Miscellaneous Procedure Issues
In Maryland, the filing deadline when a three year Statute of Limitations applies is the third anniversary of the event unless there is court closure for all or part of that third anniversary day. In other words, if the accident happened on July 31, 2007, the Statute of Limitations would expire July 31, 2010. See Yingling v. Smith, 259 MD. 260 (1970).FAILURE TO OBJECT TO DISCOVERY REPONSES / OBJECTIONS TO EVIDENCE AT TRIAL
The case of Food Lion, Inc. v. McNeill, 393 MD. 715 (2006) stands for the proposition that an attorney can’t wait until trial to object to the introduction of evidence when the objection should have been raised at an earlier time. The issue involved whether something was timely provided during discovery. If there was no objection to the discovery response, no Motion to compel filed, and no further discovery undertaken, the attorney failing to do so may not complain of surprise at trial and attempt to exclude opinion evidence.DISCOVERY OF TAX RETURNS
In Ashton v. Cheme, Contracting Corp. 102 MD App 87 (1994), the Court of Special Appeals held that tax returns do not enjoy a privilege for the tax payer and are subject to discovery if they are relevant. This does not, however, mean that the entirety of the tax return is discoverable. Under Rule 2-402 (a), evidence must be relevant to the subject matter involved in the action in order to be discoverable. Therefore, certain portions of the tax returns may not be relevant and they may be redacted. For example, in joint returns, information regarding a spouse may be redacted. In a personal injury claim, the issue would be whether information in the tax return is, in the words of Rule 2-402(a), relevant to the subject matter involved in the action. Wage information and W-2 forms, for example, could show whether the plaintiff was working in a job in which he lifted concrete blocks all day. Deductions for medical expenses could rebut a claim by a plaintiff that he was in perfect health before the accident.De Benne Esse Depositions
Deposition transcript costs may be recoverable, particularly if a party denies a request for admission and it is later proven by way of deposition. See Rule 2-424 (e).COST TO COPY DOCUMENTS IN RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS
See Dynamic Corp. v. Shan Enterprises, LLC, 175 MD App 211 927 a 2d 20 (2007). Copying a document is a related act within the meaning of Maryland Rule 2-422 (c). Unless otherwise ordered it is the responsibility of a requesting party, not a producing party to pay the expense of making copies. See also Clever View Investments Ltd. v Oshatz, 233 F.R.D. 393; holding that the producing party need only make requested documents available for inspection and need not pay for copying costsCOMMON LAW MARRIAGES
Maryland does not recognize the creation of common law marriages within its boundaries, see Henderson v. Henderson, 199 MD. 449, 454 (1952); Dennison v. Dennison, 35 MD. 361 (1872). But Maryland does recognize the validity of common law marriages that were validly created under the laws of other jurisdictions, Henderson, 199 MD at 458-459. Therefore, if the couple entered into a common law marriage in another jurisdiction, Maryland would recognize it. The couple’s stay in such a jurisdiction need only have been brief and temporary, see Blaw-Knox Construction Equipment Company v. Morris, 88 MD App 655 (1991). As of this writing, there are twelve jurisdictions that recognize common law marriage, Alabama, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.CITIZENSHIP OR RESIDENCY STATUS
The issue of whether a plaintiff is a legal or illegal resident is relevant if there is a claim for lost wages. The highest court of New York and New Hampshire discussed this issue in recent cases. See Balbuena v. IDR Realty, LLC, 845 N.E. 2d, 1246 (N.Y. 2008) and Rosa v. Partners in Progress, Inc., 868 a. 2d, 994 (N.H. 2005). As stated in Rosa, there is no general disqualification of persons from presenting a civil claim in court merely by virtue of their undocumented status.JURISDICTION
The boundary line between Maryland and Virginia at the American Legion Memorial Bridge is the low-water mark on the southern bank of the Potomac River. See Virginia v. Maryland, 54 U.S. 56 (2003).SERVICE OF PROCESS BY FEDERAL EXPRESS
It is likely that service of process by Federal Express complies with the mailing requirements provided for in the Rules. Black’s law dictionary describes the verb “mail” as either to deposit a letter or package with the U.S. Postal Service, to insure that the letter, package, etc. is properly addressed, stamped and placed into a receptacle for mail pick up or to deliver a letter, package to a private courier service that undertakes delivery to a third person often within a specified time. See Black’s Law Dictionary 972, 8th Edition, 2004. There are Federal decisions, however, that disagree, see Magnison v. Video Yesteryear, 85 F 3d, 1424. If the private courier service simply leaves something at the door, it may not be good service. See Green v. Lindsey, 456, US 444.SERVICE OF PROCESS-MOTOR VEHICLE ADMINISTRATION AS AGENT FOR NON-RESIDENT DRIVER
