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Updates on Shielding Protective Order Cases

The state of Maryland has become more generous in providing shielding of protective orders. Initially, protective order cases could only be shielded if they were dismissed or the petitioner's request was denied. Currently, if the respondent consents to a protective order, without a finding of abuse, the respondent is eligible to at least petition the court to have the matter shielded from public record. The 2019 statute is below.

It is often wise to consider shielding a domestic violence case if possible. If someone is doing a background check and this sort of information comes up it can be viewed in a negative manner. Please call me if I can assist you or advise you in shielding your domestic violence case.

Section 4-512. Shielding of records.
(a) Definitions. --
(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2)
(i) "Court record" means an official record of a court about a proceeding that the clerk of a court or other court personnel keeps.

(ii) "Court record" includes:
1. an index, a docket entry, a petition, a memorandum, a transcription of proceedings, an electronic recording, an order, and a judgment; and

2. any electronic information about a proceeding on the website maintained by the Maryland Judiciary.

(3) "Shield" means to remove information from public inspection in accordance with this section.

(4) "Shielding" means:
(i) with respect to a record kept in a courthouse, removing the record to a separate secure area to which persons who do not have a legitimate reason for access are denied access; and

(ii) with respect to electronic information about a proceeding on the website maintained by the Maryland Judiciary, completely removing all information concerning the proceeding from the public website, including the names of the parties, case numbers, and any reference to the proceeding or any reference to the removal of the proceeding from the public website.

(5) "Victim services provider" means a nonprofit or governmental organization that has been authorized by the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention to have online access to records of shielded protective orders in order to assist victims of abuse.

(b) Written request. --
(1) Subject to subsection (c) of this section, if a petition filed under this subtitle was denied or dismissed at the interim, temporary, or final protective order stage of a proceeding under this subtitle, the petitioner or the respondent may file a written request to shield all court records relating to the proceeding in accordance with subsection (d) of this section.

(2) Subject to subsection (c) of this section, if the respondent consented to the entry of a protective order under this subtitle, the petitioner or the respondent may file a written request to shield all court records relating to the proceeding in accordance with subsection (e) of this section.

(c) Timing. -- A request for shielding under this section may not be filed within 3 years after the denial or dismissal of the petition or the consent to the entry of the protective order, unless the requesting party files with the request a general waiver and release of all the party's tort claims related to the proceeding under this subtitle.

(d) Notice, hearing, and findings. --
(1) If a petition was denied or dismissed at the interim, temporary, or final protective order stage of a proceeding under this subtitle, on the filing of a written request for shielding under this section, the court shall schedule a hearing on the request.

(2) The court shall give notice of the hearing to the other party or the other party's counsel of record.

(3) Except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5) of this subsection, after the hearing, the court shall order the shielding of all court records relating to the proceeding if the court finds:
(i) that the petition was denied or dismissed at the interim, temporary, or final protective order stage of the proceeding;

(ii) that a final protective order or peace order has not been previously issued against the respondent in a proceeding between the petitioner and the respondent;

(iii) that the respondent has not been found guilty of a crime arising from abuse against the petitioner; and

(iv) that none of the following are pending at the time of the hearing:
1. an interim or temporary protective order or peace order issued against the respondent in a proceeding between the petitioner and the respondent; or

2. a criminal charge against the respondent arising from alleged abuse against the petitioner.

(4)
(i) On its own motion or on the objection of the other party, the court may, for good cause, deny the shielding.

(ii) In determining whether there is good cause under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, the court shall balance the privacy of the petitioner or the respondent and potential danger of adverse consequences to the petitioner or the respondent against the potential risk of future harm and danger to the petitioner and the community.

(5) Information about the proceeding may not be removed from the Domestic Violence Central Repository.

(e) Notice, hearing, and findings -- After expiration of protective order. -- (1)
(i) If the respondent consented to the entry of a protective order under this subtitle, the petitioner or the respondent may file a written request for shielding at any time after the protective order expires.

(ii) On the filing of a request for shielding under this paragraph, the court shall schedule a hearing on the request.

(iii) The court shall give notice of the hearing to the other party or the other party's counsel of record.

