The Maryland Court of Appeals granted four writs of certiorari today:
Wesley Cagle v. State of Maryland – Case No. 15, September Term, 2018
Issue – Criminal Procedure – Does a trial court err in precluding a criminal defendant from using trial testimony video in closing argument?
Karen McDonell v. Harford County Housing Agency – Case No. 16, September Term, 2018
Issues – Administrative Law – 1) Did Respondent err in terminating a voucher without affording procedural due process guaranteed under federal and MD administrative common law? 2) Does a MD charge of second degree assault constitute “violent criminal activity” and grounds for voucher termination? 3) Did Respondent err in interpreting its policy to require notice within two weeks of an unplanned and unforeseen absence from the housing rented with the voucher? 4) Is breach of a financial obligation that had been cured adequate grounds for voucher termination? 5) Did Respondent err in failing to explicitly consider all relevant facts before voucher termination?
State of Maryland v. Brandon Payton – Case No. 14, September Term, 2018
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Where Respondent made specific objections to reopening the State’s case for more fingerprint-expert testimony only on the grounds that the additional fingerprint testimony would be the last thing that the jury would hear and that it would be presented in isolation, were defense counsel’s claims that reopening would be “unfair” and “extremely prejudicial” or the trial court’s statement that the reopening could “very well … be grounds for appeal” sufficient to preserve a judicial-partiality claim? 2) Did CSA err in concluding that the trial court abused its discretion in reopening the State’s case sua sponte? 3) Where the reopening of the State’s case was based on the trial court’s incorrect assumption that there had been no testimony linking Respondent to the handprint, was any error harmless beyond a reasonable doubt because the testimony was cumulative of the testimony of three prior witnesses linking Respondent to the handprint?
Craig Williams v. State of Maryland – Case No. 13, September Term, 2018
Issue – Criminal Procedure – Did the trial court abuse its discretion in denying a motion for new trial where the court gave a pattern jury instruction and, after the jury rendered its verdict, the court, prosecution, and defense all acknowledged that the instruction erroneously omitted an element of the offense for which the defendant was convicted?
The Court of Appeals today granted a petition for certiorari by the administrator of the State Board of Elections, who is challenging yesterday’s injunction requiring that former state senator Nathaniel Oaks’ name be removed from the June primary ballot. Heather Coburn has been covering the case at The Daily Record. The Court of Appeals has scheduled argument this coming Wednesday, May 2. Read More…
Strong Cert Candidate in the Supreme Court, May Counsel Delay in Pending Juvenile “Equivalent to Life” Sentences in States like Maryland.
By Michael Wein
The United States Supreme Court has before it, a case out of the Supreme Court of Missouri, Bostic v. Dunbar, that may affect similar pending cases in state and federal courts. This includes the case in the Maryland Court of Appeals of Matthew McCullough v. Maryland, which had oral arguments in February. Read More…
The Maryland Court of Appeals granted five writs of certiorari today:
Rodney Lee Agnew v. State of Maryland – Case No. 9, September Term, 2018
(Unreported CSA Opinion by Graeff, J.)
Issues – Criminal Law –Was a recorded communication on a cell phone between Petitioner and an unidentified speaker intercepted in violation of the Md. Wiretap Statute and erroneously admitted at trial when there was no enumerated exception for its admissibility?
Yesterday, the Court of Appeals granted six writs of certiorari – all for the September 2018 Term – including Frederick and Carroll Counties’ separate challenges to state regulation of stormwater runoff collection, the impact of technical difficulties in a correctional officer’s termination hearing, and whether a medical prescription is inadmissible hearsay when offered as a defense to the possession of controlled dangerous substances offense. Read More…
Supreme Court Circuit Split Watch – Fourth Circuit’s Decision in Kumar v. Sudan, on Proper Service of Foreign States in the U.S.
By Michael Wein
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals three weeks ago issued a reported opinion in Kumar et al. v. Sudan, addressing how and where a foreign country may be served under 28 U.S.C. § 1608(a)(3), which allows, in pertinent part, service by mail “requiring a signed receipt to be addressed and dispatched by the clerk of the court to the head of the ministry of foreign affairs of the foreign state.” This case traces to the U.S.S. Cole bombing in 2000, when 17 Navy sailors lost their lives in a terrorism act against the servicemen and women docked in Yemen. While al Qaeda claimed responsibility as the source of the bombing, Sudan’s material support for the terrorist organization, was a focus of civil suits holding the country responsible in the tragedy. As Sudan similarly did in the face of civil suits filed in the District Court for the District of Columbia, (tracing to the 1998 Embassy Bombings in Tanzania and Kenya also by al Qaeda), Sudan felt that the proper response was apparently to not respond at all.[i] Read More…
The Court of Appeals of Maryland added eight cases to its merits docket today. Expert standards have been a hot topic as of late, and today’s list includes expert issues in both civil and criminal cases. There are some nuts-and-bolts issues, like authentication rules and discovery sanctions. Not surprisingly, in light of a dissent by Judge Berger, the grants include the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s challenge to a negligence claim arising out of a lead paint study.
(We’ve been endeavoring to include links to any relevant Court of Special Appeals opinions, but it will take a little extra time because the “Search Site” feature on the judiciary’s website is still a bit wonky after last month’s launch of the redesigned site.) Read More…