March 2021 Maryland Certiorari Grants

On Friday, the Court of Appeals granted review in four cases, all civil. It has assigned two cases to the current Term, meaning they will be argued this spring, and two for the next Term, meaning they will be argued this fall.

Brawner Builders, Inc., et al. v. Maryland State Highway Administration – Case No. 58, September Term, 2020
(Reported COSA Opinion by Judge Wilner)

Issues – State Finance & Procurement – 1) Did CSA and the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals (“MSBCA”) misconstrue the Code of Maryland Regulations (“COMAR”) definition of a “Procurement Contract” and thereby erroneously conclude that the subcontractor lacked standing to pursue its separate claims against the Maryland State Highway Administration (“SHA”)? 2) Did CSA and MSCBA improperly conclude that “untimely notice” was a jurisdictional bar to Petitioner’s and the subcontractor’s claims rather than an affirmative defense subject to the doctrine of equitable estoppel? 3) Did CSA and MSCBA err when they decided issues of material fact regarding Petitioner’s “notice” and the factual issue of the existence of a contract between the subcontractor and SHA by disregarding SHA’s admissions that claims were pending, would be responded to, and that an administrative process was ongoing?

Jared Ross v. Jennifer Ross – Case No. 57, September Term, 2020
(Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Battaglia)

Issues – Family Law – 1) Did the trial court err by admitting into evidence an expert witness’ custody evaluation pursuant to Md. Rule 5-702 without a prior Frye-Reed or Daubert hearing as requested by Petitioner? 2) Was the erroneous admission of a custody evaluation ordered under Md. Rule 9-205.3 such an abuse of discretion that prejudice must be presumed, including in the appellate resolution of issues related to Petitioner’s credibility? 3) Did the trial court err by refusing to hear from competent children the reasons for their custodial preferences and their testimony regarding relevant facts?

Anna Velicky v. The Copycat Building LLC – Case No. 1, September Term, 2021
(Certiorari to Baltimore City Circuit Court following appeal from District Court)

Issues – Real Property – 1) Must a landlord have a rental license to evict a tenant under Md. Code §8-402 of the Real Property Article when local law requires a license to operate the premises as a landlord? 2) Did the trial court err by determining that an appeal from a tenant holding over action should be heard de novo instead of on-the-record when the 2-month value of rent for the premises exceeded the threshold for on-the-record appeals under Md. Rule 7-102(b)?

Christopher Walke v. The Copycat Building LLC – Case No. 2, September Term, 2021
(Certiorari to Baltimore City Circuit Court following appeal from District Court)

Issue – Real Property – Is an unlicensed landlord leasing rental properties in a jurisdiction requiring licensure allowed to judicially enforce its unlicensed activities in Maryland courts?

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