(iv) Except as provided in subparagraph (vi) of this paragraph and subject to subparagraph (v) of this paragraph, after the hearing, the court may order the shielding of all court records relating to the proceeding if the court finds:
1. for cases in which the respondent requests shielding, that the petitioner consents to the shielding;

2. that the respondent did not violate the protective order during its term;

3. that a final peace order or protective order has not been previously issued against the respondent in a proceeding between the petitioner and the respondent;

4. that the respondent has not been found guilty of a crime arising from abuse against the petitioner; and

5. that none of the following are pending at the time of the hearing:
A. an interim or temporary peace order or protective order issued against the respondent; or

B. a criminal charge against the respondent arising from alleged abuse against an individual.

(v) In determining whether court records should be shielded under this paragraph, the court shall balance the privacy of the petitioner or the respondent and potential danger of adverse consequences to the petitioner or the respondent against the potential risk of future harm and danger to the petitioner and the community.

(vi) Information about the proceeding may not be removed from the Domestic Violence Central Repository.

(2)
(i) If the respondent consented to the entry of a protective order under this subtitle, but the petitioner did not consent to shielding at the hearing under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the respondent may refile a written request for shielding after 1 year from the date of the hearing under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(ii) On the filing of a request for shielding under this paragraph, the court shall schedule a hearing on the request.

(iii) The court shall give notice of the hearing to the other party or the other party's counsel of record.

(iv) Except as provided in subparagraph (vi) of this paragraph and subject to subparagraph (v) of this paragraph, after the hearing, the court may order the shielding of all court records relating to the proceeding if the court finds: 1. A. that the petitioner consents to the shielding; or
B. that the petitioner does not consent to the shielding, but that it is unlikely that the respondent will commit an act of abuse against the petitioner in the future;

2. that the respondent did not violate the protective order during its term;

3. that a final peace order or protective order has not been previously issued against the respondent in a proceeding between the petitioner and the respondent;

4. that the respondent has not been found guilty of a crime arising from abuse against the petitioner; and

5. that none of the following are pending at the time of the hearing:
A. an interim or temporary peace order or protective order issued against the respondent; or

B. a criminal charge against the respondent arising from alleged abuse against an individual.

(v) In determining whether court records should be shielded under this paragraph, the court shall balance the privacy of the petitioner or the respondent and potential danger of adverse consequences to the petitioner or the respondent against the potential risk of future harm and danger to the petitioner and the community.

(vi) Information about the proceeding may not be removed from the Domestic Violence Central Repository.

(f) Access to shielded record. -- (1) This section does not preclude the following persons from accessing a shielded record for a legitimate reason:
(i) a law enforcement officer;

(ii) an attorney who represents or has represented the petitioner or the respondent in a proceeding;

(iii) a State's Attorney;

(iv) an employee of a local department; or

(v) a victim services provider.

(2)
(i) A person not listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection may subpoena, or file a motion for access to, a record shielded under this section.

(ii) If the court finds that the person has a legitimate reason for access, the court may grant the person access to the shielded record under the terms and conditions that the court determines.

(iii) In ruling on a motion under this paragraph, the court shall balance the person's need for access to the record with the petitioner's or the respondent's right to privacy and the potential harm of unwarranted adverse consequences to the petitioner or the respondent that the disclosure may create.

(g) Compliance with order. -- Within 60 days after entry of an order for shielding under this section, each custodian of court records that are subject to the order of shielding shall advise in writing the court and the respondent of compliance with the order.

(h) Regulations. -- The Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, in consultation with the Maryland Judiciary, may adopt regulations governing online access to shielded records by a victim services provider. MD Code Fam. Law. 4-512 Shielding of records (Maryland Code (2019 Edition))
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Converting Arrest Warrants to Criminal Summons in Montgomery County

A question which I receive in Montgomery County is whether an arrest warrant can be quashed or converted to a summons. The general answer in Montgomery County is in the negative. I was successful in converting an arrest warrant in Prince Georges County. In that case the prosecutor consented to the request.

Below is directly from our administrative judge:

It is the position of our District Court that it does not have authority to convert an unserved arrest warrant to a criminal summons. District Court administrative regulation XV authorizes judges to recall bench warrants and failure to appear warrants only. Arrest warrants issued by commissioners must be served on the defendant.

