November 2019 Maryland Certiorari Grants

Last week, the Maryland Court of Appeals granted review in three civil cases and two civil cases. Two of the civil cases are on petitions by Baltimore City Solicitor Andre Davis.  The third is from a Court of Special Appeals opinion (criticized in a post by Alan Sternstein) that reversed a $45 million judgment against Harford County.

Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Estate of William James, by its Personal Representative, Meyonde Lewis – Case No. 51, September Term, 2019
(On Bypass Review)

Issue – Torts – Under the Maryland Local Government Tort Claims Act and related contractual provisions, in light of the undisputed facts in the record, are the three former Baltimore City Police officers named in this action entitled to indemnity for the judgment entered against them herein; that is, as a matter of law on the undisputed facts, is the judgment sought to be enforced by Plaintiff based on “tortious acts or omissions committed by the [officers] within the scope of [their] employment with [the City]?

Maryland Reclamation Associates, Inc. v. Harford County, Maryland – Case No. 52, September Term, 2019 (Reported COSA Opinion by Judge Berger)

Issues – Constitutional Law – 1) Does a takings claim under the Maryland Constitution accrue at the time of a stayed administrative decision or at the time of a final judicial decision affirming that result? 2) May a regulatory taking become permanent and stabilized before a court of proper jurisdiction determines the validity of the regulation effecting the taking? 3) Should Petitioner’s takings claim be dismissed based on Petitioner’s failure to raise this constitutional issue in any administrative proceeding? 4) Did the decision of the Harford County Board of Appeals prohibiting a proposed use of Petitioner’s land to protect the public constitute a taking for which compensation is due? 5) Does the jury’s damages award as compensation for an unconstitutional taking contravene Maryland law when the damages are not the fair market value of Petitioner’s land but are, instead, the capitalized profits of a hypothetical business?

Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Prime Realty Associates, LLC – Case No. 53, September Term, 2019 (Certiorari to Circuit Court)

Issues – Corporations & Associations – 1) Does Md. Rule 3-124(o), allowing for substituted service of process on the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (“SDAT”), provide due process? 2) Did the trial court err by invalidating, on due process grounds, an order ratifying the sale of a vacant property when Respondent claimed lack of notice but Petitioner effectuated substituted service on SDAT and Respondent’s lack of notice resulted from its failure to provide SDAT a current, lawful address for its resident agent?

State of Maryland v. Hayes Sample – Case No. 54, September Term, 2019
(Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Raker)

Issues – Criminal Law – Did CSA err by holding that the mere abstract possibility of unauthorized access to Respondent’s social media account barred any reasonable juror from finding that he was responsible for the account entry in question?

John Vigna v. State of Maryland – Case No. 55, September Term, 2019
(Reported COSA Opinion by Judge Nazarian)

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did CSA err by contradicting the majority of other jurisdictions in holding that appropriate interaction with children is not a pertinent character trait under Md. Rule 5-404(a)(2)(A)? 2) Did CSA err when it failed to recognize that denying Petitioner the ability to introduce relevant character evidence, while at the same time allowing Respondent to introduce non-criminal “bad acts” character evidence, denied him the right to a fair trial under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution?

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