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NEWS
May 1, 2012
Doesn't the Maryland Court of Appeals decision that pit bulls are inherently dangerous constitute profiling? David F. Tufaro, Baltimore
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NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | April 22, 2014
A Baltimore County judge has warned County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and two other county officials they could face jail time or other penalties for refusing to pay more than $1 million to police retirees despite a court order to do so. In an unusual order, Circuit Judge Michael J. Finifter directed Kamenetz, county administrative officer Fred Homan and budget and finance director Keith Dorsey to appear before him June 26 to show why the court "should...
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NEWS
July 15, 2013
Where do I begin? The Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled that the state's mandatory five-year, no parole sentence for gun possession by certain convicted felons cannot stand ("Court voids gun penalty," July 12). As the article noted, "The Court of Appeals ruling in a Baltimore case erased a defendant's mandatory sentence and ordered him resentenced under a more lenient provision of the law. " Isn't it ironic that the case involves Baltimore, a city that is under siege, a city in which runs the blood of both the criminal and the innocent in its streets?
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | April 15, 2014
A judge from Prince George's County has been named the next chief judge of the state's District Court. Judge John P. Morrissey, 49, who has served as an associate judge since 2005, will succeed District Court Chief Judge Ben C. Clyburn when Clyburn retires next month. Morrissey, who was born in Washington, D.C. and has lived in P.G. County for more than 40 years, will oversee the court's 34 locations and nearly 2,000 employees, including 116 state judges. The court is typically the first point of contact for members of the public who interact with the state courts system.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | November 26, 2012
Noel Tshiani wasn't at his wedding — he listened by phone in another country to the ceremony in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to court records — but he's just as married as if he'd stood at his bride's side. And soon, he'll be just as divorced and responsible for alimony and child support, a Maryland court has ruled. A World Bank employee, Tshiani was working in another African country when he and Marie-Louise Tshiani married in a 1993 ceremony. He answered questions and listened to the ceremony by telephone, while his cousin stood in his place for the ceremony, court records say. The exchange among families included money, clothes and a goat, and within days, the bride flew to join her husband, according to court records.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | March 11, 2013
Michael D. Eaton ran up a tab for 17 beers plus other drinks before he left a Gaithersburg tavern, according to court records. Forty-five minutes later, behind the wheel of his Range Rover, he slammed into the back of a Jeep Cherokee at a speed estimated as high as 98 mph. Ten-year-old Jazimen Warr had nestled on her sister's shoulder, the two children sleeping in the back of the family's Cherokee on the drive to a relative's home in Bowie....
NEWS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2012
The Maryland District Court said Thursday that its chief judge has dismissed 3,168 debt-collection cases against state residents and ordered that any liens associated with those cases be released. The move, involving Worldwide Asset Purchasing cases, is a result of a settlement in a federal class-action suit. Attorneys for the plaintiffs alleged that the debt-buying firm wasn't licensed, sued for the wrong amounts, filed cases after the statute of limitations had expired, and included consumers' Social Security numbers in publicly available court filings, the state judiciary said.
NEWS
By Jean Marbella and Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2013
Maryland's highest-ranking judge, Robert M. Bell, likes that his courthouse is dedicated to his predecessor, pointing out that the letters etching Robert C. Murphy's name on the building's exterior are filled in gold paint to make sure even nighttime drivers can see it. As Bell approaches retirement, mandatory when he turns 70 in July, he scoffs at the notion that his name might someday grace a building as well. But then, his name is forever etched in legal history by virtue of the Supreme Court case Bell v. Maryland.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | May 18, 2012
Maryland's highest court handed a victory to same-sex couples Friday in a ruling that the governor and other advocates hailed as an endorsement of administration policies recognizing gay marriages performed in other states. "To treat families differently under the law because they happen to be led by gay or lesbian couples is not right or just," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement. "Today's decision is another step forward in our efforts to ensure that every child is protected equally under the law. " However, the ruling, in a case over whether Maryland courts could grant divorces to same-sex spouses, met with skepticism from groups fighting a recently passed state law legalizing gay nuptials.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | August 31, 2012
Maryland courts are accepting public comment through Sept. 21 on policies for the soon-to-be-installed electronic system that will allow the courts to receive, send and keep documents in computerized case files. Policy issues that have not been decided yet include those for access to electronic records and fees for remote access to the materials. Written comments should be sent to Sandra F. Haines, Esq., 2011-D Commerce Park Drive, Annapolis, Md., 21401. The Court of Appeals will meet Oct. 18 to consider the remarks.
