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Law digest: 1/10/13


Administrative Law, Open meetings provisions: The Board of Appeals for Charles County violated various open meetings provisions when it conducted an in-person inspection of the subject property but prohibited any other members of the public from attending the visit and kept no transcript or other record of that which transpired. WSG Holdings, LLC v. Bowie, No. 22, September Term, 2012. RecordFax No. 12-1219-20, 42 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Waiver of Miranda rights: Defendant validly waived his Miranda rights, issued in Spanish and not defendant’s native language, where the State proved that proper Miranda warnings were adequately conveyed to defendant and that he knowingly and voluntarily waived those rights. Gonzalez v. State, No. 4, September Term 2012. RecordFax No. 12-1220-20, 47 pages.


Civil Procedure, Statute of limitations: Plaintiffs’ lawsuit against insurer was barred by the statute of limitations because they failed to file it in Maryland within three years after their cause of action accrued; filing the suit in Pennsylvania to take advantage of that state’s Bad Faith Statute did not toll the running of the statutory period. Antar v. The Mike Egan Insurance Agency, Inc., No. 1481, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-1221-02, 34 pages.

Contract Law, Arbitration agreement: Broad arbitration clause in employee’s employment agreement with employer, providing that “any dispute, claim, or controversy arising out of or relating to this Agreement shall be settled by arbitration by a single arbitrator,” applied to employee’s claim for bonus, brought pursuant to Maryland state wage payment and collection statute, because employee’s alleged right to bonus arose directly from agreement. Falls v. 1CI, Inc., No. 02747, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-1219-23, 33 pages.

Criminal Law, Obtaining property with a value over $500: The evidence was sufficient to support defendant’s convictions for obtaining property with a value over $500, where defendant wrote two bad rent checks to obtain property, which was a leasehold interest. Heffernan v. State, No. 1711, September Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 1221-00, 16 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Custody: The suppression court erred in denying defendant’s motion to suppress statements made to police, where defendant was in custody during the post-polygraph interrogation, but was not given the Miranda advisements. Aguilera-Tovar v. State, No. 1841, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-1220-00, 25 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Double jeopardy: In defendant’s trial for murder, defense counsel’s assertion during opening statement that defendant had offered to take lie detector test was so prejudicial to State that declaration of mistrial was manifestly necessary, and, therefore, double jeopardy did not bar defendant’s retrial on same charges. Simmons v. State, No. 1893, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-1219-00, 18 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Right to counsel: Defendant’s pro se letter to trial court expressing desire for new counsel was insufficient to trigger Maryland rule requiring court to conduct an inquiry into defendant’s reasons for wanting to discharge attorney of record, because defendant failed to raise issue of misrepresentation by court-appointed counsel at any of his subsequent appearances before trial court and thereby waived any request to discharge his attorney of record and obtain new counsel. Williams v. State, No. 644, Sept. Term 2011. RecordFax No. 12-1219-01, 21 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Vindictive prosecution: Circuit court properly denied defendant hearing on defendant’s claim of vindictive prosecution, where defendant’s charge was based solely on fact that charges against him were refiled after he filed a civil suit against police officers and defendant offered no actual evidence of bad faith. Robinson v. State, No. 2332, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-1221-04, 33 pages.

Family Law, Child support : In applying child support statute extending child support until the later of when child reaches age of 19 or graduates from high school, trial court properly found that 18-year-old who did not earn high school diploma but was enrolled in community college pursuant to program at his high school permitting students to substitute community college courses in order to obtain high school diploma was entitled to continued support until age of 19. Richardson v. Boozer, No. 0774, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-1220-05, 23 pages.

Family Law, Indicated child abuse: There was substantial evidence in the record to support the decision of the Administrative Law Judge that defendant was guilty of indicated child abuse as defined in FL §5-701(b)(1). B.H. v. Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services, No. 01835, September Term, 2011 (On Motion for Reconsideration). RecordFax No. 12-1221-01, 27 pages.

Family Law, Intervention in adoption proceeding: Non-parental, non-custodial relative of a minor child could not intervene in the child’s adoption proceeding commenced after the termination of parental rights, because no statute or rule affords such a relative the right or an opportunity to intervene in an adoption proceeding after parental rights have been terminated. In re Malichi W., No. 0688, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-1220-01, 13 pages.

Family Law, Support of destitute adult child: The trial court properly determined that the parties’ eldest child, who was mildly retarded, was a destitute adult child within the meaning of FL §§13-101 and 13-102, and was therefore entitled to continuing support from her parents. Cutts v. Trippe, No. 1029, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-1220-02, 18 pages.

Insurance Law, Choice of law: Circuit court properly applied Pennsylvania law rather than New York law in lawsuit involving indemnification claims by insurers where defendant did not dispute that insurance policies that were subject of the action were delivered to plaintiff’s office in Pennsylvania via its broker in Pennsylvania and defendant produced no evidence that policies were delivered to New York, that premiums were paid from New York, or that final act giving policies effect occurred in New York. TIG Insurance Company v. Monongahela Power Company, No. 2842, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-1221-03, 32 pages.

Torts, Apparent agency: Belief that physician listed as provider for managed care organization (“MCO”) is agent of MCO is unreasonable as matter of law; therefore, in plaintiff’s lawsuit seeking damages arising from negligent treatment by physician, trial court erred in submitting to jury issue of apparent agency. JAI Medical Systems Managed Care Organization, Inc. v. Bradford, No. 0734, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-1220-03, 19 pages.