A possible exception is that the state's attorney can intervene and take action prior to service of a warrant on a defendant.
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Addressing uninsured motor vehicle claims in Maryland

§ 10-921. Burden of proof in uninsured motorist coverage actions.
(a) In general. -- In an action against an insurer or the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund under a policy providing uninsured motor vehicle liability coverage, the person asserting the uninsured status of a motor vehicle shall have the burden to prove that status.

(b) Vehicles registered in the State. -- For a motor vehicle registered in the State on the date of the occurrence out of which the cause of action arose, the burden of proof shall be deemed satisfied when the person asserting the uninsured status of the motor vehicle introduces:
(1) A certified copy of the official record of the Motor Vehicle Administration for that motor vehicle indicating the absence of a record that the motor vehicle was covered by the security required by § 17-104 of the Transportation Article on the date of the occurrence out of which the cause of action arose; or

(2) A denial of coverage based on the absence of an in-force policy of insurance covering the vehicle on the date of the occurrence out of which the cause of action arose by the insurer that has been identified as the insurer of the motor vehicle:
(i) By the Motor Vehicle Administration;

(ii) In writing, if any, by the driver or owner of the motor vehicle; and

(iii) In a report, if any, prepared by an officer of a federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency who investigated the occurrence out of which the cause of action arose.

(c) Vehicles registered out-of-state. -- For a motor vehicle registered outside the State on the date of the occurrence out of which the cause of action arose, the burden of proof shall be deemed satisfied when the person asserting the uninsured status of the motor vehicle introduces:
(1) A certified copy of the official records of the governmental unit, if any, that maintains records of insurance coverage for motor vehicles registered in that state indicating the absence of a record that the motor vehicle was covered by insurance on the date of the occurrence out of which the cause of action arose; or

(2) A denial of coverage based on the absence of an in-force policy of insurance covering the vehicle on the date of the occurrence out of which the cause of action arose by the insurer that has been identified as the insurer of the vehicle:
(i) By the governmental unit, if any, that maintains records of whether motor vehicles in the state are insured;

(ii) In writing, if any, by the driver or owner of the motor vehicle; and

(iii) In a report, if any, prepared by an officer of a federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency who investigated the occurrence out of which the cause of action arose.

(d) Satisfaction of burden of proof. -- If a person satisfies the burden of proof under subsection (b) or (c) of this section, the finder of fact shall find the motor vehicle at issue to be uninsured, unless an adverse party establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the motor vehicle or the driver of the motor vehicle was covered by a valid, enforceable motor vehicle liability insurance policy, bond, or security that provides coverage for the occurrence out of which the cause of action arose.


 MD Code Cts. & Jud. Proc. 10-921 Burden of proof in uninsured motorist coverage actions (Maryland Code (2019 Edition))
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Whether a Defendant Serving a Sentence for a Crime of Violence Is Entitled to Immediate Relief under Health General 8-505?

As indicated below, Maryland provides that at almost any time a defendant may be evaluated to determine whether because of drug or alcohol abuse the defendant is in need and may benefit from treatment.

Many times someone will demand treatment in lieu of incarceration based on the statute. There is a strong body of evidence that someone with a drug or alcohol problem is not cured simply by abstinence from the drug or alcohol be it months or years. They come in an addict and they leave an addict without treatment. Often times the evaluation and subsequent treatment can help lead to a healthier, safer and crime free life.

One of the ways in which Maryland categorizes crime is whether it is a crime of violence or not a crime of violence. The definition of crime of violence is more broad than one might think. The problem if one is convicted of a crime of violence is that relief under Health Gen. 8-505 is not available until after the defendant is first parole eligible.

In Maryland, if a person is convicted of a crime of violence, parole eligibility begins at 50% of the actual sentence. In other words, if someone receives 25 years for a 1st° assault, they are not parole eligible until 12 1/2 years and consequently not eligible for consideration of 8-505 until 12 1/2 years. The statute below makes this clear in my opinion.


