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Between 2011 and 2013, a labor union held demonstrations at Walmart stores throughout Maryland, protesting Walmart’s employment conditions. Consequently, Walmart sued the union for trespass and nuisance and sought an injunction against the union. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Walmart and issued a permanent injunction against UFCW. The court of special appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) Walmart’s claims for trespass and nuisance were not preempted by the National Labor Relations Act, and therefore, the circuit court properly denied the union’s motion to dismiss; and (2) the circuit court properly ruled that this case did not involve a labor dispute within the meaning of Maryland’s Anti-Injunction Act. View "United Food & Commercial Workers International Union v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Court of Special Appeals did not err in concluding that Defendant’s sentence was imposed in violation of Maryland Rule 4-243(c) because, pursuant to a plea agreement, the State did not receive what it bargained for when the judge imposed a sentence below the terms of the plea agreement. Defendant pleaded guilty to theft scheme greater than $10,000 but less than $100,000. The plea agreement provided that Defendant would be found guilty of a crime and serve jail time, but, instead, the sentence imposed did not include a finding of guilt or incarceration. The Court of Special Appeals reversed, concluding that the sentence was illegal because it was below the floor of the terms. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the Court of Special Appeals did not err in holding that Defendant’s sentence was imposed in violation of Rule 4-243(c). View "Smith v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The circuit court and Court of Special Appeals affirmed the decision of the Howard County Board of Appeals approving a conditional use application for a funeral home in Howard County’s Rural Residential-Density Exchange Option zone. The Howard County Board of Appeals hearing examiner initially denied the proposed conditional use plan, but after public hearings and two revisions, the Board approved the conditional use application subject to several conditions. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the Board properly analyzed the revised plan pursuant to the relevant statutory requirements; (2) the Board did not err in concluding that the revised plan would not create an adverse cultural impact on vicinal properties or that such impact will be beyond those ordinarily associated with funeral home and mortuary uses; and (3) substantial evidence supported the Board’s conclusion that the revised plan contemplated a 100-foot stream buffer in compliance with state requirements. View "Clarksville Residents Against Mortuary Defense Fund, Inc. v. Donaldson Properties" on Justia Law

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Appellant, who was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to four consecutive terms of life without the possibility of parole, appealed the circuit court’s denial of his pro se petition for DNA testing of scientific evidence, arguing that in reaching its conclusion, the circuit court applied the incorrect standard of law. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Appellant was not entitled to testing under Md. Code Ann. Crim. Proc. 8-201, as (1) the hearing court erred in applying the incorrect standard of law when denying the petition; but (2) analyzed under the correct standard of law, the arguments presented by Appellant in his petition utterly failed to satisfy the requirements of section 8-201. View "Beaman v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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In 1993, the Anne Arundel county board of appeals (Board) granted Petitioner special exceptions and variances to construct and landfill and sand and gravel operations. Three extensions of time were necessary to obtain that permit. In 2011, the permit and a county building permit to construct the landfill were granted. That same year, the Board, by a vote of 2-2, denied Petitioner’s request for a further two-year extension. The circuit court vacated the Board’s decision and remanded. The court of special appeals modified the decision of the circuit court, disagreeing on the standard the Board was to apply. The Court of Appeals vacated the rulings of the lower courts with instructions to remand to the Board for further proceedings, holding that the ultimate conclusions of the denying members were arbitrary and capricious, but that did not require an outright reversal of the Board’s rejection. View "National Waste Managers, Inc. v. Forks of the Patuxent Improvement Ass’n" on Justia Law

