January 2019 Maryland Certiorari Grants
Happy New Year from the Maryland Appellate Blog!
Three new writs of certiorari start off our 2019:
(I) In re Santos Nohe Lopez Perez – Order granting an emergency petition for writ of certiorari and ordering the case be remanded to allow the petitioner to apply for special immigrant status, “with haste” and before his impending 21st birthday later this week (the Daily Record’s Steve Lash gives further coverage of this case, including a quote from Perez’s attorney – the Blog’s own EIC, Steve Klepper);
(II) Ronald F. Moser, et al. v. Kristi Heffington, et al. (COSA Reported Opinion by Judge D. Eyler) – Civil Procedure – 1) Did CSA err when it vacated the trial court’s denial of Respondent’s motion to stay in a case where: A) Respondent initiated the civil action for defamation; B) during the pendency of the civil action, Respondent was criminally indicted for the conduct at issue in the civil suit, yet Respondent had fully participated in all aspects of discovery both prior to and after the indictment, which discovery included her own deposition; and C) on the eve of trial, and four months after the indictment, Respondent filed an 11th hour motion to stay the civil trial on the grounds that she intended to invoke her Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify at the civil trial? 2) Did Respondent waive her Fifth Amendment privilege in the civil action by testifying at her deposition and providing other discovery responses without invoking the privilege, after she was on notice that the police were investigating her for the conduct at issue? 3) Given that Respondent had already answered questions at her deposition concerning the conduct at issue, did Respondent fail to preserve for review the denial of a stay of the civil action where she failed to proffer the questions as to which she intended to invoke her right to silence – which was necessary to determine if she could validly exercise the privilege or had waived it? 4) Did CSA unnecessarily decide a Constitutional question, i.e. whether the trial court had failed to fully consider Respondent’s Fifth Amendment right by not granting a stay of the civil action, after it learned that Respondent had been convicted of the very conduct that formed the basis of the alleged defamation, which rendered moot her defamation claim?
(III) State of Maryland v. John Schlick (COSA Reported Opinion by Judge Raker) – Criminal Law – Does a court lose revisory power over a criminal sentence “after the expiration of five years from the date the sentence originally was imposed,” as Maryland Rule 4-345(e) states, or does the court indefinitely retain “fundamental jurisdiction” to revise a sentence, which it is an abuse of discretion not to consider exercising, as CSA held below?