§ 8-505. Evaluation of criminal defendants
(a) In general. -- (1) (i) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, before or during a criminal trial, before or after sentencing, or before or during a term of probation, the court may order the Department to evaluate a defendant to determine whether, by reason of drug or alcohol abuse, the defendant is in need of and may benefit from treatment if:
1. It appears to the court that the defendant has an alcohol or drug abuse problem; or

2. The defendant alleges an alcohol or drug dependency.
(ii) A court shall set and may change the conditions under which an examination is to be conducted under this section.

(iii) The Department shall ensure that each evaluation under this section is conducted in accordance with regulations adopted by the Department.

(2)
(i) If a defendant is serving a sentence for a crime of violence, as defined in § 14-101 of the Criminal Law Article, a court may not order the Department to evaluate a defendant under this section until the defendant is eligible for parole.

(ii) Nothing in this paragraph may be construed to prohibit a defendant who is serving a sentence for a crime of violence, as defined in § 14-101 of the Criminal Law Article from participating in any other treatment program or receiving treatment under the supervision of the Department under any other provision of law.

(b) Outpatient examinations. -- On consideration of the nature of the charge, the court:
(1) May require or permit an examination to be conducted on an outpatient basis; and

(2) If an outpatient examination is authorized, shall set bail for the defendant or authorize the release of the defendant on personal recognizance.

(c) Custodial examinations; detention and examination; habeas corpus. -- (1) If a defendant is to be held in custody for examination under this section:
(i) The defendant may be confined in a detention facility until the Department is able to conduct the examination; or

(ii) The court may order confinement of the defendant in a medical wing or other isolated and secure unit of a detention facility, if the court finds it appropriate for the health or safety of the defendant.

(2) (i) If the court finds that, because of the apparent severity of the alcohol or drug dependency or other medical or psychiatric complications, a defendant in custody would be endangered by confinement in a jail, the court may order the Department to either:
1. Place the defendant, pending examination, in an appropriate health care facility; or

2. Immediately conduct an evaluation of the defendant.
(ii) Unless the Department retains a defendant, the defendant shall be promptly returned to the court after an examination.

(iii) A defendant who is detained for an examination under this section may question at any time the legality of the detention by a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

(d) Duties of evaluator. -- (1) If a court orders an evaluation under this section, the evaluator shall:
(i) Conduct an evaluation of the defendant; and

(ii) Submit a complete report of the evaluation within 7 days to the:
1. Court;

2. Department; and

3. Defendant or the defendant's attorney.

(2) On good cause shown, a court may extend the time for an evaluation under this section.

(3) Whenever an evaluator recommends treatment, the evaluator's report shall:
(i) Name a specific program able to immediately provide the recommended treatment; and

(ii) Give an actual or estimated date when the program can begin treatment of the defendant.

(e) Department to provide services. --
(1) The Department shall immediately provide the services required by this section.

(2) A designee of the Department may carry out any of its duties under this section.

(f) Administration to perform evaluations. -- Evaluations performed in facilities operated by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services shall be conducted by the Administration.
MD Code Health-Gen. 8-505 Evaluation of criminal defendants (Maryland Code (2019 Edition))
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Credit for Time Spent in Custody

It is not unusual for a criminal defendant to be held in custody prior to trial on several different cases. For example a defendant might be convicted, receive a suspended sentence and be placed on probation. While on probation the defendant commits a new crime and is arrested and held without bond.

At some point the defendant is convicted for the new crime. The court imposes incarceration. Because of the conviction for the new crime that violates the defendant's probation and the defendant is incarcerated for the original crime.

Must each sentencing judge give credit for time served in custody? I believe that the criminal procedure article of Maryland would answer that question in the negative. I think the correct answer is that each sentencing judge may give credit for time served in custody.

What do you think?

§ 6-218. Credit against sentence for time spent in custody
(a) Scope of section. -- This section does not apply to a parolee who is returned to the custody of the Division of Correction because of a subsequent crime and is confined before being sentenced for the subsequent crime.

(b) In general. -- (1) A defendant who is convicted and sentenced shall receive credit against and a reduction of the term of a definite or life sentence, or the minimum and maximum terms of an indeterminate sentence, for all time spent in the custody of a correctional facility, hospital, facility for persons with mental disorders, or other unit because of:
(i) the charge for which the sentence is imposed; or

(ii) the conduct on which the charge is based.

