February 2022 Maryland Certiorari Grants

Today the Court of Appeals of Maryland granted certiorari in four cases. Those grants are in addition to a January 31 grant, also listed below.

Luis Felepe Huggins v. State of Maryland – Case No. 59, September Term, 2021
(Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Arthur)

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did CSA err by raising and deciding, on its own initiative, that Petitioner waived his objection to the denial of his motion to suppress where the State did not argue waiver on appeal? 2) If a pretrial motion to suppress is heard and denied and at trial when the evidence is offered by the State defense counsel says “no objection,” does counsel’s statement constitute a waiver, so that the issue is not preserved for review?

In re: T.K. – Case No. 60, September Term, 2021
(Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Shaw)

Issues – Courts & Judicial Proceedings – 1) As a matter of first impression, under the discretionary language of Md. Code § 3-819(e) of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings (“CJP”) article, which provides that the “court may award custody to the other parent” after sustaining petition allegations against only one parent and before dismissing the case, what standards govern this exercise of discretion and what, if any, process must be afforded to the custodial parent prior to a transfer of full legal and physical custody of the child to the noncustodial parent? 2) When determining whether to transfer custody of a child to a noncustodial parent under CJP §3-819(e) before dismissing the case, does the best-interests-of-the-child standard apply and what facts or factors must the court consider in making a best interests determination? 3) When requested, is a custodial parent entitled to a contested dispositional hearing where they can present evidence concerning whether it is in the child’s best interest to transfer full custody to the noncustodial parent under CJP §3-819(e) or may a juvenile court transfer full of custody of the child based solely on the sustained petition allegations and conflicting proffers? 4) Does In re R.S., 470 Md. 380 (2020), compel a juvenile court, once petition allegations have been sustained against a custodial parent only, to award full custody of a child to the noncustodial parent over the objection and request for custody of the custodial parent and despite the discretionary language in CJP §3-819(e)? 5) Was the evidence sufficient to transfer full custody of T.K. from mother, his custodial parent since birth and throughout the CINA case to his out-of-state, noncustodial father under the findings that mother agreed to and where mother also proffered that she had witnesses available to testify to facts supporting that father was not able to provide proper care to T.K. and that it was not in T.K.’s best interest to be transferred to father’s custody?

Everett Smith v. State of Maryland – Case No. 61, September Term, 2021
(Reported COSA Opinion by Judge Berger)

Issue – Criminal Law – In a reported case of first impression, did CSA wrongly hold that the courtroom bailiff’s face mask depicting the ‘thin blue line’ was not inherently prejudicial to Petitioner?

Roger Johann Garcia v. State of Maryland – Case No. 62, September Term, 2021
(Reported COSA Opinion by Judge Zic)

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Is it legally possible to be an accessory before the fact to non-premeditated intent to kill murder? 2) Must a conviction be vacated if the jury considered a legally impossible theory of liability?

William Madison v. The CopyCat Building, LLC – Case No. 58, September Term, 2021
(Certiorari to Circuit Court)

Issue – Real Property – Did the trial court err in construing Md. Code § 8-208(a) and § 8-402(c) of the Real Property Article to find that the term for a tenant living in an unlicensed dwelling without a written lease as one year that becomes month-to-month when the tenant accepted the landlord’s written offer to renew her tenancy for an additional year and the landlord, in violation of § 8-208(a), did not provide the tenant with a written lease after the expiration of the year term?

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