Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Top 5: ‘This smacks of a cause of action for wrongful life’

Court reporters in the Baltimore County Circuit Court are seeing their days numbered, and two siblings will not be able to sue the St. Joseph’s Society for allegedly covering up that a priest was their father. Those stories and more in this week’s top 5 staff law stories.

1. Troopers are still profiling, lawsuit claims – by Brendan Kearney

Echoing decades-old racial profiling allegations, a Philadelphia man says Maryland State Police troopers stopped him three times in two months because he is black, then pursued trumped-up charges that cost him 20 days in jail after he filed a Public Information Act request for details of the stops.

David K. Martin, a 27-year-old radiologic technologist, claims his experiences on I-95 in Cecil County were consistent with the MSP’s “long history” of stopping and searching people of color along the East Coast artery.

2. End of an era for court reporters – by Danny Jacobs

The Baltimore County Circuit Court is quietly losing 237 years of courtroom experience. Its 14 court reporters learned last month the courthouse will convert entirely to digital recordings by the summer.

The move was not a surprise to the court reporters, just its suddenness.

“It hurt because of our relationships with the bench, the lawyers and each other,” said Edward Mintzer, who has worked 47 years as a court reporter, the last 13 in Towson. “This is family.”

3. Bengies’ light-pollution lawsuit survives challenge by Royal Farms – by Danny Jacobs

The Bengies Drive-In Theatre can proceed with its light-pollution lawsuit against a neighboring Royal Farms store, a Baltimore County Circuit Court judge has ruled.

Judge Robert E. Cahill dismissed a trespass count from the lawsuit but permitted negligence and private nuisance claims to go forward. Cahill heard arguments in the case Friday and issued his one-page ruling the same day, although lawyers in the case did not receive the decision until Wednesday.

4. Siblings can’t sue Josephites for alleged father cover-up – by Steve Lash

Siblings who claim to be the offspring of a priest’s affair with a church organist about 60 years ago cannot sue the religious society that hired him and allegedly covered up the fact he was their father, a Maryland appellate court has held.

Carla A. Latty and Adrian Senna alleged that St. Joseph’s Society of the Sacred Heart Inc. had a legal obligation to tell them that one of its priests, Francis E. Ryan, had broken his vow of celibacy in the late 1940s and early 1950s with organist Anna Maria Franklin Senna, and that the couple became their parents. They also alleged the Baltimore-based society was negligent in its hiring and supervision of the priest.

5. Snyder, BB&T facing off over loan – by Danielle Ulman and Danny Jacobs

A North Carolina bank has filed a nearly $10.3 million confessed judgment against Baltimore litigator Stephen L. Snyder after it said he defaulted on an $8.5 million line of credit.

Snyder’s attorneys said the action stems from a dispute on the amount actually due under the note.

“The parties have differing views as to the amount owed to the bank,” they said in a statement. “Mr. Snyder … has more than sufficient assets to cover any additional amount claimed by the bank should it be successful with respect to any of its claims.”