(2) If a defendant is in custody because of a charge that results in a dismissal or acquittal, the time that would have been credited if a sentence had been imposed shall be credited against any sentence that is based on a charge for which a warrant or commitment was filed during that custody.

(3) In a case other than a case described in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the sentencing court may apply credit against a sentence for time spent in custody for another charge or crime.

(c) Credit when prior sentence set aside. -- A defendant whose sentence is set aside because of a direct or collateral attack and who is reprosecuted or resentenced for the same crime or for another crime based on the same transaction shall receive credit against and a reduction of the term of a definite or life sentence, or the minimum and maximum terms of an indeterminate sentence, for all time spent in custody under the prior sentence, including credit applied against the prior sentence in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

(d) Credit when one of multiple sentences set aside. -- A defendant who is serving multiple sentences, one of which is set aside as the result of a direct or collateral attack, shall receive credit against and a reduction of the remaining term of a definite or life sentence, or the remaining minimum and maximum terms of an indeterminate sentence, for all time spent in custody under the sentence set aside, including credit applied against the sentence set aside in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

(e) Credit awarded at sentencing. --
(1) The court shall award the credit required by this section at the time of sentencing.

(2) After having communicated with the parties, the court shall tell the defendant and shall state on the record the amount of the credit and the facts on which the credit is based. MD Code Crim. Proc. 6-218 Credit against sentence for time spent in custody (Maryland Code (2019 Edition))
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Immigration consequences of alcohol related offenses in Maryland

This is taken directly from two exceptional Maryland attorneys, Nadine Whetstein, Esq. and Maureen Sweeney, Esq.  I put it here as a public service was great thanks for their research and writing.

