In Robson v. State, the court looked at how Maryland judges are restricted in sentencing defendants.  The answer?  Maryland judges have a lot of latitude when it comes to sentencing.

Facts of Robson v. State

Two Sheriff’s deputies, Merle and Sanchez,  went to serve a peace order on the appellant at his home. They approached the appellant’s basement apartment, where they saw a lit window. After knocking loudly on the door, the appellant opened it, allegedly pointing a shotgun at Deputy Merle’s face.  What was he thinking?  Let’s just say Jim Beam was involved.

The Maryland legislature seems poised to change the statute of limitations for sex abuse.  Our lawyers lay it out the Child Victims Act of 2023 that seeks to provide child sexual abuse victims with expanded opportunities to hold wrongdoers accountable.

Where We Are Now

This week, the Maryland Senate approved legislation on March 16 that would eliminate the statute of limitations on sexual abuse lawsuits. The bill establishes a “lookback window,” allowing survivors to take legal action regardless of when the abuse took place.

Maryland lawmakers recently withdrew a proposal to encourage companies to implement a four-day work week through tax credits.

The proposal, which would have established a five-year pilot program, giving Maryland companies tax credits to reduce weekly work hours to 32 without decreasing pay or benefits for employees. The bill, SB 197, was withdrawn due to concerns about its chances of passing in the state legislature, according to Del. Vaughn Stewart (D), one of the House bill sponsors.

The Four Day Workweek Idea

Last, week, the Maryland Appellate Court decided Patriot Construction, LLC v. VK Electrical Services, LLC. The case involved a subcontract between Patriot and VKES for electrical work on an NSA project, including an important notice, pay-when-paid provision, and additional ticket work that Patriot did not authorize in writing. So the opinion raises some intersteting issues about whether a part will be bound to a contract when it makes agreements outside of the written language of a pay-when-paid contract.

Facts of Patriot Construction, LLC v. VK Electrical Services, LLC

Patriot had a contract with the Maryland Procurement Office of the National Security Agency to provide general contractor services for a project at Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County. Patriot subcontracted VKES to perform electrical work for $495,000. The subcontract stated that no changes could be made without written approval from Patriot. The subcontract also included a “pay-when-paid provision.”   I’ll explain what a pay-when-paid provision is in a moment.

Can you vacate a divorce and have your husband’s new marriage annulled? You almost can, as the plaintiff found out in Peete v. Peete, decided by the Maryland Appellate Court in March 2023.

Facts of Peete v. Peete

Bessie was married to a man named Author in 1971. She separated from him in 1975. In 1991, Author filed for divorce from Bessie in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, and Bessie did not file an answer nor appear at the divorce hearing. As a result, the court granted Author a default judgment of absolute divorce. Author later married a woman appropriately named “Maryland.” The two remained married until Author died in 2007. Upon Author’s death, Maryland was appointed executor of his estate.

In 2018, we read about an awful case where a woman went to a Rite-Aid warehouse in Hartford County and killed three people and injuring others before taking her own life. She had been diagnosed with a mental illness and used a gun she had legally purchased during the rampage, a fact that obviously drew some attention.  This is one of the lawsuits to come out of this tragedy.

Facts of Mitchell v. Rite Aid

Snochia Moseley was a temporary worker at the Rite Aid Distribution Center in Aberdeen, Maryland. Prior to September 20, 2018, she had only worked approximately eight shifts at the facility. On that fateful September morning, Moseley reportedly agitated other workers when she cut in front of them to check into work. She then left the facility for a brief period and returned with a handgun.

Driving or riding in a golf cart is fun. Golf carts bring all the fun of driving a car without any of the rules of the road. While this combination usually makes for a carefree day on the links or a quick cruise through a retirement community, golf cart accidents can actually lead to serious injury. Golf carts were meant for just that: golf. However, their expanded use has led to an increase in injuries across the United States.

What Makes Golf Carts Unsafe?

A golf cart is essentially a tiny car with all of the safety features removed. Think about it: golf carts lack doors, sides, bumpers, airbags, seatbelts, and usually have a plastic body. Considering that they are commonly driven at high speeds across rough terrain, it is surprising that there is absolutely no license requirement for driving one. Plus, that does not even take into account the normal maintenance required to ensure that all components like brakes or even the seats are functioning. It does not help that alcohol and golf often goes hand in hand, meaning many drivers might be under the influence of alcohol. At the end of the day, there is very little in the way of regulation when it comes to golf carts, which makes it easy for the negligence of others to cause injury.

Maryland’s Attorney General’s office announced that Jemina Saka, a 32-year-old from Street, Maryland (Harford County), has been indicted on charges of felony Medicaid fraud and felony theft.

Saka, who is not a licensed or certified healthcare provider, was employed by a home health agency to provide assistance to a vulnerable adult for up to 35 hours per week.  This is the last person that should be a victim, right?  An investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit revealed that from June 2021 to June 2022, Saka submitted time sheets indicating that she was providing 35 hours of home health care to the individual, despite not being in the State of Maryland at the time.

During her shifts, Saka was found to be out of state or at a location in Maryland that was not near the individual’s home, resulting in a loss of at least $4,300 to the Medicaid program. Saka was arrested in Florida and is awaiting extradition to Maryland to face prosecution in Baltimore County.

Timberlake v. State is a case involving the delays in trial for criminal defendants due to COVID.   The appeal is based on his normally unacceptable trial delays primarily due to court closures mandated by Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, who was then serving as the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland (now known as the Supreme Court of Maryland), as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is also some interesting Hicks analysis that will be interesting to any Maryland criminal defense lawyer.  The bottom line is that Judge Barbara’s order on COVID is binding and will not give criminal defendants an out.

Facts of Timberlake v. State

This post will explain the applicable statute of limitations on the collection of debt under Maryland law. Throughout this post, we will refer to the person who borrowed money as the “debtor,” and the lender of that money will be the “creditor.” The statute of limitations is basically like a legal time limit or deadline. If the statute of limitations has expired, the creditor no longer has the legal right to enforce the debt against you in court.

The applicable statute of limitations in Maryland will depend on the type of debt involved.

Credit Card Debt: 3-Year Statute of Limitations