from testifying that the complainant was an untruthful person? 2) Did the trial court err by disallowing a defense witness’s testimony that during an argument he observed between the complainant and the Petitioner, the complainant threatened to get Petitioner in trouble? 3) Did CSA err in holding that Petitioner was required to make a formal proffer regarding the substance and relevance of the evidence at issue in order to preserve for appellate review claims (1) and (2) above, and that the exception to the proffer requirement did not apply, despite it being clear from the record what the testimony of the defense witness would have established if it had been admitted?
WSC/2005 LLC, et al. v. Trio Ventures Associates, et al.– Case No. 75, September Term, 2017
Issues – Courts & Judicial Proceedings – 1) Does a trial court have the power under the Maryland Uniform Arbitration Act (“MUAA”) to vacate an arbitration award that is irrational or in manifest disregard of the law? 2) Is an arbitral award that excuses a non-breaching party from proving that a condition precedent would have been satisfied but for the breach a manifest disregard of Md. law or otherwise irrational because it (a) eliminates the requirement that plaintiffs must prove causation of their injury; (b) deprives the non-breaching party of the benefit of its bargain; and (c) penalizes the breaching party and forfeits valuable contract rights? 3) Does this Court’s decision in Blitz v. Beth Isaac Adas Israel Congregation, 352 Md. 31, 720 A.2d 912 (1998), entitle a party who is granted an arbitration award to an award of attorneys’ fees and costs in court proceedings unsuccessfully pursued by the losing party, or does a trial court have the discretion to deny such an award as in any other case in which legal fees and costs are sought? 4) Is this case the appropriate vehicle for this Court to further explain a trial court’s review authority under the MUAA? 5) Should an arbitration award based on a legal interpretation of a contract be vacated by a legally different interpretation of the contract presented on appeal by the losing party?