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Law digest: 2/27/12

MARYLAND COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS

Criminal Procedure, Competency: Following the dismissal of felony charges because defendants remained incompetent after five years, their re-indictments on the same charges, as well as their continued confinement under criminal commitments based on such re-indictments, violated CP §§3–106 and 3–107 and defendants’ due process and equal protection rights. Adams v. State, No. 352, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-0208-00.

Evidence, Hearsay: In defendant’s criminal trial for crimes relating to stabbing death of victim, witness’s statement to police at the scene of the crime shortly after stabbing occurred, in which witness described the assailant, was not inadmissible under the Confrontation Clause because it was made for the primary purpose of assisting police in meeting an ongoing emergency and was therefore non-testimonial in nature. Brock v. State, No. 1974, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-0209-04.

Labor & Employment, Federal Employers’ Liability Act: Railroad worker’s claim for the negligent use of ballast in rail yard walkways brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act was not precluded by the Federal Railroad Safety Act. CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Pitts, No. 837 Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-0208-01.

Real Property, Title defects: Plaintiff did not have a cognizable negligence claim against defendants, who issued policies of title insurance to plaintiff, for failure to discover and report a prior conveyance of the property. Columbia Town Center Title Company v. 100 Investment Limited Partnership, No. 0915, Sept. Term, 2009. RecordFax No. 12-0202-01.

Torts, Good Samaritan Act: Where plaintiff was injured by private commercial ambulance company, circuit court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of ambulance company based on immunity under the Good Samaritan Act was reversed because ambulance company was not a “person” entitled to such immunity under the Act. Murray v. TransCare Maryland, Inc., No. 1791, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-0209-03.

Zoning, Open meetings requirements: In reviewing application for special zoning exemption, zoning board violated the open-meetings statute and open-meetings rule by holding a site visit on private property. Bowie v. Board of County Commissioners of Charles County, No. 0312, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-0203-02.

Zoning, Standing to appeal: Plaintiffs lacked standing to obtain judicial review of a zoning decision because they failed to establish that they were aggrieved by the decision. Ray v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore, No. 0215, Sept. Term, 2011 RecordFax No. 12-0201.