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Law digest – 9/24/12


Criminal Procedure, Criteria for continuance: The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant’s continuance to obtain exculpatory evidence, because defendant did not meet his burden to show that he satisfied the criteria set forth in Jackson v. State, 214 Md. 454, 459 (1957). Davis v. State, No. 953, September Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-0904-04, 25 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Motion for new trial: To the extent that defendant’s appeal challenged the circuit court’s ruling on his amended motion for new trial, the appeal was dismissed because the appeal was not filed within 30 days of the order denying the motion, as required by Rule 8-202. Crippen v. State, No. 0531, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-0904-05, 22 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Speedy trial: Defendant was not unconstitutionally denied right to speedy trial where the total delay between his arrest and trial was eight months and fifteen days, the reason for delay was neutral, the defendant did not strongly assert his right to a speedy trial, and defendant was not prejudiced as result of delay. Lloyd v. State, No. 1144, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-0904-02, 13 pages.

Evidence, Declaration against penal interest: The statement of an unavailable declarant was inadmissible at defendant’s trial as a declaration against penal interest under Rule 5-804(b)(3), where the statement lacked sufficient indicia of reliability and particularized guarantees of trustworthiness. Jackson v. State, No. 01159, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-0905-01, 29 pages.

Evidence, Co-conspirator exception to hearsay rule: In defendant’s criminal trial for drug-related offenses, the court properly admitted a witness’s statements pursuant to the co-conspirator exception to the hearsay rule because the statements were made during the course of a conspiracy to buy illegal drugs and, because the statements were intended to reassure undercover police officer that the transaction was going as planned, the statements were “in furtherance of” the conspiracy. Shelton v. State, No. 1240, Sept. Term, 2012. RecordFax No. 12-0905-03, 28 pages.

Family Law, Emergency jurisdiction: The circuit court did not have temporary emergency jurisdiction over the parties’ custody dispute, because the evidence failed to establish that their child was subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse. CASE: Kalman v. Fuste, No. 1617, September Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-0905-02, 24 pages.

Family Law, Right to foster child’s OASDI benefits: Department of Social Services’ practice of reimbursing itself for the direct cost of foster care services, when acting as a representative payee for Social Security Old Age, Survivor, and Disability Insurance benefits, was in compliance with the Social Security Act and the regulations and did not violate the Equal Protection clause. In Re: Ryan W., No. 1503, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-0905-00, 69 pages.

Real Property, Doctrine of lis pendens: Lender that acquired interest in property was not entitled to protection as a bona fide purchaser because at the time lender acquired its interest, it had constructive notice of a lawsuit filed in circuit court and title issues clouding the property. Murphy v. Fishman, No. 786, Sept. Term, 2012. RecordFax No. 12-0904-03, 32 pages.

Real Property, Homeowners Association Act: The Maryland Homeowners Association Act, which bars the vendor of residential lots in a development from enforcing a sales contract with certain “member(s) of the public” unless specified disclosures are made, applies to purchasers who already own other property within that development; thus, the circuit court properly dismissed a breach of contract action by a seller who failed to make the required statutory disclosures. Lipitz v. Hurwitz, No. 351, Sept. Term, 2012. RecordFax No. 12-0904-00, 31 pages.

Real Property, Reverter: Circuit court erred in ruling that the passage of time had converted a temporary easement over plaintiff’s property into a perpetual easement pursuant to the 30-year limit on possibilities of reverter under RP §6-101, since the statute does not apply to easements. Arthur E. Selnick Associates, Inc. v. Howard County Maryland, No. 01418, September Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-0831-01, 40 pages.

Workers’ Compensation, Subsequent Injury Fund: The Workers’ Compensation Act provision that calls for apportionment of liability between the Subsequent Injury Fund (“SIF”) and the employer, and provides for SIF’s payments to be made after conclusion of employer’s payments, does not permit the employee to accelerate the commencement of SIF’s weekly payments by settling with employer; rather, the proper commencement date of SIF’s payments is the date the employer’s weekly payments would have ended had there been no lump sum settlement. Schaffer v. Subsequent Injury Fund, No. 548, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-0904-01, 16 pages.


Administrative Law, Civil commitment: District court erred in rejecting government’s petition to commit defendant as “sexually dangerous person” under civil commitment provision of child protection statute, because record contained substantial evidence showing that defendant still had intense and recurrent sexual fantasies about children, and district court’s conclusion that defendant did not still suffer from pedophilia was largely premised on its crediting of testimony of defendant’s expert witness, which was internally inconsistent and if not implausible. U.S. v. Wooden, No. 11-7226. RecordFax No. 12-0906-60, 40 pages.