May 2019 Maryland Certiorari Grants
The Court of Appeals today issued its first certiorari grants since Judge Brynja Booth took the bench last month. There were a total of five grants. They include a sequel to Comptroller v. Wynne, where in 2015 the Supreme Court, affirmed a Court of Appeals decision striking down portions of the state tax code as violating the “dormant” commerce clause. The cases are below, with the questions presented and links to the Court of Special Appeals opinions under review.
Tshibangu Kazadi v. State of Maryland – Case No. 11, September Term, 2019 (Reported COSA Opinion by Thieme, J.)
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Is a criminal defendant entitled, upon request, to voir dire questions aimed at identifying prospective jurors who are unable or unwilling to apply the principles that the State has the burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is presumed innocent, and that the defendant has the right to remain silent and refuse to testify and that no adverse inference may be drawn from the defendant’s silence? 2) Where a critical State’s witness reveals pretrial that she and her minor child, also a witness, are subject to a deportation order, must the State provide in discovery the witness’s Alien Number and a copy of the deportation order so that defense counsel may identify potential impeachment evidence as described in Maryland Rules 5-608(b) and 5-616(a)(4)? 3) Where defense counsel has a good-faith basis to believe that critical State’s witnesses are the subject of deportation orders, is defense counsel entitled to cross-examine those witnesses about their immigration issues pursuant to Maryland Rules 5-608(b) and 5-616(a)(4), the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Article 21 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights?
Issues – Courts & Judicial Proceedings – 1) When a judgment has been entered properly in a trial court’s electronic case management system in compliance with Maryland Rule 2-601(b)(2), must the docket entry and its date of entry also be identified clearly on the Case Search feature of the Judiciary website in order for there to have been an “entry” of the judgment to begin the 30-day time period in which an appeal must be filed? 2) When a federal court judgment is recorded and entered in a Maryland circuit court, may the state court judgment be renewed independently of any renewal of the federal court judgment?
Motor Vehicle Administration v. Ariel A. Medvedeff – Case No. 15, September Term, 2019 (Certiorari to Circuit Court under Courts § 12-305)
Issue – Transportation – Is it error for an administrative law judge to impose credibility determinations and inferences from circumstances at the scene of a drunk driving arrest in making a legal determination that the detaining officer lacked reasonable grounds to suspect that the person sitting in the driver’s seat after a traffic stop was driving and, therefore, that the officer could not request that the detainee take an alcohol concentration test under Transportation Art. § 16-205.1?
Elijah Peterson v. State of Maryland – Case No. 14, September Term, 2019 (Unreported COSA Opinion by Woodward, J.)
Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Is postconviction relief available to a person who has been convicted of a crime, found to be not criminally responsible, and is either committed to a psychiatric hospital or on conditional release? 2) Is coram nobis relief available to a person who has been convicted of a crime, found to be not criminally responsible, and is either committed to a psychiatric hospital or on conditional release? 3) Did CSA err in holding that Petitioner, who was convicted of a crime and found not to be criminally responsible and was on conditional release, was not eligible to collaterally challenge his convictions by either a postconviction petition or a petition for writ of coram nobis?
Brian Wynne, et al v. Comptroller of Maryland – Case No. 12, September Term, 2019 (Bypass Petition)
Issue – Taxation – Did the trial court correctly hold that Section 16 of the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2014 does not violate the dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, even though it reduces the interest on tax refunds paid to a discrete class of taxpayers engaged in interstate commerce?