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New Laws in Maryland – The 90 Day Report: A Review of the 2018 Legislative Session

Posted by Joan Bellistri on May 11, 2018

The 90 Day Report is published each year at the conclusion of the legislative session. The 2018 report was issued on April 13, 2018, less than a week after the last day of the session.  Seems pretty amazing since the report is more than 400 pages. It begins with a list of the major issues and where to find the information in the report. The major issues are identified as budget, business, education, consumer protection, health, public safety (which includes the courts), state government and transportation.

The bulk of the report is divided into 12 parts labeled A through L with a Part M being a list of bills.  Issues of interest to the legal community can be found in Part E “Crimes, Corrections, and Public Safety” and Part F “Courts and Civil Proceedings.”

Future blog posts will dig deeper into the 2018 Session by reviewing this report.

 

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Legal Self Help Videos for Maryland

Posted by Joan Bellistri on April 18, 2018

movie cameraRepresenting yourself in a civil case or just interested in learning about the law and Maryland courts?

The Access to Justice Department of the Maryland Judiciary has created a library of videos for the self-represented: My Laws, My Courts, My Maryland: A video series for the self-represented.

Family Law videos include three videos on guardianship. The Getting Started videos cover topics such as how to find legal help, legal research, deciding to represent yourself and how to work with a lawyer.  A number of topics are covered under Law Topics including expungement, rent court, foreclosure and small claims. In Court Basics learn about filing fees, getting ready for court and interpreter services.

 

For every video there are:

  • Transcripts in English and Spanish
  • A printable tip sheet summarizing the video
  • Links to resources, fors, and court services

To see all the topics covered see the full listing of videos.

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New Maryland Laws Take Effect on October 1, 2017 – Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 29, 2017

lawsNew Maryland laws take effect on October 1, 2017! We published a series of posts highlighting a few of the newly enacted laws, but this is just a small sampling of the new laws enacted by the 2017 Legislative Session. The Department of Legislative Services (DLS) of the General Assembly of Maryland provides a full listing.

Was there a major issue from the 2017 session that was not covered in this series? The 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2017  Session, published by DLS, includes a hyperlinked list of Major Issues from 2017 such as the budget, education, public safety, taxes and voting rights.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?  DLS publishes a Popular Terms List as a reference for current legislation that is often referred to by the public and media by certain popular terms.

Do you prefer paper sources?  The Law Library’s collection includes the following resources:  the advance (paperback) Laws of Maryland, arranged in chapter number order with separate volumes for a Sponsor Index, the Final Status Report, and Committee Index; West’s Maryland Legislative Service with a list of sections affected; and  the 2017 Maryland Legislative Review Service, published by LexisNexis, which summarizes the 2017 Acts of the Maryland General Assembly Regular Session and organizes the 2017 Acts by topical headings. In addition, the Law Library’s Maryland collection includes print copies of the current Annotated Code of Maryland. The  2017 pocket parts should be coming soon.

Don’t forget – the Law Library is here if you have questions or would like additional information. Contact us!

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New Maryland Laws Take Effect on October 1, 2017 – Spotlight on Limitations in Cases of Child Sexual Abuse

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 27, 2017

Untitled drawingNew Maryland laws take effect on October 1, 2017!  We will be publishing a series of posts highlighting a few of the newly enacted laws.  This series is just a small sampling of the new laws enacted by the 2017 Legislative Session.  To read about more laws resulting from the 2017 session, see the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2017 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) of the General Assembly of Maryland. For a full listing of new laws effective October 1, 2017, check out this publication from DLS.