IMMIGRATION IMPACTS OF DUI ALCOHOL CONVICTIONS FOR OUR NONCITIZEN CLIENTS
FOR ALL NONCITIZENS: 
Immigration authorities do not distinguish between alcohol-related convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI) or other alcohol-related driving offenses.2 That is, it is not necessarily helpful to have a DWI rather than DUI conviction. In this advisory, both are referred to as DUI. 
Maryland TA 21-902 includes both driving and attempting to drive. Similarly, under immigration case law, attempt convictions have the same impact as convictions for the underlying offense. 
Receiving a PBJ will not alter any of the outcomes described here. A PBJ is a conviction for immigration purposes (unless there is absolutely no penalty, punishment, or restraint on liberty. Probation is a restraint on liberty. Court fines are a punishment). 
A sentence of less than one year for a DUI conviction does not make it “safe.” 
A DUI charge – even short of a conviction – is “a significant adverse consideration” for eligibility to bond out of ICE custody, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) held.3 The BIA said immigration judges should set a monetary bond only if the detainee first establishes that he or she is not a “danger to the community.” “Drunk driving is an extremely dangerous crime,” the BIA said. A deportation case can take months or years to adjudicate, so this may be a significant consideration for your client. 
If available, driving without a license (DWOL) would be a better plea option, as would be reckless or negligent driving or other non-alcohol related conviction. The client still might need to explain the incident to an immigration judge or official, and provide evidence of successful completion of probation and any treatment. 
1 © Maryland OPD 11-6-2019. This advisory discusses Maryland alcohol-related convictions under TA 21- 902(a) and (b). Convictions under 21-902(c) and (d), regarding drugs, potentially are even more problematic. This advisory is not intended to be legal advice. Check for updates: A.G. and BIA decisions can be challenged by litigants and rejected by federal courts! The author of this advisory is Nadine Wettstein, who is grateful for as- always helpful comments and suggestions by Prof. Maureen Sweeney of the University of Maryland. 2 Matter of Castillo-Perez, 27 I&N Dec. 664, 665, n.1 (AG October 25, 2019). 3 Matter of Siniauskas, 27 I&N Dec. 207, 208, 209, 210 (BIA 2018). The BIA is the immigration appellate board for the entire United States. 
BY CLIENT’S STATUS: A DUI conviction affects noncitizens differently depending upon their immigration status. Immigration advice to our clients must be accurate. To provide accurate advice about the immigration impact, you must know the client’s current immigration status. 
Undocumented person (entered U.S. without inspection, or overstayed a visa) An undocumented person includes someone who entered the United States without inspection, and someone who initially entered the U.S. with a visa but stayed longer than permitted. An undocumented person is deportable regardless of a conviction. A DUI conviction will make her even more of an ICE enforcement priority and will raise her profile, especially if her fingerprints were taken when she was arrested. Fingerprints automatically go to ICE. 
Some undocumented people may have a defense to deportation called “10-year cancellation of removal.” To qualify, the applicant must prove he has lived in the United States for at least 10 years and has had “good moral character” for all that time. One DUI conviction will not disqualify him from this defense but it will be a very negative factor. He might have to show that this one incident was an aberration and that he acted promptly and successfully to address any alcohol issues. He will have to provide information about the charges and disposition and certified copies. 
Under current agency case law, having two DUI convictions during the 10-year statutory period creates a very strong presumption that the person lacks good moral character and is thus disqualified from cancellation of removal.4 Proof of rehabilitation alone will not be enough to overcome the presumption. He also will have to show that his positive attributes outweigh the negatives, and that the DUIs were an aberration in a record that otherwise shows entirely good character. 
An applicant for 10-year cancellation of removal also cannot have spent 180 days or more in custody as a result of any and all convictions including DWOL and other traffic matters. This refers to the actual time spent in custody including before trial if the person is convicted. It does not include back-up time. 
Applicant for asylum or withholding of removal, or asylee One or more DUI convictions will not disqualify the applicant for asylum, however it will be a negative discretionary factor that must be overcome by positive factors. A related fear-based defense to deportation, withholding of removal, is not discretionary so should not be denied based on DUI conviction(s). One or more DUI convictions will not cause an asylee to lose asylee status. 
Asylee or other person applying for lawful permanent resident status (“green card”) After one year as an asylee, the asylee can apply to “adjust status” to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR). Other people adjust status from Special Immigration Juvenile; from a nonimmigrant visa; from a visa overstay; or other situations. Immigration officials have discretion to deny adjustment to LPR status. If the person has had DUI conviction(s), officials might deny adjustment on that basis. 
4 Matter of Castillo-Perez, 27 I&N Dec. 664 (AG October 25, 2019). Affected individuals likely will challenge this decision in federal courts across the country, so it is not necessarily the final word. 
Students and others in the United States on a temporary visa The DUI conviction(s) itself should not create a criminal basis for deportation. However, if she spends so much time in jail that it interferes with the reason she was admitted to the United States, she could be violating her status. E.g., if the student cannot attend school or drops below the required number of credit hours, she may have violated the terms of her admission and risks deportation. 
Also, the U.S. State Department says that a DUI indicates a possible visa ineligibility for a “physical or mental disorder” with associated harmful behavior that is likely to pose a threat to the property, safety or welfare of the person or others. This means that just based on the person’s arrest (and more likely if he is convicted), the visa could be revoked even while he is in the United States He will not necessarily be deported at that point, but if he leaves United States, he will have to apply for a new visa to return. He may have to go to an approved medical doctor to confirm that he does not have a physical or mental disorder related to alcohol that would cause a safety risk to the him or others. 
Also, if the person is sentenced to an aggregated total of five years or more – including suspended or backup time – for two or more convictions of any kind, the person will be inadmissible, that is, not eligible to return to the United States. DUI, DWOL, and all other convictions count for this five-year inadmissibility rule. 
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals): A DACA recipient has a permit that protects her from deportation and allows her to work, attend school, etc. One DUI conviction disqualifies her from DACA. She can expect the DACA permit to be automatically and quickly revoked. She then will revert to being undocumented. ICE may take her into custody. The conviction will be a negative discretionary and/ or good moral character factor in any applications for bond or defenses to deportation. 
TPS (Temporary Protected Status): TPS still is in effect and many clients have a valid TPS work permit that protects them from deportation and allows them to work with authorization. However, any two convictions for any offense that carries a potential sentence of at least five days of jail time will disqualify the person from TPS. 
A DUI conviction counts as one conviction for TPS. If a client has a prior conviction for any jailable offense – including a prior DWOL – a new DUI conviction, or any second conviction for an offense carrying at least five days of jail time, disqualifies him from TPS. His TPS permit could be revoked and he will revert to being undocumented. ICE may take him into custody. The conviction will be a negative factor in any applications for bond or defenses to deportation. 
Lawful permanent residents (LPR or “green card”) 
Not ground for deportation Some good news! For an LPR, Maryland DUI alcohol convictions – even multiple such convictions – do not make him deportable. A DUI conviction is not an aggravated felony or a crime involving moral 
turpitude or otherwise a basis for revoking his status or causing his deportation (Caution: DUI / drugs, 21-902(c) or (d) could be different result!) Also see below re inadmissibility and naturalization. 
Inadmissibility: re-entering United States after a trip A DUI conviction – especially if there has been more than one – may affect the LPR’s “admissibility,” that is, his ability to return after a trip outside the United States. Among the reasons the government can keep a person out is that that he has “a physical or mental disorder and a history of behavior associated with the disorder ... [that poses] a threat to the property, safety, or welfare ...” of the person seeking admission, or others. Also, an aggregated total of five years’ sentence including suspended time for two or more convictions of any type creates a basis for inadmissibility. Especially if an LPR has more than one DUI or any other conviction, he should be cautious about leaving the U.S. even for a short trip, and before leaving should consult with an immigration attorney or immigration nonprofit organization. 
Complicating, delaying application for U.S. citizenship Even one DUI conviction is a very negative discretionary factor when an LPR applies for U.S. citizenship, and may result in delay of approval or denial of her application. She may have to show she successfully acted to address any alcohol issues. She may need to obtain a medical certificate establishing she does not have a medical or physical condition related to alcohol that may make her a danger to herself or others. She will have to provide information about the charges and disposition and certified copies. 
In addition, the LPR must successfully complete probation before her citizenship application will be approved. A cautious approach is for her to wait as much as five years (the usual “good moral character” period) after one DUI conviction before applying.
Two DUI convictions within the statutory period (usually five years) will create a rebuttal presumption that the LPR is not a person of good moral character and should be denied U.S. citizenship.6 Two DUI convictions at any time – even if one or both was more than five years ago – very likely will be considered very negative factors and will have to be overcome with the passage of time and demonstration of clear rehabilitation. 
Whatever the conviction(s), to qualify for U.S. citizenship, the LPR cannot have spent an aggregated total of 180 days or more in custody during the five-year “good moral character” period. This refers to the actual time spent in custody for any and all convictions, including time served before conviction and as a result of any probation violation. It does not include back-up or suspended time or time spent in jail if the person was not later convicted. 
The LPR should consult with an immigration attorney or immigration nonprofit organization before applying for U.S. citizenship. 

