Tag Archive | Maryland Court of Special Appeals

Lessons After the First 60 Days of 2023 with the Appellate and Supreme Courts of Maryland

By Carrie Williams

As most people know, in November 2022, Maryland voters approved a constitutional amendment changing the names of the appellate courts. On December 14, 2022, the switch flipped—the Court of Appeals became the Supreme Court of Maryland, and the Court of Special Appeals became the Appellate Court of Maryland. Judges of the Supreme Court of Maryland became “Justices.”

Whether you welcomed this change because it reduces confusion (“wait, so the Court of Special Appeals hears everything?”) or you were fine with the old names and saw no reason to upset the apple cart, the deed is done. Supreme Court of Maryland and Appellate Court of Maryland it is. The only question at this point is one that Steve Klepper wrote about back in December: how to refer to the appellate courts in the past tense?

When Steve wrote his post, the name change was not yet official, and the courts had offered no guidance. We thought perhaps there would be an official policy statement, or a style guide expressing preferences based upon the circumstances. To my knowledge, no such policy or statement of preferences has been issued. What we have now that we didn’t have in December, however, is opinions written by the courts under the new name regime. I have done an unofficial survey of the opinions (published and unpublished) written between December 14, 2022 and February 8, 2023. Here is what I learned:

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Introducing the Applicants for the Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals: August 2018

By Diane E. Feuerherd

Three vacancies on Maryland’s appellate courts, arising from the forthcoming retirements of Judge Sally D. Adkins of the Court of Appeals (1st Appellate Judicial Circuit, covering the Eastern Shore), Chief Judge Patrick L. Woodward of the Court of Special Appeals (Montgomery County), and Judge Deborah Sweet Eyler of the Court of Special Appeals (At Large), collectively drew 27 applicants, whose names were published this afternoon.

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Another September 2016 Certiorari Grant

Though the usual collection of Court of Appeals certiorari grants came a little earlier than expected this month, the judges’ regularly scheduled monthly conference did result in one more:

State of Maryland v. Douglas Ford Bey II – Case No. 48, September Term, 2016

Issue – Criminal Law – Did CSA err in concluding that Criminal Law § 3-315, which prohibits engaging in a continuing course of conduct with a child, prohibits more than one conviction and sentence per victim, regardless of the duration of the abuse or the type of sexual acts committed?

Bey poses some interesting questions of interpretation that prompted a short concurrence by Judge Friedman in the lower appellate court. (The Court also summarily granted certiorari and remanded to the Court of Special Appeals the case of Antwann Gibson v. State of Maryland – Case No. 48, September Term, 2016.)

Dan Friedman Appointed to the Court of Special Appeals

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

This press release just appeared on the Governor’s website:

Governor O’Malley made one appointment to an at-large seat on the Court of Special Appeals.

Dan Friedman has served as an Assistant Attorney General and Counsel to the General Assembly since 2008.  In that role, Mr. Friedman provides legal advice to members and committees of the General Assembly about the constitutionality of legislation and proposed bills, and he also defends enacted legislation if it is challenged in court.

Prior to serving in the Attorney General’s office, Mr. Friedman served as special counsel at Saul Ewing LLP, as an Associate City Solicitor and Chief of Litigation at the Baltimore City Law Department, and as an associate at Miles & Stockbridge, P.C.  For over a decade, he has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law teaching courses in state and federal constitutional law.  In addition, Mr. Friedman has served in numerous community organizations and coaches lacrosse.

Mr. Friedman earned a law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.  After law school, he clerked for Judge John Carroll Byrnes on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City and Judge Robert L. Karwacki on the Court of Appeals.  Mr. Friedman fills a vacancy created by Judge Albert J. Matricciani, who resigned earlier this year after serving in an at-large seat on the Court of Special Appeals since 2008.

Friedman had been one of the finalists for the three since-filled vacancies that opened last year. Congratulations!

Court of Appeals to Address Standing to Challenge Legislative Comprehensive Zoning Enactments

By Brad McCullough

Last year, the Court of Appeals addressed standing requirements for challenging zoning and land use decisions, issuing opinions significantly shaping the standards for standing. See Kendall v. Howard Cnty., 431 Md. 590, 66 A.3d 684 (2013); Ray v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore, 430 Md. 74, 59 A.3d 545 (2013). This year, the Court is poised to do so again. On March 21, 2014, the Court granted certiorari in Anne Arundel Cnty. v. Bell, 437 Md. 422, 86 A.3d 1274 (2014) to consider these three issues: Read More…

Espina v. Prince George’s County – Separation of Powers and Legislative Damages Caps for Violation of Rights Based on Self-Executing State Constitutional Provisions

By Alan B. Sternstein

In Espina v. Prince George’s County, No. 2044 (Md Ct. Spec. App. Dec. 20, 2013), the Court of Special Appeals ruled that the damage cap in Maryland’s Local Government Tort Claims Act (“LGTCA”), codified at Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§ 5-301 et seq., applies to tort claims based on a violation of the Maryland Declaration of Rights, in this particular case Article 24. Article 24 provides:

That no man ought to be taken or imprisoned or disseized of his freehold, liberties or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or, in any manner, destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by the judgment of his peers, or by the Law of the land

The essence of the LGTCA’s damages cap is codified in Section 5-303(a)(1) of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, which provides:

[T]he liability of a local government may not exceed $200,000 per an individual claim, and $500,000 per total claims that arise from the same occurrence for damages resulting from tortious acts or omissions . . . .

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Certified Questions to the Court of Appeals Now Online

By Michael Wein

Certified questions are an irregular part of Court of Appeals practice (averaging about 3-5 per year), usually from a Maryland Federal District Court judge or a Fourth Circuit panel asking the Maryland Court of Appeals to opine on an unsettled (but dispositive) issue of Maryland law. Theoretically any jurisdiction, state or federal, in the United States could certify a question for the Court of Appeals to decide under the Maryland Uniform Certification of Questions of Law Act, found at sections 12-601 to 12-613 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article. Before the recent web revamp about three months ago, unless you were a litigant in the case, it was difficult to know just from checking the judiciary web site, what, if any, certified questions were being considered in the Court of Appeals. Usually the first notice was when the case appeared on the online oral argument schedule. Read More…

Meet the Candidates for the Court of Special Appeals

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

[Update: The Governor announced his picks on February 24, 2014. Click here for our post on those three selections.]

Governor O’Malley will be picking from 18 candidates to fill three vacancies on the Court of Special Appeals. The Maryland Courts website today posted the names that the Judicial Nominating Commission forward to the Governor. Two vacancies are for the new at-large seats, while a third is for the Baltimore City seat that Judge Shirley Watts vacated when she joined the Court of Appeals. It is an incredible list of qualified individuals. Excluding Jack Tranter, whose application was withdrawn, the 18 candidates are: Read More…