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In order to recover attorney’s fees against a negligent title searcher using the collateral litigation doctrine, the plaintiff must show that the title searcher’s negligence proximately caused the plaintiff to file a necessary collateral action, resulting in the plaintiff incurring reasonable litigation costs necessarily and in good faith, and that the plaintiff has not otherwise received compensation for those costs. The Ochses purchased property from the Henrys. The Ochses later learned that a encumbrance bisecting their lot was part of a strip of land that had been granted to Dorchester County. Prior to this discovery, the Ochses filed a lawsuit against the Henrys to quiet title. The Ochses later filed a lawsuit against Chicago Title Insurance Company and Eastern Shore Title Company (ESTC), the title examiner, alleging breach of contract and negligence. The trial court found in favor of the Ochses and awarded a $215,710 against ESTC and Chicago Title, which was the amount of the attorney’s fees awarded to the Ochses in the Henry litigation. The trial court subsequently reduced its judgment against ESTC and Chicago Title by $215,710. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the trial court did not err by reducing the damages awarded to the Ochses by the amount previously satisfied by the Henrys. View "Eastern Shore Title Co. v. Ochse" on Justia Law

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At issue before the Court of Appeals was whether - without ruling out other possible causes of exposure - the fact that property tested positive for lead-based paint throughout its interior in 1976, combined with other circumstantial evidence, was sufficient for Plaintiff to establish that the subject property was a “reasonably probable source” of his lead poisoning. Plaintiff claimed that he was poisoned by lead-based paint as a toddler when he lived in a row house owned by Respondent during 1996 and 1997. The trial court granted Respondent’s motion for summary judgment on source and source causation. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Plaintiff presented sufficient circumstantial evidence to demonstrate that the subject property was a reasonably probable source of his elevated blood lead levels, and therefore, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment on the issues of source and source causation. View "Rogers v. Home Equity USA, Inc." on Justia Law

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Petitioner made several public records requests under the Maryland Public Information Act (PIA) to the police department of Anne Arundel County, ultimately seeking “any and all” records related to one of the County’s police officers. Dissatisfied with the handling of his requests, Petitioner filed at least two lawsuits under the PIA against the County that resulted in numerous rulings in the circuit court. As a result of the circuit court’s rulings, Petitioner obtained several records that the County had not found in its initial searches in response to Petitioner’s request or had initially withheld as privileged. The circuit court concluded that the circuit court had committed “knowing and willful” violations of the PIA but declined to grant Petitioner the injunctive relief or damages he sought. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that there was not clear and convincing evidence of any knowing and willful violations of the PIA, and therefore, Petitioner was not entitled to the relief he sought. View "Glass v. Anne Arundel County" on Justia Law

Posted in: Constitutional Law

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Appellant was convicted of attempted first-degree rape, third-degree sexual offense, and second-degree sexual offense. Appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape offense. Appellant later filed a petition for post-conviction DNA testing, asserting that there was a reasonable probability that DNA testing of the requested items had the scientific potential to produce exculpatory evidence relevant to his claim of wrongful conviction. The post-conviction court denied Appellant’s petition for DNA testing after conducting a hearing. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) the hearing judge erred in applying a more stringent standard that would require Appellant to show that the DNA testing he sought would exonerate him; and (2) Appellant established that DNA testing was warranted in light of the proper standard. View "Edwards v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Evidence of non-party negligence was properly admitted in this case. Petitioners alleged that John S. Park, M.D. was negligent when he interpreted radiological images, leading to Lance Copsey’s fatal stroke. Petitioners originally sued Dr. Park and three subsequent treating physicians but partially settled their claims and dismissed the subsequent treating physicians. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Dr. Park. On appeal, Petitioners argued that the trial court abused its discretion in denying their motions in limine opposing the admission of evidence regarding the non-parties’ statuses as former defendants and Dr. Park’s defense that the negligence of the subsequent treating physicians was an intervening and superseding cause of Copsey’s death. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed, concluding that the motions in limine were properly denied because Martinez ex rel. Fielding v. Johns Hopkins Hops, 70 A.3d 397 (2013) permits the introduction into evidence of non-party negligence and causation. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) evidence of non-party negligence was relevant and necessary in providing Dr. Park a fair trial; and (2) causation was an issue for the trier of fact, and the evidence tended to show that Dr. Park was not negligent and that other independent causes contributed to Copsey’s death. View "Copsey v. Park" on Justia Law