February 2021 Maryland Certiorari Grants
Yesterday, the Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari in four criminal appeals and three civil appeals. The cases, with the questions presented and links to the Court of Special Appeals opinions under review, are below.
Advanced Radiology P.A., et al. v. William James Barton, Jr., et al. – Case No. 56, September Term, 2020
(Reported COSA Opinion by Judge Wells)
Issues – Torts – 1) If negligent failure timely to diagnose cancer is alleged to be the proximate cause of a patient’s death, may a jury reasonably find proximate cause when the sole causation expert for the plaintiffs fails to opine that, more likely than not, the death was the proximate cause of a negligent delay in diagnosis? 2) May a jury in these circumstances nonetheless reasonably infer proximate cause from the expert’s recital of survival statistics that included a probability of death at the time of the allegedly late diagnosis at no greater than 34%? 3) Does CSA’s reversal of the trial judge’s entry of judgment notwithstanding the verdict indirectly allow recovery for diminished chance of survival, a recovery that is not allowable under Maryland law?
Howard Jimmy Davis v. State of Maryland – Case No. 51, September Term, 2020
(Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Meredith)
Issue – Criminal Procedure – As a matter of first impression, does a trial court determining whether to transfer jurisdiction of a criminal case to the juvenile court discharge its responsibility under Md. Code § 4-202(d)(3) of the Criminal Procedure Article to consider the “amenability of the child to treatment in an institution, facility, or program available to delinquent children” by considering the child’s eligibility for services in the juvenile system, or does the court also need to consider the child’s rehabilitative potential?
Jonathan Torin Kidder v. State of Maryland – Case No. 53, September Term, 2020
(Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Nazarian)
Issue – Criminal Law – Did CSA err by upholding the trial court’s method of jury selection, which was disapproved but allowed in the Court’s reported decision in Williams v. State, 246 Md.App. 308 (2020), whereby the trial court excluded prospective jurors from the venire based on shared characteristics, without a finding of bias?
Darwin Naum Monroy Madrid v. State of Maryland – Case No. 50, September Term, 2020
(Reported COSA Opinion by Judge Meredith)
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did CSA err in holding that the defense of duress was “unavailable … as a matter of law” to Petitioner because of his gang involvement? 2) Did CSA err in holding that Petitioner failed to meet the threshold of “some evidence” required to generate the defense of duress? 3) Did CSA err in upholding the denial of Petitioner’s motion to suppress his statement to police because: (a) the interrogating officer’s statements leading to Petitioner’s confession constituted an impermissible inducement; (b) Respondent failed to meet its burden of establishing that Petitioner, a minor with no prior experience with the criminal justice system, knowingly and voluntarily waived his Miranda rights following a 40-second advisement of his rights which did not include a written waiver; (3) under the totality of the circumstances, Petitioner’s confession was involuntary?
Darrell Leonard Mainor v. State of Maryland – Case No. 55, September Term, 2020
(Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Moylan)
Issue – Criminal Law – Did the trial court abuse its discretion and violate Petitioner’s right to present information in mitigation of punishment where the court insisted that petitioner be sentenced before it discharged the jury and refused to postpone sentencing for either a presentence investigation or the appearance and testimony of Petitioner’s mother on his behalf?
MAS Associates, LLC, et al. v. Harry S. Korotki – Case No. 54, September Term, 2020 (Heard on Bypass Review)
Issues – Civil Procedure – 1) Did the trial court exceed this Court’s decision and mandate in MAS Associates v. Korotki, 465 Md. 457 (2019) (“MAS Assoc.”), by entering judgment on two counts – unjust enrichment and wage payment – that were never appealed after the 2015 trial and were the subject of a final, enrolled judgment? 2) Did the trial court exceed this Court’s decision and mandate in MAS Assoc. by entering judgment against a former party who was beyond the trial court’s jurisdiction? 3) In adjusting damages awarded under the Maryland Wage and Collection Law, did the trial court abuse its discretion in finding no bona fide dispute and awarding no attorney’s fees or treble damages? 4) In adjusting damages awarded under unjust enrichment, did the trial court abuse its discretion in calculating prejudgment interest from the date of Respondent/Cross-Petitioner’s resignation rather than the date he made the loan? 5) Did the trial court err by not declaring judgment or adjusting damages under the Revised Uniform Partnership Act or the Md. Declaratory Judgment Act?
Mayor and City Council of Ocean City, et al. v. Commissioners of Worcester County, Maryland, et al. – Case No. 52, September Term, 2020 (Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Friedman)
Issues – Tax-Property – 1) Are Md. Code §6-305 and §6-306 of the Tax-Property Article (“TP”) – which provide for mandatory real property tax setoffs for certain municipalities, but only optional tax setoffs for other municipalities, including Ocean City – constitutional under Article XI-E, §1 of the Maryland Constitution, which requires the General Assembly to “act in relation to the …government or affairs of any … municipal corporation only by general laws which shall in their terms and in their effect apply alike to all municipal corporations”? 2) Should the unconstitutionally non-uniform provisions of TP §6-305 and §6-306 be severed to the end that all municipalities in this State should be entitled to receive mandatory tax setoffs from the counties in which they are located, upon a showing by a municipality that it performs services of a type provided by the county (i.e., upon a showing that it is entitled to setoff)?