5 The five-year period is not a bright line or an “all clear.” The government can and does deny citizenship based on prior conduct. 6 Matter of Castillo-Perez, 27 I&N Dec. 664 (AG October 25, 2019). 
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Limited Discovery in Breach of Lease?

In a District Court breach of lease case, is limited discovery allowed to? In other words can the landlord find out about the tenant's case prior to trial and vice versa?

Hudson v. Housing Authority, 935 A.2d 395, 402 Md. (2007) seems to indicate that limited discovery in certain types of landlord-tenant cases is allowed. In a footnote it cites the following:

1. Maryland Rule 3-711 (2006), entitled "Landlord-Tenant and Grantee Actions," states:


        Landlord-tenant and grantee actions shall be governed by (1) the procedural provisions of all applicable general statutes, public local laws, and municipal and county ordinances, and (2) unless inconsistent with the applicable laws, the rules of this Title, except that no pretrial discovery under Chapter 400 of this Title shall be permitted in a grantee action, or an action for summary ejectment, wrongful detainer, or distress for rent, or an action involving tenants holding over. Hudson v. Housing Authority, 935 A.2d 395, 402 Md. 18 (Md. App., 2007)
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Right to A Jury Trial in a Criminal Case


It is generally thought that a criminal defendant may only have a jury trial if the crime charged exposes the defendant to more than 90 days of incarceration. While this is true in the District Court of Maryland, it does not apply in the Circuit Court. If the defendant is convicted in the District Court of, for example, driving while impaired, which generally only has a maximum of 60 days of incarceration, and the defendant appeals that matter to the Circuit Court, the defendant is entitled to a jury trial if the defendant so wishes based on the below statute.

