Argument Schedule -- February 2022



September Term, 2021


Thursday, February 3, 2022:

No. 35 Mashour Howling v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) In a question of first impression, did the trial court err by giving a jury instruction that omitted a scienter requirement for the offenses charged, contrary to the holding of Rehaif v. United States, 139 S.Ct. 2191 (2019), on the presumptions in law in the equivalent Federal Statute, the Rule of Lenity, and this Court’s decisions in Dawkins v. State, 313 Md. 638 (1988) and Chow v. State, 391 Md. 431 (2006)? 2) Under the facts of this case, in which no evidence was adduced that Petitioner was previously notified by government authorities that he was prohibited from possessing a regulated firearm in Maryland, did the trial court err in giving the pre- Rehaif pattern jury instructions lacking scienter requirements?

Attorney for Petitioner: Michael Wein
Attorney for Respondent: Carrie J. Williams

No. 36 Funiba Abongnelah v. State of Maryland

Issues - Criminal Law – 1) In a matter of first impression, did CSA err by holding that the evidence was sufficient to convict Petitioner of illegally possessing a regulated firearm where the State failed to prove he had knowledge of his prohibited status – i.e., that he was a convicted felon – because that result was inconsistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the analogous Federal statute in Rehaif v. United States, 139 S.Ct. 2191 (2019), and was at odds with this Court’s precedent? 2) Did CSA err by upholding the trial court’s refusal to instruct the jury that the State was required to prove that Petitioner had knowledge of his prohibited status? 3) Was the knowledge issue raised herein adequately preserved where both trial and appellate counsel argued that Rehaif required knowledge of prohibited status and appellate counsel clarified in Appellant’s Reply Brief that prohibited status meant Petitioner’s status as a felon?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Anne K. Olesen and Violet N.D. Edelman
Attorney for Respondent: Carrie J. Williams

No. 38 Anne Arundel County, Maryland v. 808 Bestgate Realty, LLC

Issues – Local Codes -- 1) Is CSA’s interpretation of § 17-11-207 of the Anne Arundel County Code in conflict with the County Charter and the County budget process as it relates to the funding of public improvements? 2)Did the Court of Special Appeals abuse its discretion under Maryland Rule 8-131(a) in requiring remand on an issue not raised or briefed by the parties nor mentioned in the agency order under appeal, and not in dispute?

Attorney for Petitioner: Gregory J. Swain
Attorneys for Respondent: David M. Plott and Kinley R. Bray


Monday, February 7, 2022:

No. 32 Daniel Jay Gross v. State of Maryland

Issue – Criminal Law – 1) Under Dorsey v. State, 276 Md. 638 (1975), did CSA err when it reviewed for harmless error and only analyzed the evidence put forth by the State when the Petitioner controverted the evidence at trial through multiple witnesses, including experts? 2) Under Dorsey, did CSA err when it analyzed an improperly admitted prior consistent statement for its cumulativeness since, although prior consistent statements are cumulative, it is their consistency that is the very nature of the harm? 3) Did CSA err in relying on State v. Lawson, 389 Md. 570 (2005), when it held that the social worker and doctor who gave hearsay testimony under Maryland Code § 11-304 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article “fell within the category of person contemplated by the statute” since Lawson merely affirmed the use of social worker hearsay testimony where the worker was “informed of the abuse by police officers” and here there was evidence that both witnesses were directed by law enforcement to act thus, for the purposes of the interview, the social worker and doctor were outside “the course of the person’s profession?” 4) Did CSA wrongly conclude the June 2015 video was not admissible under the prompt complaint exception to the hearsay rule?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Justin Eisele and Mirriam Z. Seddiq
Attorney for Respondent: Karinna M. Rossi

No. 39 Karunaker Aleti, et ux. v. Metropolitan Baltimore, LLC and Gables Residential Services, Inc.

