More March 2023 Maryland Certiorari Grants (Updated)
On March 7, 2023, the Supreme Court of Maryland granted review in an additional two cases (one criminal appeal and one civil appeal), which have been assigned for argument during the September 2023 Term. Those cases, with questions presented, are below. Also, on March 6, the Supreme Court granted review in one more case, an expedited civil appeal about whether a schoolteacher may serve on the Harford County Board of Education.
In the Matter of SmartEnergy Holdings, LLC d/b/a SmartEnergy – Case No. 1, September Term, 2023 (Reported ACM Opinion by Judge Ripken)
Issues – Public Utilities – 1) Did the ACM err in finding that the Public Service Commission (“the Commission”) has jurisdiction to interpret and enforce Md. Code, Commercial Law §14-2201(f), the Maryland Telephone Solicitations Act (“MTSA”)? 2) Did the ACM err in finding that a telephone call made by a potential customer to SmartEnergy in response to a previously mailed postcard was a violation of the MTSA? 3) Did the ACM err in holding that the Commission’s findings were supported by substantial evidence and that the penalty imposed was not arbitrary and capricious?
Francois Browne v. State of Maryland – Case No. 2, September Term, 2023 (Unreported ACM Opinion by Judge Moylan, dissent by Judge Arthur)
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did the ACM err by deciding on its own initiative that Maryland courts should no longer adhere to the exclusionary approach to other-crimes evidence under Md. Rule 5-404(b), when that issue was not decided by the trial judge and was not raised, briefed, or argued by the parties on appeal? 2) If not, should this Court reject the ACM’s exclusionary approach to Md. Rule 5-404(b)? 3) Did ACM err by adopting the “doctrine of chances” and by applying that doctrine to this case? 4) In a trial for the abuse and murder of Petitioner’s girlfriend’s toddler, did the trial court err and abuse its discretion by allowing evidence relating to Petitioner’s previous Alford plea to child abuse resulting in the death of his own baby? 5) Does “due diligence” under Md. Rule 4-331(c) require defense attorneys to audit the contents of the State’s admitted exhibits before allowing the exhibits to go to the jury? 6) Where defense counsel relied on the prosecutor’s representations regarding the contents of the State’s exhibits, did the trial court err or abuse its discretion by denying Petitioner’s motion for a new trial, which was based on a discovery that videos pertaining to the case but not admitted into evidence had been present in the jury room during deliberations?
Jacob Bennett v. Harford County, Maryland – Case No. 38, September Term, 2022 (Bypass Review)
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?