July 2020 Maryland Certiorari Grants

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Yesterday, the Court of Appeals granted seven certiorari petitions. I’ll be counting three of those petitions as one because they were on petitions filed by the State from the same Court of Special Appeals opinion, with all three petitions presenting the same questions relating to jury nullification.

The cases have been scheduled for argument during the Court’s December 2020 sitting.

Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. v. Curtis J. Timm, et al. – Case No. 18, September Term, 2020
(Reported COSA Opinion by Nazarian, J.)

Issues – Corporations & Associations – 1) Did CSA err by construing the amendments to Petitioner’s corporate charter as unambiguous without addressing whether Petitioner’s construction is reasonable? 2) Did the trial court err by applying contra proferentem and granting summary judgment despite evidence of the parties’ intent and material fact disputes without giving the non-moving party the benefit of all reasonable inferences?

In re: Special Investigation Misc. 1064 – Case No. 20, September Term, 2020
(Unreported COSA Opinion by Zarnoch, J., is sealed and unavailable)

James Matthew Leidig v. State of Maryland – Case No. 19, September Term, 2020
(Unreported COSA Opinion by Raker, J.)

Issues – Constitutional Law – Did the trial court violate Petitioner’s right to confrontation under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 21 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights when it admitted DNA and serological evidence through a witness who did not perform the analysis of the crime scene evidence?

State of Maryland v. Karon Sayles – Case No. 15, September Term, 2020
State of Maryland v. Bobby Jamar Johnson
– Case No. 16, September Term, 2020
State of Maryland v. Dalik Daniel Oxely – Case No. 17, September Term, 2020
(Reported COSA Opinion by Berger, J.)

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did CSA wrongly conclude that a jury has the power to nullify the verdict and, therefore, the trial court abused its discretion when, in response to a jury note, it told the jury that it could not resort to jury nullification? 2) If the trial court abused its discretion when it responded to the jury’s inquiries concerning jury nullification, did CSA wrongly conclude that this error prejudiced Respondent?

Travelocity.com LP n/k/a/ TVL LP v. Comptroller of Maryland – Case No. 14, September Term, 2020
(On Bypass Review)

Issues – Tax-General – 1) Did Petitioner’s activities in Maryland during the periods covered by the assessment (the “Periods in Issue”) result in the provision of a “right to occupy a room or lodgings as a transient guest,” within the meaning of Maryland Code, Tax-General Article (“T-G”) § 11-101(k)(1)(ii)? 2) Was Petitioner a “Vendor” during the Periods in Issue within the meaning of T-G § 11-101(o)? 3) Did the Tax Court fail to give effect to Chapter 3, Acts of 2015, which altered the definitions of “Tangible personal property” and “Vendor”? 4) Did the Tax Court err in determining that the base for calculating the sales tax had to be reduced by the “Tax Recovery Charge”? 5) Did the Tax Court err in deciding that T-G § 13-1102(b) did not apply to permit Respondent to assess sales taxes beyond the four-year limitation period? 6) Did the evidence in the record establish that Petitioner sold its customers the right to occupy a room or lodgings as a transient guest, a transaction subject to the sales-and-use tax under T-G § 11-101(k)(1)(ii), when the customers reserved the room on Petitioner’s website and paid Petitioner for the room reservations made on Petitioner’s website? 7) Did the evidence in the record establish that Petitioner rented to its customers, on a short-term basis, passenger cars or other vehicles, a transaction that is subject to the sales-and-use tax under T-G § 11-101(k)(1)(i) when the customers paid Petitioner for the rental car reservations made on Petitioner’s website? 8) Did the Tax Court correctly conclude that because Petitioner sold tangible personal property located in Maryland, Petitioner was required to collect and remit sales-and-use tax as a vendor engaged in the business of a retail vendor or out-of-state vendor under T-G § 11-701? 9) Did the Tax Court err in holding that sales-and-use tax was not due on the lump sum fee for service charges and estimated taxes that Petitioner charged its customers, when the sales-and-use tax was not separately stated from the service charges and the portion attributable to the estimated tax was not remitted to Respondent but paid to a third party?

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