March 2023 Maryland Certiorari Grants & Certified Questions
On March 2, 2023, the Supreme Court of Maryland granted review in four cases (three criminal appeals and one civil appeal), along with two certified questions. The Supreme Court granted review in an additional civil appeal on March 6, 2023. Those cases, with questions presented, are below.
The following questions arose from a reported ACM opinion by Judge Nazarian, which involved three co-defendants:
Lateekqua Jackson v. State of Maryland – Case No. 34, September Term, 2022
Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Does a defendant consent expressly to a trial date in violation of the 180-day rule in Md. Rule 4-271 and Md. Code Ann., Criminal Procedure § 6-103 when the trial date is dictated to the defendant by the court and the defendant does not choose the date? 2) Did Petitioner, a represented defendant appearing in court without her assigned counsel, consent expressly to a trial date in violation of the 180-day rule when she acknowledged for the court the date she had to appear for trial and, unbeknownst to her, that date was after the 180-day deadline?
State of Maryland v. Garrick L. Powell, Jr. – Case No. 35, September Term, 2022
Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Can defense counsel’s conduct in relation to the scheduling of the first trial date, short of express consent to exceed the Hicks date or to the particular trial date selected, amount to implicitly seeking a first trial date in violation of the Hicks rule, forestalling dismissal for a violation of that rule? 2) Did Respondent’s counsel implicitly seek a first trial date in violation of the Hicks rule through his conduct in this case?
The State petitioned the Court for review of an interesting Fourth Amendment issue:
State of Maryland v. Daniel Ashley McDonnell – Case No. 36, September Term, 2022
(Reported Opinion by Judge Shaw)
Issues – 1) Did Respondent lack any legitimate expectation of privacy in a mirror-image copy of his laptop hard drive that the government created with his consent, and as to which he expressly disclaimed any possessory or privacy interest before the copy was created? 2) Did the ACM err in holding that Respondent’s revocation of consent to examine the contents of his laptop barred investigators from examining the mirror-image copy of his hard drive, when the post-withdrawal examination of the copy was not a search?
In the following case, the Court will consider an interesting business organizations question:
Eastland Food Corporation, et al. v. Edward Mekhaya – Case No. 37, September Term, 2022
(Reported Opinion by Judge Harrell)
Issue – Corporations & Associations – May a minority shareholder bring a direct action against a closely-held Md. corporation whose Board of Directors had never declared a dividend on the grounds that a portion of the employment compensation previously paid to him was a “de facto dividend” he expected to continue, even though this Court has never recognized the doctrine of “de facto dividend” and Maryland law provides dividends cannot accrue or be payable unless they are declared by the corporation’s Board of Directors?
In the following case, the Court will consider an interesting question regarding conflicts of interest between government employment and a legislative position:
Jacob Bennett v. Harford County, Maryland – Case No. 38, September Term, 2022
Issues – Local Code – 1) Does a schoolteacher employed by the Harford County Board of Education “hold employment” in the government of the County, the State of Maryland, or a municipality, thus barring them by the Harford County Charter from serving as a Member of the County Council? 2) Is a schoolteacher in a county prevented from serving as a member of the County’s legislative body by the doctrine of incompatible positions?
The Court will consider the following certified questions:
In the Matter of the Petition of Kern Hosein – Misc. No. 24, September Term, 2022
Certified Question from the Appellate Court of Maryland
Question: Does the 15-day extension apply to all cases whose statute of limitations and deadlines related to initiation expired between March 16, 2020, and April 3, 2022?
To be argued in the May 2023 session of Court.
Counsel for appellant: Kieran P. Dowdy
Counsel for appellee: Michael Redmond, Heather R. Pensyl, Abraham M. Schwartz
John Doe v. Catholic Relief Services – Misc. No. 28, September Term, 2022
Certified Question from the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
Questions: 1) Whether the prohibition against sex discrimination in the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act, Md. Code Ann., State Gov’t § 20-606, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. 2) Whether, under Md. Code Ann., State Gov’t § 20-604(2), the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act applies to a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular sexual orientation or gender identity to perform work connected with all activities of the religious entity or only those activities that are religious in nature. 3) Whether the prohibition against sex discrimination in the Maryland Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. § 3-304, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
To be argued in the June 2023 session of Court.
Counsel for appellant: Eve L. Hill, Anthony J. May, Lauren DiMartino, Shannon C. Leary, James A. Hill
Counsel for appellee: David W. Kinkopf, Joseph C. Dugan, Collin J. Wojciechowski, Emily A. Levy