Under Senate Bill 413 in the 2007-08 session of the legislature, an Amendment to Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article Section 6-313, provided that a non resident driving an automobile in Maryland in which the non-resident driver is named as a party to a lawsuit, service of process is sufficient service on the non-resident driver if service is made either by personal delivery to the Department of Motor Vehicles by leaving a copy of the process, with a certification of the last known address of the non-resident driver, with the Motor Vehicle Administration. MVA is entitled to a fee for the service of process and must file an Affidavit of Compliance with the Clerk of the Court in the action that is pending and provide a copy of the Affidavit to the party seeking service. The party seeking service then shall send it by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the Affidavit of Compliance to the Motor Vehicle Insurer of the non-resident driver. This provision took effect on October 1, 2008.CLIENT DISAPPEARANCE
As long as a lawyer undertakes reasonable efforts to find a client, a lawyer probably does not have any obligation to file suit before the Statute of Limitations expires. See Ronald E. Mallen and Jeffrey M. Smith, Legal Malpractice Section 21.2 et 83 (2006). Citing Harris v. Govett, 3 Wakly. Notes CAS. 560 (PA 1877). A lawyer has the inherent right to withdraw from representation of a client if the client intentionally makes himself unavailable and does not stay in communication with the lawyer. See Harris v. Wabaunsee, 593 P. 2d 86 (1979). This even applies on the day of trial because a lawyer is not required to spend his time proceeding with a trial without his clients. In addition, Maryland Lawyers Rules of Professional Conduct 1.16 B 5 provides that a lawyer may withdraw from representing a client if the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer’s services and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled. A client cannot cite non-receipt of the warning if the client’s action prevented receipt of the warning. Indeed, a client’s disappearance is probably tantamount to contributory negligence because it leads the attorney to believe that the client is no longer interested in the matter and does not wish to pursue it. Disappearance strips the lawyer of the ability to determine if the lawsuit would be meritorious and thus leads the lawyer to believe that it should not be filed. If the evidence before the lawyer at the time of filing the lawsuit would show that the lawsuit would be dismissed for failure to answer discovery because of the disappearance of a client and therefore would not be carried to a successful result, the filing of the lawsuit would be fruitless.
MEDICAL RECORDS COPIES AND CHARGES
As of October 1, 1994, the law allowing physicians to charge specific funds for preparation and production of medical records went into effect. It is codified in Health General Article Section 4-304 (c) (3) of the Maryland Code. These fees are adjusted annually for inflation using the Consumer Price Index on July 1 of each year. Since 1995, MedChi has calculated and published the appropriate adjustment as a service to its member and the Maryland public. The cost for copies of medical records is limited by Statute. See Md. Health General, Code Ann. § 4-304. MedChi sends an update to physicians. As of 2007, the adjusted rate for medical record copying was as follows: 1) a preparation fee of no more than twenty-one dollars; 2) plus a fee of no more than sixty-nine cents per page copied; 3) plus the actual cost of shipping and handling. The physicians may demand payment of these fees and charges before turning the records over to the patient or other authorized person. The law does not authorize any practitioner to withhold production of medical records until the fees for medical services themselves have been paid.
The federal HIPAA rules require that a healthcare provider provide access to records within thirty days unless the records are not present or accessible at the provider’s office, in which case the provider has sixty days. See 45 C.F.R. Section 164.524 B2 and C3.
Health General Article Section 4-309 provides civil and criminal penalties for any doctor that does not disclose medical records within twenty-one days. Penalties can include a one-thousand dollar fine for the first offense. Outstanding balances, refusal to sign A&A’s and other reasons are not valid reasons to fail to provide the records.
The preparation fee for twenty-one dollars may not be charged if the patient himself or herself requests the records, it may be charged to an attorney. See Health General Article 4-401 and 4-304.
SURVIVAL AND WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIMS
Although each is a separate cause of action to determine liability, they are derivative actions of one another for insurance coverage purposes. Thus where there is a 100,000/300,000 policy, the most you could get for both claims together is 100.