“In response to growing recognition of the long-term impact of child sexual abuse the law, HB 642/CH12  (1) expands the statute of limitations for an action for damages arising out of an alleged incident or incidents of sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor; (2) establishes a statute of repose for specified civil actions relating to child sexual abuse; and (3) exempts causes of action filed under the provisions of the law from the notice of claim requirement under the Local Government Tort Claims Act and the submission of a written claim requirement, denial of claim requirement, and the statute of limitations under the Maryland Tort Claims Act. An action for damages arising out of an alleged incident or incidents of sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor must be filed (1) at any time before the victim reaches the age of majority or (2) within the later of 20 years after the date on which the victim reaches the age of majority or 3 years after the date that the defendant is convicted of a crime relating to the alleged incident or incidents, as specified. However, the Act specifies that in an action brought more than seven years after the victim reaches the age of majority, damages may be awarded against a person or governmental entity that is not the alleged perpetrator of the sexual abuse only if (1) the person or governmental entity owed a duty of care to the victim; (2) the person or governmental entity employed or exercised some degree of responsibility or control over the alleged perpetrator; and (3) there is a finding of gross negligence on the part of the person or governmental entity. The Act establishes a “statute of repose” that prohibits a person from filing an action more than 20 years after the date on which the victim reaches the age of majority against a person or governmental entity that is not the alleged perpetrator for damages arising out of an alleged incident or incidents of sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor.” However, this new law “is not to be construed to apply retroactively to revive any action that was barred by application of the period of limitations applicable before October 1, 2003.” Previously, “an action for damages arising out of an alleged incident of sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor must be filed within seven years of the date that the victim attains the age of majority.”

Passage of this law might be of interest to anyone who watched the Netflix documentary, The Keepers.  At the end there was an interview with Delegate C. T. Wilson of Charles County in which he described how he had not be able to get this bill passed over the years.  A Washington Post article in 2016 described his efforts.  However, while watching the show,  it was easy to go to the Maryland General Assembly website and search for bills introduced by Delegate Wilson in 2017 and see that he had introduced the bill again and that it had passed. Other search options include by subject and statute affected.

Note that all quotations, unless noted otherwise, are attributable to the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2017 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services of the General Assembly of Maryland.

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New Maryland Laws Take Effect on October 1, 2017 – Spotlight on UELMA

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 26, 2017

Untitled drawingNew Maryland laws take effect on October 1, 2017!  We will be publishing a series of posts highlighting a few of the newly enacted laws.  This series is just a small sampling of the new laws enacted by the 2017 Legislative Session.  To read about more laws resulting from the 2017 session, see the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2017 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) of the General Assembly of Maryland. For a full listing of new laws effective October 1, 2017, check out this publication from DLS.

UELMA (HB165\CH553 and SB137\CH554) is the Maryland Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act.  Librarians have been supporting this legislation in Maryland for three years and are excited that the third time was the charm.  Maryland is now one of 17 states, including Washington, D.C., that have adopted UELMA.

The Maryland Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA) provides online legal material with the same level of trustworthiness traditionally provided by publication in a law book. It is the People’s insurance policy that official electronic legal materials be:

  1. authenticated, by providing a method to determine that it is unaltered;
  2. preserved, either in electronic or print form; and
  3. accessible, for use by the public on a permanent basis.

UELMA is a product of The Uniform Law Commission (ULC, also known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws) that was established in 1892 and provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived and well drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law.

As more and more legal materials are becoming digital, it is important that we are ready so that Maryland’s legal materials are preserved, accessible whether current or from years ago, and authentic. (It is easy to tell if a volume of the code is authentic but not so apparent when you look at something online.  If you look at the Government Printing Office’s United States Code online you will see a little authentication symbol  telling you that the record has been checked and it is the correct document.)  Right now Maryland’s legal materials are readily available in print, assuring authentication, preservation and accessibility.  Should any of these materials convert to digital only, Maryland is prepared.

To find out more about UELMA please read these publications available from the American Association of Law Libraries:

UNIFORM ELECTRONIC LEGAL MATERIAL ACT SUMMARY AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

UELMA HISTORY

 

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New Maryland Laws Take Effect on October 1, 2017 – Spotlight on Expungement

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 25, 2017

Untitled drawing (1)New Maryland laws take effect on October 1, 2017!  We will be publishing a series of posts highlighting a few of the newly enacted laws.  This series is just a small sampling of the new laws enacted by the 2017 Legislative Session.  To read about more laws resulting from the 2017 session, see the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2017 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) of the General Assembly of Maryland. For a full listing of new laws effective October 1, 2017, check out this publication from DLS.