Issues – Municipal Codes – 1) Does Article 13, § 5.4(a)(2) of the Baltimore City Code create an implied private right of action to recover a return of rent that a landlord was prohibited from collecting or retaining? 2) Is the money had and received cause of action available to a tenant to recover a return of rent that a landlord was prohibited from collecting or retaining by operation of § 5.4(a)(2)? 3) Is the breach of contract cause of action available to a tenant when a landlord agrees to abide by § 5.4(a)(2) and not accept, collect, or retain rent if the property is not licensed, but then collects, accepts, and retains rent in violation of § 5.4(a)2)?

Attorney for Petitioner: E. David Hoskins
Attorney for Respondent: Eric Pelletier

No. 37 Nicholas Jabbar Williams v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did CSA err in finding the verdict was not impermissibly inconsistent? 2) In what circumstances does the no-impeachment rule set forth in Maryland Rule 5-606(b) yield to a defendant’s constitutional rights and a jury’s true verdict? 3) Did CSA err in holding there was sufficient evidence to convict Petitioner of second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a person younger than twenty-one?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Kevin B. Collins and J. Alejandro Barrientos
Attorney for Respondent: Derek Simmonsen


Tuesday, February 8, 2022:

No. 29 Lee Boyd Malvo v. State of Maryland 

Please note: Oral arguments for this case will be held entirely by Zoom.

Issues – Constitutional Law – 1) Under Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), which barred life without parole “for all but the rarest of juvenile offenders, those whose crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility,” Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S.Ct. 718, 734 (2016), do the six life without parole sentences imposed on Petitioner violate the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and/or Article 25 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights? 2) Does Miller apply to Maryland’s sentencing scheme, which gives the sentencing court discretion to impose life without parole? 3) Did the sentencing court violate Miller by failing to consider Petitioner’s youth and imposing life without parole for crimes which did not reflect permanent incorrigibility? 4) Did the sentencing court violate Article 25 by imposing life without parole without finding beyond a reasonable doubt that Petitioner was permanently incorrigible? 5) Does Article 25 categorically bar life without parole sentences for juveniles? 6) Did the trial court err in ruling that the life without parole sentences imposed on Petitioner are not “illegal” under Maryland Rule 4-345(a)?

Attorney for Appellant: Kiran Iyer
Attorney for Appellee: Carrie J. Williams

No. 41 Alexander Dejarnette v. State of Maryland

Issues – Courts & Judicial Proceedings – 1) Where Petitioner challenged the admissibility of a breath test on the grounds that the police failed to sufficiently observe him for the requisite period preceding the test, does the failure to comply with the observation period go to the admissibility of the breath test results rather than their weight? 2) Does the statutory and regulatory scheme necessitate excluding breath tests where the police fail to comply with the observation period? 3) Do principles of evidentiary law – and overwhelming out-of-state authority – necessitate excluding breath tests where the police fail to comply with the observation period? 4) Did CSA err in holding that the officers’ testimony supported a finding of compliance with the observation period? 5) Did CSA err in holding that the argument – that the trial court failed to make any finding regarding compliance – was not preserved and also failed on the merits?

Attorney for Petitioner: Stephanie Asplundh
Attorney for Respondent: Gary E. O'Connor

No. 40 Scott Wadsworth, et al. v. Poornima Sharma, et al.

Issue – Courts & Judicial Proceedings – 1) Does Maryland’s Wrongful Death Statute, specifically, § 3-902(a) of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article, permit wrongful death beneficiaries to recover from a health care provider where the actions of the heath care provider shortened the terminally ill decedent’s life?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Eleanor T. Chung and Brian S. Brown
Attorney for Respondent: Derek M. Stikeleather




Pursuant to the  January 14, 2022 Extension of Interim Administrative Order of December 27, 2021 Restricting Statewide Judiciary Operations in Light of the Omicron Variant of the COVID-19 Emergency and the June 18, 2018 Administrative order on the Implementation of Remote Electronic Participation in Judicial Proceedings, and the January 14, 2022 Ninth Administrative Order on Remote Oral Arguments, the Court will hear oral arguments in these cases by videoconferencing.