WRONGFUL DEATH STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR MINOR CHILD
Wrongful death action must be filed within three years of the parent’s death, not within three years of the child’s attaining majority. The three year deadline prescribed by Section 3-904 (g) (1) of the Court and Judicial Proceedings Article is condition precedent to filing the action and is not tolled by minority. See Waddell v. Kirkpatrick, 331 MD. 52 (1993). This statute overrules the Court of Appeals decision in the case of Mason v. Board of Education of Baltimore City, 375 MD. 504 (2003) that suggests a person reaches a certain age on the day before the person’s birthday. See Maryland Code Article 1, section 37.
SUCCESSOR CORPORATION LIABILITY
Under Commercial Article, section 3-114, the successor is liable for all debts and obligations of each non-surviving corporation, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company and business trust. An existing claim or action pending against any non-surviving corporation, etc. may by prosecuted to judgment as if the consolidation or merger had not taken place or on motion of the successor, the successor may be substituted as the party and the judgment against the non-surviving corporation constitutes a lien on the property of the successor. There does not appear to be a way for the survivor to disavow the liabilities of the non-surviving corporation.
THE STATUTE OF REPOSE
This legal mechanism is different from a Statute of Limitations in that a Statute of Repose cuts off rights of action after a specified time measured from delivery of a product or completion of work regardless of the time of accrual or a cause of action or a notice of legal rights which might have attained before a more generalized Statute of Limitations period has run. This is applied, for example, in UCC matters. See Peters v. Riggs National Bank, N.A. decided February 28, 2008, D.C.C.A. #05-CV-1379.
POST-JUDGMENT LEGAL INTEREST RATE
See Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article Section 11-107, it is 10% per year.
CLAIM AGAINST DECEASED DEFENDANT’S ESTATE
See Greentree v. Fertita, 338 MD. 621, 659 a 2d, 1325. Judge Eldridge distinguishes between the period required to file a claim against an estate that is not covered by insurance and the application of the statute of limitations under 8-104 (e) for claims covered by insurance. In the case, it is stated that to the extent a successful claim will be satisfied by the proceeds of an insurance policy, rather than by the assets of the estate, Section 8-104(e) makes inapplicable certain procedural requirements which would generally apply to limit claims against the states. On the other hand, a claim with a value greater than the amount of insurance coverage may be made against the assets of the estate, provided the claim was made within the shorter statutory period for filing such a claim. In order to perfect a bad faith claim, one must file a claim against the estate within the shorter period of time.
More information found in miscellaneous administrative issues.
NOTICE TO SCHOOL BOARDS
The Maryland Tort Claims Act or the Local Government Torts Act does not apply to school boards because school boards are not considered a state entity. See Education Article 3-104. County Boards of Education under § 4-105 of the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland must have at least $ 100,000 insurance. They have immunity above that amount. (See § 5-518(b)) of Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.BOARD OF EDUCATION WAIVER OF IMMUNITY
Md. Code (1974, 2006 Repl. Vol.), Section 5-518© of the Courts and Judicial proceedings Article waives the governmental immunity of a county board of education, including the immunity guaranteed by the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, as to all claims of $ 100,000 or less.. See Board of Education of Baltimore County v. Mireille Zimmer-Rubert, No. 69, September Term 2008, filed June 11, 2009.AMENDMENTS TO PLEADINGS SHOULD BE LIBERALLY ALLOWED
See Staub v. Staub, 31 Md. App. 478 (1976) which stands for the proposition that the doctrine of variance where a party may not allege one cause of action and prove another cause of action has been subsumed by the liberal amendment rules. See also Poe’s Pleading and Practice Section 184 (6th Ed. H.M. Sachs, Jr.)INTERSPOUSAL TORT
See Md. Code, insurance Article, Section 19-504.1. that provides coverage for claims by family members.