Although effective October 1, 2017, the Justice Reinvestment Act which made significant changes to the expungement law, was actually passed during the 2016 session.  SB1005/CH515 known as the Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA), among other things, authorized “a person to file a petition listing relevant facts for expungement of a police, court, or other record if the person is convicted of specified misdemeanors. A petition for expungement may not be filed earlier than 10 years after the person satisfied the sentence or sentences imposed for all convictions for which expungement is requested, including parole, probation, or mandatory supervision. If the person is convicted of a new crime during the 10-year waiting period, the original conviction or convictions are not eligible for expungement unless the new conviction becomes eligible. A person is not eligible for expungement if the person is a defendant in a pending criminal proceeding or if one conviction in a unit is not eligible for expungement. In general, a person must file a petition for expungement in the court in which the proceeding began. However, the bill specifies procedures for situations involving transfers to another court or the juvenile court. In addition, the bill specifies procedural requirements regarding objections to a petition, hearings, and appeals.”

Now Maryland law (codified in section 10-110 of the Criminal Procedure Article) allows for expungement of more misdemeanor convictions after a certain period of time.  WIth changes, the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) offered a webinar on expungement that covered the new and old expungement law.  Matthew Stubenberg, creator of the MDexpungement app, was the presenter.  The presentation, JRA Expungements,  is online and the full webinar will be available soon. MVLS has also posted a list online that details which offenses are eligible for expungement  under the JRA:  All Convictions Eligible Under the JRA.

New expungement forms will be made available October 1 – one for non-guilty records and one for guilty.  You can view them online now but they are not ready for use. Per Matthew:

CC-DC-CR-072 A should be used for the expungement of acquittal, dismissal, probation before judgment, nolle pros, stet, and certain not criminally responsible dispositions. There will be no filing fee for these dispositions.

 CC-DC-CR-072 B should be used for the expungement of eligible guilty dispositions. The filing fee for guilty dispositions is $30.

MVLS has provided this training to those who are interested and hope those who do will volunteer by taking a case  OR taking part in an expungement clinic

Volunteer attorneys are also needed to help with expungement at the  Anne Arundel County Homeless Resource Day which is scheduled for October 28, 2017.

To learn more about expungement and expungement resources, check out expungement on the Maryland People’s Law Library and our wiki page. In addition, the Maryland Courts website includes information on how to expunge your records and a video.

Note that all quotations, unless noted otherwise, are attributable to the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2016 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services of the General Assembly of Maryland.  

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Ask A Lawyer In The Library: Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by johnjeffreyross on August 2, 2017

The Ask A Lawyer In The Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program sponsored by The Anne Arundel Bar Association and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.  Every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., you can talk with a volunteer attorney for up to 20 minutes.  No appointment is necessary, but sign-up is required at the law library’s information desk.  Sign-up begins at 10:45 a.m., and time slots are determined by a lottery.

On Wednesday, August 2, 2017, the Law Library hosted another successful Ask A Lawyer In The Library program.  Mike Ragland and Jack Paltell, both retired, were on hand to assist five people who requested help with issues such as filing a civil action for fraud, drafting and execution of a deed pursuant to a divorce decree, a real-property issue, a lien on property and foreclosure procedure.jack-and-mike

The next program date is Wednesday, August 9, 2017. In addition, the Ask A Lawyer In the Library program is also hosted at two Anne Arundel County Public Library branches: the Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday of the month (from August until May), and the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday of every month. The programs at these public library branches are held from 4:30 to 6:30. Sign-up at both locations is at 4:15 p.m., and time slots are determined by lottery.

More information about the program is available at http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.  The Ask A Lawyer In The Law Library program is a limited legal advice service.  The program is not a substitute for representation.

