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Daily Record Staff//March 10, 2015


By Daily Record Staff

//March 10, 2015

TORTS — MARYLAND TORT CLAIMS ACT — TIMELINESS OF NOTICE — This appeal arises from the dismissal by the Circuit Court for Calvert County of a complaint filed by appellant, Barbara Veres, on her own behalf and as mother and next friend of her son against appellee, the State of Maryland. The State, through the Calvert County Department of Social Services (“DSS”), initiated a child abuse investigation on April 27, 2011, after receiving a report from her son’s doctor raising suspicions of child abuse. The same day, DSS placed her son in foster care, and the next day filed a petition for emergency shelter care of her son. After a hearing was held on April 28, 2011, the juvenile court denied the petition, and her son was returned to appellant. After completing its investigation, DSS made a finding of “indicated” child abuse on July 19, 2011, but did not identify appellant as the abuser. Thereafter, on December 19, 2011, DSS voluntarily dismissed her son’s Child in Need of Assistance (“CINA”) case. On November 1, 2012, appellant gave notice to the State Treasurer of various tort claims against DSS and two social workers. Appellant, individually and on behalf of her son, filed suit against the State on July 24, 2013, alleging defamation and negligence. The State filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, which the circuit court granted on February 12, 2014. The court ruled that appellant’s suit was time-barred because appellant did not give notice to the State within one year of the date of the injury, as required by the Maryland Tort Claims Act (“MTCA”). On appeal, appellant raises one question for our review, which we have rephrased as follows: Did appellant timely notify the State of her claims pursuant to the Maryland Tort Claims Act?

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