NOTICE TO D.C. GOVERNMENT
D.C. Code § 12-309 requires notice be given to the District of Columbia Government. In order to be deemed appropriate notice, the government must be apprised of the time, place, cause and circumstances of the injuries or damages. The notice may be provided by the claimant, his agent or attorney, or through a report of the Metropolitan Police Department in regular course of duty. A police report may not always be sufficient unless it meets the previous qualifications. See Miller v. Spencer, 330 A. 2d at 252 to determine if the police report is sufficient. It has been suggested that the D.C. Government is now taking the position that one must also supply the date of birth or the social security number of the claimant although that does not appear in the statute.DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA NOTICE PROVISION
There is a provision under the D.C. Code and regulations for any notice letter sent to the D.C. Government. When we put D.C. on notice of a possible claim against the D.C. Government, we do so pursuant to Section 12-309 within 18- days of the accident. Heretofore we have always just sent the notice to the mayor. The office of the Attorney General has indicated that the Mayor has delegated to the Office of Risk management the authority to accept such notice of claims., effective January 20, 2004. I do not know if this will continue when a new mayor comes into office. Out of an abundance of caution, from now on until further notice, we should put BOTH the mayor and the Office of Risk management on notice for a D.C. Claim. The statute is very specific what needs to be in the notice and the Attorney General has indicated other things need to be in the notice (even though the statute doesn’t’ mention some of the things the Attorney general mentions. In any event, the Office of Risk Management notice should be addressed as follows:
Office of Risk Management
441 4th Street, N.W. Washington D.C. 20001.
The notice letter needs the following: (1) identity of claimant (address, work telephone number and home telephone number, date of birth and Social Security Number and/or business tax i.d. number). It is these things in parentheses that are not in the statute but what the Attorney General requests-it is unclear whether this is binding but we don’t want to be the test case; (2) dat6e and approximate time of the accident; (3) exact location of the accident; (4) cause of the damage or injury; (5) circumstances why D.C. Government should be liable. The Attorney general also asks each notice include any police reports related to the accident, documents showing ownership and cost of damaged items, estimate for repairs, medical bills and reports. Some of these things we don’t have early in the case but we should try to comply to the extent possible.
Please note there is a relatively new case from the Court of Appeals of Maryland saying that METRO is an entity of the State of Maryland since it is a three jurisdiction compact (D.C., MD, VA) and thus the State Treasurer needs to be put on notice pursuant to State Government Article Section 12-309 for any METRO accident that occurs in MD. Since it is possible D.C. will apply the same reasoning, we should also put the D.C. Government on notice of any METRO accident claims in D.C. (as well as Metro itself in each jurisdiction).
FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT
The claimant must complete a Form 95 within 2 years of claim (28 U.S.C. § 2675). Form 95 must be sent to the appropriate agency where claim arises. The agency can deny claim either by certified mail or by failing to make a final disposition within 6 months after it is filed. Once the claim is denied you can file suit within 6 months after denial. You can ask for reconsideration within the 6 month period and that extends the time for filing suit for 6 months from the date of the filing for reconsideration. Form 95 must be completed in its entirety. Attaching medical records and bills is a good idea but not required. The agency will send a letter asking for bills and records. An amendment to the claim can be made at any time up to the final decision by agency
MARYLAND TORT CLAIMS ACT
State Government Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, § 12-101 is the applicable statute governing claims against the state. In an interesting case, Pope v. Barbre (Jan. 2007), a deputy sheriff considered a state employee. Under State Government Article Title 12, Immunity and Liability Subtitle 1, Maryland Tort Claims Act, Section 12-107, a claim must contain a concise statement of the facts that sets forth the nature of the claim, including the date and place of the alleged tort, demand specific damages, state the name and address of each party, state the name, address and telephone number of counsel for the claimant, if any, and be signed by the claimant or legal representative or counsel for the claimant. It should be sent to the State Treasurer. A claim is deemed denied if the final decision is not rendered within six months after the filing of the claim, if there has been no otherwise rendered final decision by the treasurer.
Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority; Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Tunnel Compact
In a recent Maxwell case, the Court of Special Appeals held that WMATA had immunity and was a State unit. Look at Transportation Article 10-203 and 10-204 that states specifically that WMATA is a joint effort by DC, Virginia and Maryland who are called signatories to the multi-state compact. It is multi-jurisdictional and run by a board with persons from each of the three jurisdictions. 10-104 states “there is hereby created as an instrumentality and agency of each of the signatory parties hereto,…” It is designated as a body corporate and politic. Therefore, WMATA is an agency of Maryland, it is also an agency of DC and Virginia. Therefore, the $200,000 cap limit applies. For a contrary exampled, look at Conaway v. State, 108, Md. App. 475; 672 A.2nd 162, that stands for the proposition that where the state hires private contractors to do something, the private contractors are not cloaked with immunity just because they are working for the state. In the Maxwell case, WMATA is a creation of the state, along with Virginia and DC. Notice must be given to the state pursuant to the Maryland Tort Claims Act. For similar provisions, see 10-301 of the Transportation Article for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and Tunnel Compact. See also 10-204, section 80.
