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LAWRENCE MILLS v. OFFICE OF THE STATE PROSECUTOR, et al

Civil litigation — Writ of common law mandamus — Failure to state a claim

In 2016, Lawrence Mills, appellant, was acquitted of driving under the influence following a jury trial in the Circuit Court for Howard County. Thereafter, Mr. Mills requested the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office to prosecute Maryland State Trooper Anthony Hassan, the arresting officer in his case, for perjury. After the State’s Attorney declined to prosecute Trooper Hassan, Mr. Mills asked the Office of the State Prosecutor to pursue perjury charges.1 The State Prosecutor also declined to prosecute Trooper Hassan. According to Mr. Mills, he then asked the State Prosecutor to allow him to present his evidence to the grand jury, but the State Prosecutor “refused to convene a Grand Jury.” On March 9, 2018, Mr. Mills filed an “Amended Petition for Writ of Common Law Mandamus and Declaratory Judgment” in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. In that petition, he requested the court to issue a writ of common law mandamus requiring the State Prosecutor to pursue perjury charges against Trooper Hassan. Alternatively, he requested the court to enter a declaratory judgment stating that “he has ‘the right to offer to present’ [] to the Grand Jury Foreman testimony and evidence in furtherance of a possible perjury charge against Trooper Hassan.” The State filed a motion to dismiss the petition, claiming that: (1) Mr. Mills’s request for common-law mandamus failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, and (2) declaratory relief was inappropriate because there was no justiciable controversy between the parties. The court granted the motion to dismiss without a hearing. Mr. Mills now raises three issues on appeal, which reduce to two: (1) whether the court erred in dismissing his petition for writ of mandamus, and (2) whether the court erred in dismissing his request for declaratory relief. For the reasons that follow, we shall …

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