August 2020 Maryland Certiorari Grants

Today the Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari in two criminal cases and one civil case.

Jamel Clark v. State of Maryland – Case No. 23, September Term, 2020 (Reported COSA Opinion by Reed, J.)

Issue – Criminal Law – When a defendant, who was found in possession of a single firearm, is convicted of both possession of an assault weapon, in violation of Md. Code §4-303(a)(2) of the Criminal Law Article (“Crim. Law”), and possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a felony involving a controlled dangerous substance, in violation of Crim. Law §5-622(b), must the convictions and sentences be merged?

Ronnie Hunt v. State of Maryland – Case No. 21, September Term, 2020 (Unreported COSA Opinion by Reed, J.)

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Did CSA err in holding that the fact that Joseph Kopera’s false credentials were discovered over a decade later by another attorney in a different case was enough for the trial court to find that Petitioner’s trial counsel failed to act with due diligence, as is required to prevail under Md. Code §8-301(a) of the Criminal Procedure Article? 2) Does CSA’s holding in this case conflict with this Court’s “considered dicta” in State v. Hunt, 443 Md. 238 (2015)?

K. Hovnanian Homes of Maryland, LLC, et al. v. Mayor and City Council of Havre de Grace, et al. – Case No. 22, September Term, 2020 (Reported COSA Opinion by Friedman, J.)

Issues – Municipal Corporations – 1) Did CSA err in holding that a “strong mayor” city charter abrogates the common law of municipal contracts, which gives a city council power to enter into contracts by motion or resolution without the mayor’s signature? 2) Did CSA err by holding that under the separation of powers doctrine, a “strong mayor” city charter invalidates a recoupment agreement entered into by a city council without the mayor’s signature?

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