Insurers Duty to Provide Address of Its Insured
See Annotate Code of Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article 6-311.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT TORT CLAIMS ACT
See Courts and Judicial Proceedings Title 5, subtitle 3, Section 5-304. Generally, an action for unliquidated damages may not be brought against a local government or its employees unless notice of the claim is given within one hundred and eighty (180) days after the injury. Except in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Harford County and Prince George’s County, the notice shall be given in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested bearing a post mark from the United States Postal Service by the claimant or the representative of the claimant to the County Commissioner, County Council or corporate authorities of the defendant local government.
In Baltimore City, notice should be given to the City Solicitor. In Howard County, to the County Executive and in Montgomery County notice should be given to the County Executive. In Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford and Prince George’s County, the notice shall be given in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested to the County Solicitor or County Attorney.
The notice shall be in writing and shall state the time, place and cause of injury. Under section D of 5-304, unless the defendant can affirmatively show that its defense has been prejudiced by lack of required notice, upon motion and for good cause shown, the court may entertain the suit even though the required notice was not given. The notice provisions of the act can be found at Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-304. Notice of a claim must be given to the municipality (the person designated by 5-304b) within 180 days of the injury. The exception to the notice provision is that the plaintiff must be able to show there was no prejudice by lack of notice (5-304 c) and then by Motion and for good cause shown the court may entertain the suit. The case of Moore v. Norouzi v. Brown et al 371 Md. 154, 807 A. 2d 632 discusses the notice requirements in detail. There is a cap under the act of $ 200,000 per an individual claim and $ 500,000 for total claims arising out of the same occurrence. The individual committing negligence may not be personally responsible for any damages (Courts & Judicial Proceedings § 5-302(b).LOCAL GOVERNEMENTS - GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY
In a decision rendered in 2006 by the Court of Appeals (Mayor and City Council v. Whalen) the court reiterated it would not abolish this doctrine. Accordingly, the plaintiff must distinguish between governmental and proprietary action. Immunity applies if it is purely a governmental act. The cases are all over the board on this issue. The test for governmental acts is whether the act was sanctioned by governmental authorities, solely for the public benefit, inures no profit or emolument to the municipality, tends to benefit the public health and promote the welfare of the whole public, and is void of any element of private interest (The Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. State, Use of Alice Blueford, 195 A. 571). One way a plaintiff may recover is needs to show, for example, that the act inures profit or emolument to the municipality, thereby rendering the act proprietary. The case of Tadjer v. Montgomery County, 479 A. 2d 1321 sets forth the standard for this prong of the test. See also Town of Brunswick v. Hyatt, 605 A. 2d 620. See also Burns v. City of Rockville, 525 A. 2d 255; Md. Nat’l Cap P. & P. Comm’n v. Krantz, 521 A. 2d 729; Higgins v. City of Rockville, 587 A. 2d 1168 discusses the long standing exception to governmental immunity that places the maintenance of streets and sidewalks and areas contiguous to them squarely within the proprietary function of municipalities (See also Pierce v. City of Baltimore, 151 A. 2d 915; Birkhead v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 197 A. 615; 197 A. 615. The proprietary cases are inconsistent at best.HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION
These organizations are governed by Maryland Homeowner’s Association Act (MHAA) Annotated Code of Maryland. RP § 11B et seq. See Markey v. Wolf, 607 A.2d 82 for breach of fiduciary duty concepts.SETTLEMENT FOR MINOR IN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
See the DC Code 21-120, indicating approval of any minor settlement and a guardianship for whenever the minor receives proceeds that exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000.00).SETTLEMENT PROCEEDS FOR MINORS IN MARYLAND
See Courts and Judicial Proceedings 6-405 and Insurance Article 19-113 and Title 13, Subtitle 4, Estates and Trust Article. If net sum is greater than $ 5,000 to a minor it has to be deposited in an account in the minor’s name in strict compliance with 13-404 of the Estates and Trusts Article. Except upon court order, the money cannot be withdrawn until age 18. Structured Settlements for a minor should get court approval.SUIT ON BEHALF OF A MINOR CHILD-MARYLAND
