lawlibrary Maryland Law

New Maryland Laws Take Effect October 1, 2013

The two laws that have been in the news as October 1 approaches concern the sale of firearms and the use of cell phones while driving.

The Firearm Safety Act of 2013 (CH427) makes changes to current laws regulating the sale of certain firearms and ammunition, gun dealers and to

Senate Bill 339/House Bill 753 (CH638/CH637) makes violation of the law prohibiting cell phone use while driving a primary offense, that is one for which the driver can be stopped, and increases the fines and penalties,

Another road safety bill was Senate Bill 87 (CH 179) which requires the use of seat belts for passengers in the rear seat of a motor vehicle.

The “Slayers Rule” was codified in Maryland by SB489/HB1211 (CH485/CH486) which would disqualify “a person who feloniously and intentionally kills, conspires to kill, or procures the killing of the decedent is disqualified from inheriting, taking, enjoying, receiving, or otherwise benefitting from the death, probate estate, or nonprobate property of the decedent, or from receiving a general or special power of appointment conferred by the will or trust of the decedent, or from serving as a personal representative, guardian, or trustee of a trust created by the decedent ….”

The Task Force to Study Implementing a Civil Right to Counsel in Maryland was created by SB262 (CH35) to “study the current resources available to assist in providing counsel to low–income Marylanders compared to the depth of the unmet need, including the resulting burden on the court system and the stress on other public resources; study whether low–income Marylanders should have the right to counsel at public expense in basic human needs cases, such as those involving shelter, sustenance, safety, health, or child custody, including review and analysis of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission’s “Implementing a Civil Right to Counsel in Maryland” report and each other previous report by a task force, commission, or
workgroup on this issue; study alternatives regarding the currently underserved citizenry of the State and the operation of the court system; study how the right to counsel might be implemented in Maryland; study the costs to provide meaningful access to counsel and the savings to the court system and other public resources; study the possible revenue sources; and make recommendations regarding the matters …”

This is just a small sampling of new laws enacted by the 2013 session that will go into effect October 1, 2013. To read about more laws resulting from that session, see the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2013 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services of the General Assembly of Maryland.

By Joan Bellistri

Law Library Director for the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library

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