The 2016 supplement to the Maryland Code has arrived in the law library reflecting the more than 300 laws that will go into effect today. “Noah’s Law” or the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016 is mentioned in most news stories on the new laws. “Noah’s Law”(SB945/CH512) requires “the Motor Vehicle Administration to require a person who is convicted of specified offenses relating to driving under the influence of alcohol to participate in the Ignition Interlock System Program for specified periods of time….” Now the first offense rather than the second will require use of the device.
The Justice Reinvestment Act (SB1005/CH515) creates the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board and makes changes that relate to sentencing, criminal penalties, and inmate rehabilitation. One of the many changes pertains to expungement. New code section 10-110 of the Criminal Procedure Article will allow for the expungement of certain misdemeanors after 10 years. However, this and most of the provisions will not take effect until next October 1, 2017.
SB771/CH579 puts restrictions on certain consumer debt collection actions including “that certain actions may not revive or extend a certain statute of limitation and prohibiting a debt buyer or a certain collector from initiating a certain consumer debt collection action unless the debt buyer or the collector possesses certain documents.”
The provision that there be corroborating witness in a divorce action as states in section 7-101 of the Family Law Article was removed per SB359/CH379 and HB274/CH380. The disability of a parent in a child custody action was addressed by SB765/CH423. It states that “in any custody or visitation proceeding, the disability of a party is relevant only to the extent that the court finds, based on evidence in the record, that the disability affects the best interest of the child; requiring in a specified custody or visitation proceeding, the party alleging that the disability of the other party affects the best interest of the child to bear a specified burden of proof…”
For a detailed summary of the laws passed by the 2016 session see the 90 Day Report: A Review of the 2016 Session prepared by the Department of Legislative Services or check out the article in the Baltimore Sun today, “New Maryland laws go into effect today.”