Rule 2-202 B of the Maryland Rules of Procedure addresses who may be the next friend if a child is in the sole custody of one of the parents but not the other. There does not appear to be any legal rule that provides that both parents must approve of a lawsuit and participate in the suit as next friends. If one parent is eligible to be the next friend, then that parent may sue as the next friend. The reason for having a next friend is simply that a child’s minority constitutes a disability that bars the child from suing in his or her own name. See Berrain v. Katzen, 331 MD 693 (1993). If medical bills were incurred before the child turns eighteen the right to seek recovery rests with the parents in the first instance and not with the child. The parent’s cause of action for the pre-majority medical bills does not have to be joined with the child’s suit for non-economic damages. The parent’s may assign to the child their cause of action to recover the medical expenses.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR THIRD PARTY CLAIMS ARISING FROM A WORKER’S COMPENSATION CLAIM
Worker’s compensation law dealing with third party claims and the annotations thereto indicate that for the first sixty days after an accident, the compensation carrier has the exclusive right to file a third party claim. The claimant has three years to file a claim but the three years does not start until the sixty first day, this is a variation from the standard Statute of Limitations provisions.POLICE REPORT ADMISSABILITY
See Aetna Casualty Ensurity Company v. Kuhl, 296 MD 446 (1983).CONFLICT OF LAWS
Maryland applies the substantive law of the place where the tort occurred. For example, if an accident happens in Delaware it would be best to apply Delaware law because there is no cap on damages and there is comparative negligence. In Erie v. Heffernon, decided by the Court of Appeals on April 10, 2007, the Court held that even though Maryland had strong public policy in favor of non-economic cap, the Delaware law thought different and did not offend Maryland law and therefore Maryland would not apply the cap. On UM or UIM claims, since these are contract actions, Maryland applies the law of the place where the contract is entered into.MISNOMERS
See Nathaniel McSwain et ux v. Tri-State Transportaion Co., Inc. (1983). This case stands for the proposition that an amendment to properly name an improperly named party (as opposed to a misjoinder) would be allowed in order to avoid a gross injustice. The names must be similar and any amendment must be done timely when the problem is discovered.
AMENDING ADDENDUM CLAUSES AFTER A VERDICT
See Falcinelli v. Cardascia, 339 MD 414 (1995). Also see Rule 2-341 (b) and the Committee note added in 1998 that states that “by leave of Court, the Court may grant leave to amend the amount sought in a demand for a money judgment after a jury verdict is returned.”
REVERSE PHONE LOOK-UP-TRYING TO LOCATE DEFENDANT
FINDING CRIMINAL RECORD ONLINE
The most comprehensive criminal records can be obtained by having the subject of inquiry sign an information release to obtain a nationwide criminal record through the criminal justice information system in Baltimore. http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/aboutdpscs/ataglance.shtml. Maryland criminal court information is at http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiry-index.jsp. Better details on case history are at the computer terminals at the Courthouses and on the District Court computer system that might still be available through the CJIS by dial-up system. To know what a person is in jail for, one must find the inmates location at http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/inmate. This would be for state prisons. To find prison inmates out of state, use http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/LocateInmate.jsp. For federal facilities, http://www.inmatesplus.com, for state facilities.
SUBPOENA FOR VERIZON PHONE RECORDS
In order to subpoena Verizon phone records, the subpoena should be served on Verizon Maryland Custodian of Records, One East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. The office that supplies the subpoenaed records is Verizon Legal Compliance, 99 Shawan Road, Room 133, Cockeysville, MD 21030, their telephone number 888-483-2600.
SUBPOENA FOR CELL PHONE RECORDS
Under FCC regulations long distance toll carriers are required to keep records for 18 months. 47 C.F.R. sec. 42.6. In order to subpoena records from the carriers send the subpoenas as follows:
- Subpoenas for T-Mobile: serve Custodian of Records, T-Mobile Subpoena Compliance, 4 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, NJ 07054; fax 973-292-8697; phone 973-292-8911.
- Subpoenas for Verizon records outside of state: serve Custodian of Records, Verizon CellCo Partnership/ D/B/A/ Verizon Wireless Subpoena Compliance, 180 Washington Valley Road, Bedminster, NJ 07921, fax 888-667-0028, voice 800-451-5242.
- Subpoensa for AT&T records(including what used to Cingular): serve Custodian of Records, AT&T, Subpoena Compliance, P.O. Box 24679, West Palm Beach, FL 33416, fax 888-938-4715, voice 800-451-5242.