Criminal Procedure
§ 6-101. Right to trial by jury
In a criminal case tried in a court of general jurisdiction, there is no right to a jury trial unless:
(1) the crime charged is subject to a penalty of imprisonment; or

(2) there is a constitutional right to a jury trial for the crime.
MD Code Crim. Proc. 6-101 Right to trial by jury (Maryland Code (2019 Edition))
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Must the clerk accept a proper filing?

According to statute, generally yes:


§ 2-201. In general
(a) Enumeration. -- The clerk of a court shall:
(1) Have custody of the books, records, and papers of his office;

(2) Make proper legible entries of all proceedings of the court and keep them in well-bound books or other permanent form;

(3) When requested in writing to do so, record any paper filed with his office and required by law to be recorded in the appropriate place, whether or not the title to land is involved;

(4) Unless prohibited by law or order of court, provide copies of records or papers in his custody to a person requesting a copy, under the seal of the court if required;

(5) Issue all writs which may legally be issued from the court;

(6) Deliver a full statement of the costs of a suit to a party requesting a copy;

(7) Receive all books, documents, public letters, and packages sent to him pursuant to law, and carefully dispose of them as the law requires;

(8) Administer an oath;

(9) Replace worn books and records with new ones;

(10) In conjunction with the Motor Vehicle Administrator, establish uniform procedures for reporting both traffic cases and criminal cases involving a motor vehicle in the circuit court to the Motor Vehicle Administration; and

(11) Perform any other duty required by law or rule.

(b) No duty to record until costs paid. -- Unless otherwise provided by law, a clerk is not required to record any paper filed with him or to provide any person with a copy of a paper until the applicable charge has been paid.
MD Code Cts. & Jud. Proc. 2-201 In general (Maryland Code (2019 Edition))

Act of filing papers with court is as ministerial and inflexibly mandatory as any of clerk's responsibilities. Maccray versus Maryland 456  F2d 1 (Fourth Circuit 1972)

There are some restrictions, the item must be in proper form, generally there must be a certificate of service, if these need to be paid, etc. but in general the court must accept documents for filing.
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What does "shall" mean?

In Maryland there is some debate as to the term shall. Sometimes I like to equate shall with must. Excerpts from this opinion seem to support that position:

Lovero v. Joelma Da Silva., 200 Md.App. 433, 28 A.3d 43 (Md. App., 2011

It is important to note that in each iteration of the rule the clerk is directed not to “file” any paper or pleading requiring service that does not contain the appropriate proof of service. See Rule 1–323 (“The clerk shall not accept for filing....”); Rule 306 a.2. (“The clerk shall not accept or file ....”); and Rule 1(a)(2) (a paper “shall not be received and filed by the clerk ...”). The use of the word “shall” in a rule means that the conduct proscribed is mandatory. See Rule 1–201(a); 5 Owens v. Prince George's Cnty. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 182 Md.App. 31, 43–44, 957 A.2d 191 (adopting the view that the use of the word “shall” with respect to commands found in the Maryland Rules is mandatory), cert. denied, 406 Md. 746, 962 A.2d 372 (2008); Tranen v. Aziz, 59 Md.App. 528, 534, 476 A.2d 1170 (1984) (explaining that the term “shall” in a rule “is presumed mandatory ..., denoting an imperative obligation inconsistent with the exercise of discretion” (citation and quotations omitted)), aff'd, 304 Md. 605, 500 A.2d 636 (1985). Therefore, it is clear that in adopting Rule 1–323, and its predecessors, the Court of Appeals intended that a

        [28 A.3d 50]

pleading or paper requiring service that did not contain the appropriate proof of service was not to become a part of any court [200 Md.App. 446] proceeding by being “filed” in the court file of such proceeding.
Lovero v. Joelma Da Silva., 200 Md.App. 433, 28 A.3d 43 (Md. App., 2011)


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