Recent Maryland Decisions

Administrative Law, Driver’s license suspension: In overturning a driver’s license suspension based on driving while intoxicated, the circuit court improperly ruled that the officer had to indicate, on the Motor Vehicle Administration form, the reasonable grounds for the underlying stop that led to the suspension. Motor Vehicle Administration v. Lipella, No. 80, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-0625-26, 25 pages.

Civil Procedure, Statute of limitations: Based on the plain language of the statute, confirmed by its legislative history, CJ §5-109(a)(1) of the Health Care Malpractice Claims Act is a statute of limitations, rather than repose. Anderson v. United States, Misc. No. 14, September Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-0622-20, 33 pages.

Consumer Protection, Credit Services Businesses Act: Tax preparation service company that arranged refund anticipation loan for client for whom it was preparing tax return was not a “credit services provider” for purposes of Maryland Credit Services Businesses Act because company received no direct payment from client for this service, and circuit court therefore properly dismissed client’s complaint alleging that company failed to comply with the statute. Gomez v. Jackson Hewitt, Inc., No. 72, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-0622-21, 55 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Discharge of counsel: Under Maryland Rule 4-215(e), when an accused moves to discharge counsel and the trial judge finds that the accused has not presented meritorious reasons for discharge, the judge may require the accused to proceed to trial with his assigned counsel without first informing him that he may discharge counsel and proceed pro se if he chooses. Pinkney v. State, No. 97, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-0622-23, 26 pages.

Election Law, Petition for special election: The Court of Appeals has not adopted the “sufficient cumulative information” standard for state and local boards of elections to use in determining whether to validate a petition signature and, instead, the signature validation requirements set forth in EL §6-203(a) are mandatory. Burruss v. Board of County Commissioners of Frederick County, No. 99, September Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-0625-20, 43 pages.

Professional Responsibility, Indefinite suspension: Indefinite suspension was the appropriate sanction for attorney’s failure to pay the recordation tax associated with a real estate settlement, failure to keep property of clients and third persons separate from his own property, failure to answer Bar Counsel’s inquiries, and failure to maintain sufficient funds in his trust account. Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Moeller, Misc. Docket AG No. 49, September Term, 2007. RecordFax No. 12-0622-22, 13 pages.

Real Property, Foreclosure: In case involving the foreclosure of deed of trust for plaintiffs’ home, circuit court properly denied plaintiffs’ exceptions to foreclosure sale, because plaintiffs’ post-sale exceptions did not relate to procedural irregularities at sale or to statement of indebtedness, and plaintiffs did not sufficiently make any specific allegation of fraud. Thomas v. Nadel, No. 106, Sept. Term, 2011. RecordFax No. 12-0625-21, 16 pages.

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