- Subpoenas for Sprint records, including now what used to be Nextel: serve Custodian of Records, Sprint Corporate Security, 6480 Spring Parkway, Overland Park, Kansas, 66251, fax 913-315-0736 or 913-315-0735, voice 800-877-7330.
- Subpoenas for Cricket Records: serve Subpoena Compliance, Cricket Communications/Leap Wireless, 10307 Pacific Center Court, San Diego, CA 92121, fax 858-882-9237, voice 858-882-6084.
See Service Members Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. App § 520 (2003).
Social Security number works best but can also search with last name, first name and date of birth.
WEATHER ON THE NET
NCDC: * National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). http://www.noaa.gov/pastweather.html provides official federal numbers.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/lftbls/life/1996.htm. U.S Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics. Vital and Health Statistics.
If know social security number check the social security death index. Accurint puts a “D” next to the name. Check the State Department of Vital Statistics.
MARYLAND RULES ONLINE
Free through Lexis Nexis
WEBSITE FOR LIFE TABLES
Contact American Insurance Services in Jersey City New Jersey. Call ASIC (201-469-200) and ask them to send a “Request for Disclosure to third Parties” form. Fill out form, have client sign it and date it. Cost is $ 25 per submittal. Need to submit copy of client’s i.d. or copy of retainer agreement signed by client.
LOCATING INSURANCE INFORMATION
ATTORNEY FEES LIEN
See Skeens v. Miller 628 A. 2d 185; Sharrow v. State Farm, 306 Md. 754; Cross v. American Country, 875 F. 2d 625; Polen v. Melondakos, 564 N.W. 2d 467; Vogelhut v. Kandel 66 Md App. 170; Kidd v. CSX Transp., 34 ATLA L.Repr. 85; In Re L-Tryptophan, 518 N.W. 2d 616 and Johnson v. Georgia Hwy. 488 F. 2d 719. See also
Business Professions Article of Annotated Code of Maryland, Section 10-501.
DISTRICT COURT JURISDICTION
CJ § 4-401 lists the instances where the District Court has original jurisdiction. CJ § 4-402 lists the exceptions. Both have recently been amended. CJ 4 § 4-402 (e) addresses jury trials of District Court matters. Maryland Rules, Rule 2-236 addresses cases transferred to Circuit Court through a jury demand. It states that all transferred action not within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the District Court, shall have new pleadings drawn up and shall be treated as if it was originally filed in the Circuit Court. If the transferred action was within the original jurisdiction of the District Court, all subsequent pleadings and discovery shall be governed by the District Court Rules unless the court orders otherwise.
ADMISSION OF MEDICAL BILLS AND RECORDS IN DISTRICT COURT
Effective October 1, 1997, CJ § 10-104 allows medical, dental and hospital records including those expressing a condition, opinion or provision of treatment, to be entered into evidence without authenticating testimony under certain circumstances. Written statements or bills also fall under this rule. Medical, dental or hospital records or writings are admissible when (1) the writing is otherwise admissible, and (2) a copy of the records or writings to be admitted, along with the party’s intent to introduce them without supporting testimony, is filed with the clerk of the court and served on all other parties (in accordance with Rule 1-321) at least 60 days before trial. The other parties can respond with their own documents they wish to admit 30 days before trial. The written statements or bills for expenses are admissible to prove the amount, fairness and reasonableness of the charges for the services or materials provided and to prove the existence of a medical condition, the opinion of the doctor or dentist, and the necessity of providing of medical or dental treatment.
10-105 Cts. & Jud. Proc.
10-105 of Courts & Judicial proceedings would be used to get into evidence things such as car rental, property damage, prescriptions and medical equipment bills. Pharmacies and health Care Providers are not “health Care Providers” within the meaning of Section 10-104.
ADMISSION OF BILLS FOR GOODS AND SERVICES IN DISTRICT COURT
Under CJ § 10-105 bills for goods and services rendered can be admitted pursuant to the procedure referenced oin §10-104. Damages claimed by multiple plaintiffs are not aggregated for the purpose of determining whether the District Court has jurisdiction. Pollokoff v. Maryland National Bank, 288 Md. 485 (1980).
JOHN DOE PLEADINGS
See Steve Nam v. Montgomery County, Maryland No. 189, Sept. terms, 1998. John Doe pleadings may not relate back to time of original filing. See Doe v. Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, 89 Md. App. 351