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Law digest – 8/28/14

MARYLAND COURT OF APPEALS 

Labor & Employment, Overtime wages: Overtime wages are included within the statutory definition of wages and are thus recoverable under the Maryland Wage and Hour Law and the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (“MWPCL”); however, an employee is not presumptively entitled to an award of enhanced damages under the MWPCL, even if a finder of fact determines that an employer withheld wages not pursuant to a bona fide dispute, because the plain language of the statute shows that the total award available to an employee is three times the withheld wage and, as such, enhanced damages are not added to the award of withheld wage. Peters v. Early Health Giver, Inc., No. 86, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0813-20, 23 pages.

Tax Law, Corporate subsidiaries: Where tax court found that the income reported on the 2002 and 2003 returns of corporate subsidiary related to activities of the parent corporation in Maryland during those tax years and that the subsidiary lacked economic substance apart from its parent, and where the subsidiary had not filed amended returns to reflect its new view of how it should have reported that income, Maryland requirement of separate corporate tax returns did not prohibit the Comptroller from assessing a tax on the income reported on the subsidiary’s 2002 and 2003 Maryland tax returns. NIHC, Inc. v. Comptroller of the Treasury, No. 63, Sept. Term, 2013. RecordFax No. 14-0818-20, 28 pages.

 

4TH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

Civil Procedure, Appeals: Defendant’s notice of appeal of court order denying his motion to dismiss one of the charges against him as barred by collateral estoppel, filed less than 20 days after his trial had begun and before the prosecution had finished presenting its evidence, and defendant’s second notice of appeal, filed 16 days later, on the eve of jury deliberations, challenging the court’s denial of his motion to sever that same charge from the remainder of the trial, were ineffective to confer appellate jurisdiction over the merits of the underlying rulings because the notices were filed during trial prior to the entry of judgment, and the appeals were therefore dismissed. United States v. Modanlo, No. 13-4378. RecordFax No. 14-0807-60, 23 pages.

Civil Procedure, Removal: Where defendant removed asbestos litigation case to federal court, asserting a federal defense to plaintiff’s state tort claims, and district court subsequently remanded to state court following plaintiff’s amendment of complaint eliminating the claims underlying that federal defense, defendant was not entitled to assert a new basis for federal jurisdiction, given that it had declined to do so in a timely fashion. Wood v. Crane Co., No. 13-1868. RecordFax No. 14-0815-60, 25 pages.

Commercial Law, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: A debtor is not required to dispute a debt under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) provision stating that a debt will be assumed to be valid unless the consumer disputes the validity of the debt within 30 days after receipt of the validation notice as a condition to filing suit under a separate FDCPA provision making it unlawful for debt collectors to make false or deceptive statements in the course of their collection activities. Russell v. Absolute Collection Services, Inc., No. 12-2357. RecordFax No. 14-0815-61, 30 pages.

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