NEWS
April 3, 2014
Replacing the current pre-trial release system is going to be a bear ( "Getting out of jail free," March 26). Today, District Court commissioners set most bails. But since the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that defendants are entitled to be represented by counsel at those hearings, state legislators have been trying to get around the requirement by proposing that pre-trial release investigators use a computerized assessment tool to determine if a person is eligible for release.
NEWS
March 29, 2014
A decade ago, the redevelopment of the state office complex in midtown Baltimore — now known as State Center — looked like a no-brainer. Built in the 1950s and 1960s, the five buildings in the 28-acre complex, which hadn't exactly been architecturally inspired to begin with, needed to be replaced. And the site's access to Baltimore's Metro subway system suggested great potential for transit-oriented development. But wait, it was even better than that. State Center is also convenient to the city's major cultural attractions and to the light rail line as well as MARC commuter rail, so state and city officials thought big — a $1.5 billion mixed use project with apartments for a variety of income levels, a grocery store and shopping as well as a parking garage and office space for state employees, all of which could be accomplished as a public-private partnership.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | March 26, 2014
A Maryland appeals court upheld former Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold's convictions of misconduct Wednesday but struck down a part of his sentence that prevents him from running for office while on probation. Leopold was found guilty in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court of two counts of misconduct in January 2013, relating to ordering officers on his police detail and county employees to carry out personal and campaign tasks. Leopold's lawyers argued on appeal that he couldn't have known that his actions would be illegal because they aren't specifically prohibited in the law. They also challenged a provision of Leopold's sentence that barred him from running for public office while he serves probation.
NEWS
By Drew Greenblatt | March 17, 2014
Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer has tirelessly promoted his "Make It in America" campaign, an initiative to advance policies to help the country regain its role as a leading global manufacturer. For too long, we have seen American businesses relocate their manufacturing processes and their jobs overseas because, among other reasons, their energy costs were too high for their products to be competitive on the world stage. Today, U.S. businesses are moving manufacturing back to the United States, opening new factories or expanding their existing operations and hiring new workers thanks to the growing abundance of low-priced natural gas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, Ian Duncan and Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2014
Former Black Panther leader Marshall "Eddie" Conway walked free Tuesday after spending four decades behind bars for killing a Baltimore police officer - making his one of the highest-profile cases affected by a high court decision that has cut short prison sentences for dozens of felons in recent years. Conway, now 67, always said that he was innocent, alleging political motives in the prosecution of a 1970 shooting that killed Officer Donald Sager, 35, and injured another officer.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | February 10, 2014
Prompted by recent multimillion-dollar medical malpractice judgments, Maryland lawmakers are pushing to create a fund to help pay for treating babies who suffer neurological injuries during birth. Proposed legislation calls for hospitals and doctors with obstetrics and gynecological practices, as well as malpractice insurers, to pay annual fees to the birth injury fund, which families could tap to pay medical bills, recoup lost earnings potential and cover other costs. Virginia, Florida and New York are the only states with such funds.
BUSINESS
By Chris Korman | January 18, 2013
As expected, Maryland vigorously defended its right to move to the Big Ten without paying a $52 million exit fee to the Atlantic Coast Conference in two legal actions filed Friday. Maryland attorney general Doug Gansler filed a complaint in Prince George's County circuit court alleging the ACC violated state antitrust laws, breached contractual obligations and interfered with the the economic growth of the school. The suit seeks an injunction against paying the fee and declaratory judgment that it is unlawful.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | August 30, 2012
Two Howard County residents challenging more than 100 government decisions involving a wide range of issues including sewer system hookups and the construction of highway interchanges and homes have won a hearing in Maryland's highest court. Rejected by federal and lower state court judges, the challenge was granted one more forum last month, as the Maryland Court of Appeals agreed to consider whether the residents have the legal standing to challenge years of decisions by several county agencies.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | January 27, 2014
Nearly a year after Maryland's highest court tossed out most of a $1.65 billion jury verdict against ExxonMobil Corp. in connection with a 2006 underground gasoline leak in northern Baltimore County, 43 families have settled their cases rather than return for new trials. Theodore M. Flerlage Jr., a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said Monday that two groups that had been scheduled for trial this past Monday and next Monday have settled their cases. They're the latest of four groups that have settled this month, leaving about 50 cases to be resolved.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | January 23, 2014
Maryland's top court on Thursday left in place a bail system it declared unconstitutional four months ago, deciding instead to hear further arguments on how to ensure that poor people have legal representation at the earliest stage of their cases. But the next hearing on the matter — on technical issues — isn't until March 7, just a month before the state's annual legislative session comes to an end. The decision creates further uncertainty for lawmakers who had hoped to iron out a deal that would avoid the potential $30 million cost of sending public defenders to represent suspects at their first bail hearings.
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