September 2018 Maryland Certiorari Grants
On Friday, the Court of Appeals granted review in one civil and one criminal case. These grants are in addition to one civil grant on August 30. The grants, with questions presented, are below.
Granted September 14, 2018
Anne George et al. v. Baltimore County, Maryland et al. – Case No. 37, September Term, 2018 (Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Reed, over dissent by Judge Harrell)
Issue – Local Government – Can a government entity eliminate the right of taxpayers “to bring a lawsuit in this State to prevent waste or unlawful use of public property and funds”, State Ctr., LLC v. Lexington Charles Ltd. P’ship, 438 Md. 451 (2014), by not increasing property tax rates for some period of time?
State of Maryland v. Nicholas Heath – Case No. 36, September Term, 2018 (Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Reed)
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Does the introduction of evidence that opens the door to the admission of “other act” evidence operate to give the other act evidence “special relevance,” thereby relieving a party seeking to introduce the other act evidence of the burden to establish “special relevance” under Md. Rule 5-404 and State v. Faulkner, 314 Md. 630 (1989)? 2) What is the correct standard of review? 3) Applying the appropriate standard of review, did CSA err first, by holding that counsel cannot open the door based upon comments made in an opening statement and second, by substituting its judgment for the trial court’s determination and making a factual finding about the intent and effect of Respondent’s counsel’s comment in opening statement and whether it opened the door to otherwise inadmissible “other act” evidence? 4) Did CSA err in concluding that admission of a comment in Respondent’s recorded statement was not harmless, where Petitioner made no further mention of the statement at trial?
Granted August 30, 2018
Joan Floyd et al. v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore – Case No. 35, September Term, 2018 (Bypass review)
Issue – Zoning & Planning – Did Petitioners sufficiently plead taxpayer standing to allow their challenge to the enactment of new comprehensive zoning maps to be adjudicated and did the trial court err when it granted the motion to dismiss for lack of taxpayer standing?