Articles Posted in Maryland Court of Appeals

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A family magistrate of the circuit court for Baltimore County found that Cody H. had committed the delinquent act of assault by punching a sixteen-year-old victim in the face and breaking his jaw. The magistrate judgment made a recommendation for a restitution award of $1,489 to the victim for medical expenses but did not award restitution for lost earnings. The State filed exceptions to the recommendation. A juvenile court judge sustained the State’s exception and imposed an additional restitution amount of $5,000 for loss of earnings. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the loss of earnings restitution award in this case was proper under the restitution statute, Md. Code Ann., Crim. Proc. 11-603. View "In re Cody H." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, born in September 1983, filed a five-count complaint against defendant, her grandfather, in September 2008 alleging that he raped her on two separate occasions, the first of which occurred when she was either six or seven-years-old and the second incident when she was eight-years-old. At issue was whether section 5-117 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article could be properly applied retroactively to permit a claim that arose before the effective date of section 5-117 and which was barred by the prior statute of limitations. The court held that, assuming arguendo application of section 5-117 to plaintiff's claims represented a retrospective application of the statute, section 5-117 was a procedural and remedial statute, and, accordingly, it could be given such retrospective application to claims that were not-yet barred by the previously-applicable three-year statute of limitations period as of the extended period's effective date on October 1st, 2003.

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Petitioner Ms. B. and Mr. T. are the biological parents of Shirley, Jordan, Davon and Cedric (collectively, "the Children"). In 2005, the Children were referred to Prince George's County Department of Social Services following reports of neglect and sexual abuse. A subsequent psychological evaluation revealed that Ms. B. was cognitively impaired, and that the Children had special needs of their own. Ms. B. was largely unresponsive to the Department's assistance, and she allowed vital benefits to lapse. She also allowed unauthorized adults to move into her home, exposing the Children to drug use and sexual activity. After a violent altercation between Ms. B., Mr. T. and Shirley, the Department sought to remove the Children from Ms. B.'s care. Proceedings at juvenile court ended with the Children being permanently removed from their home. Ms. B. appealed the decision, arguing the Department failed to make reasonable efforts to reunite her with her children, claiming she did not receive any specialized parenting services. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed the juvenile court's decision. On appeal, the Supreme Court reviewed the lower courts' records and affirmed their decisions: "the Department actively tried to connect the mother with services that could potentially assist her in her parental role⦠Accordingly, it made reasonable efforts toward unification."