SCHEDULE OF ORAL ARGUMENTS
September Term, 2021
Wednesday, June 1, 2022:
No. 61 Everett Smith v. State of Maryland
Issue – Criminal Law – In a reported case of first impression, did CSA wrongly hold that the courtroom bailiff’s face mask depicting the ‘thin blue line’ was not inherently prejudicial to Petitioner?
Attorney for Petitioner: Michele D. Hall
Attorney for Respondent: Derek Simmonsen
No. 51 Thornton Mellon, LLC, et al. v. Frederick County Sheriff, et al.
Issues – Real Property – 1) Do sheriffs who are commanded to enforce writs of possession issued in a tax sale proceeding have the authority to adopt and impose on tax sale purchasers a “Mover Policy,” which policy requires a tax sale purchaser to provide, at the time of the writ of possession, a crew of movers and moving equipment sufficient to remove the prior owner’s personal property that remains inside the property? 2) Do sheriffs who are commanded to enforce writs of possession issued in a tax sale proceeding have the authority to adopt and impose on tax sale purchasers a “Weather Policy,” which policy allows sheriffs to decline to serve a writ of possession during inclement weather? 3) Where the General Assembly has codified statutes governing the eviction process in tax sale proceedings, do sheriffs have the “fairly-implied power” to enact their own policies concerning the eviction process? 4) Did CSA err in holding that there was no genuine dispute of material fact regarding the content of the policies adopted by sheriffs?
Attorneys for Petitioner: N. Tucker Meneely and Geoffrey Polk
Attorney for Respondent: Carl N. Zacarias
No. 54 Robert Rainey v. State of Maryland
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) As a matter of first impression, can a suspect’s change in appearance (in this case, a change in hairstyle) at some point between the time of the crime and the time of his arrest, support a destruction-of-evidence jury instruction? 2) Under the four-inference test adopted in Thompson v. State, 393 Md. 291 (2006), consciousness-of-guilt jury instructions may not be given unless evidence supports all four of the necessary inferences. As a matter of first impression, is a trial judge required to consider the four inferences on the record before giving a consciousness-of-guilt jury instruction, here a destruction-of-evidence instruction? 3) Even if the trial court is not required to state its reasoning regarding the four inferences on the record: (a) was it improper to give the instruction in this case where the evidence did not support the four inferences because petitioner had not been charged or arrested at the time of his haircut and there was no evidence that he was aware that he was the subject of an investigation, and (b) is reversal required where there is no indication in the record that the trial court considered the four Thompson inferences? 4) Did CSA err in holding that although “it is preferable, in all cases in which a defendant has allegedly changed his appearance in order to avoid identification, to employ a custom instruction that focuses on the change of appearance as potential evidence of consciousness of guilt,” the giving of the destruction-of-evidence instruction was harmless in this case because a different modified instruction that does not include the language “You have heard evidence that the defendant destroyed evidence” could have been given but was not? 5) Was giving the destruction-of-evidence jury instruction harmless error where the pattern instruction was not modified, the prosecutor relied on the instruction in closing argument, the jury asked multiple questions during deliberations regarding changes in Petitioner’s appearance, and significant evidence pointed to the guilt of another party?
Attorney for Petitioner: Katherine P. Rasin
Attorney for Respondent: Menelik Coates
Thursday, June 2, 2022:
AG No. 7 Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Landon Maurice White
Attorney for Petitioner: Jessica B. McCully
Attorney for Respondent: James Sweeting III
No. 60 In re: T.K.
Issues – Courts & Judicial Proceedings – 1) As a matter of first impression, under the discretionary language of Md. Code § 3-819(e) of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings (“CJP”) article, which provides that the “court may award custody to the other parent” after sustaining petition allegations against only one parent and before dismissing the case, what standards govern this exercise of discretion and what, if any, process must be afforded to the custodial parent prior to a transfer of full legal and physical custody of the child to the noncustodial parent? 2) When determining whether to transfer custody of a child to a noncustodial parent under CJP §3-819(e) before dismissing the case, does the best-interests-of-the-child standard apply and what facts or factors must the court consider in making a best interests determination? 3) When requested, is a custodial parent entitled to a contested dispositional hearing where they can present evidence concerning whether it is in the child’s best interest to transfer full custody to the noncustodial parent under CJP §3-819(e) or may a juvenile court transfer full of custody of the child based solely on the sustained petition allegations and conflicting proffers? 4) Does In re R.S., 470 Md. 380 (2020), compel a juvenile court, once petition allegations have been sustained against a custodial parent only, to award full custody of a child to the noncustodial parent over the objection and request for custody of the custodial parent and despite the discretionary language in CJP §3-819(e)? 5) Was the evidence sufficient to transfer full custody of T.K. from mother, his custodial parent since birth and throughout the CINA case to his out-of-state, noncustodial father under the findings that mother agreed to and where mother also proffered that she had witnesses available to testify to facts supporting that father was not able to provide proper care to T.K. and that it was not in T.K.’s best interest to be transferred to father’s custody?
Attorney for Petitioner: Julia Roberson
Attorneys for Respondent: Jennifer M. Sullam and Ann E. Singleton
After June 2, 2022, the Court will recess until September 8, 2022. On the day of argument, counsel must register in the Clerk's Office no later than 9:30 a.m., unless otherwise notified.
SUZANNE C. JOHNSON