Do you have a family law matter?  Family Law matters are best addressed by the Family Law  Self-Help Center which is located in the back of the Law Library.  For more information: http://www.circuitcourt.org/legal-help/family-law

Do you have a criminal case?  The Office of the Public Defender provides legal services to eligible individuals.  Information about the Office fo the Public Defender is available at http://www.opd.state.md.us

Need help with the District Court matter such as landlord/tenant, small claims (less than $5,000), consumer matters, or return of property (replevin and detinue)?  The District Court Self-Help Resource Center provides limited legal services for people who are not represented by an attorney.  Services are provided in-person in Glen Burnie, Upper Marlboro and Salisbury. More information is available at http://www.courts.state.md.us/legalhelp/districtselfhelpctr.html

Help with family and civil questions is available by phone and online chat from the Maryland Courts Self Help Center, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.  More information and a link for chat can be found here: http://www.mdcourts.gov/selfhelp/index.html#maryland

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New Laws in Effect on July 1, 2017 in Maryland

Posted by Joan Bellistri on June 30, 2017

Many of the laws passed in the 2017 session of the Maryland General Assembly go into effect on Saturday, July 1.  According to the  Department of Legislative Services General Assembly of Maryland Dates of Interest 2017 most laws will go into effect on October 1 but the bills that  are budgetary, tax, and revenue bills will go into effect on July 1.

Maryland public libraries are happy that there will now be a Maryland State Law Library Agency beginning July 1, 2017.  HB1094/CH338 and SB587/CH337 will make the agency governing public libraries an independent agency rather than a division of the Department of Education.

Other state agencies got new names.  There is now a Health Department instead of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene per SB82/CH214.  HB103/CH205 renames the Department of Human Resources to be the Department of Human Services; and the Child Support Enforcement Administration will become the Child Support Administration.

An article in the Baltimore Sun, “Laws to take effect on Sat.”  also provides a good overview.  Articles in the Capital and U.S. News & World Reports cover the same list of bills.  The list includes Planned Parenthood funding (HB1083/CH28 and SB1081/CH810) and the Taxpayer Protection Act (SB304/CH379).

For a full listing of laws in effect on July 1, please see the “2017 Chapters – Effective July 1, 2017” published by The Department of Legislative Services. “The 90 Day Report,” also published by the Department, provides a review of all legislation passed in 2017.

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What’s new…

Posted by Joan Bellistri on June 28, 2017

The following titles have been recently shelved.  Come and check them out.

ADR Collection – Purchased with funds from the Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation Conflict Resolution Office.

Children come first : mediation, not litigation when marriage ends / Howard H. Irving.  (ADR HQ814 I788)

Families change : a book for children experiencing termination of parental rights / by Julie Nelson ; illustrated by Mary Gallagher.   (ADR HV881 .N43 2007)

Mediation preparation : how to prepare for mediation / by Joe B. Hewitt. (ADR HM1126 .H4 2015)

Self-help preparation for Family Court Services (FCS), child custody mediation, child custody evaluations / Dr. Miguel Alvarez and Dr. Lori Love.   (ADR KF547.A9 A4 2009)

Maryland Titles

Using and drafting trusts in estate planning / [John P. Edgar [and others].  (KFM1340.A75 M38 2016)

Will drafting in Maryland / Danielle M. Cruttenden … [and 4 others].  (KFM1344 .W68 2017)

Maryland construction law deskbook, second edition / Joseph C. Kovars, editor ; Michael A. Schollaert, editor ; Construction Law Section, Maryland State Bar Association.  (KFM1355.8.B8 M42 2017)

Workers’ compensation manual / Theodore B. Cornblatt. (KFM1542.A62 W67 2015)

2011 Civil practice & procedure in the District Court of Maryland. (KFM1730 .C58 2010)

General U.S.

Environmental law / by William H. Rodgers, Jr., et al. (KF3775 .R59 2016)

Library

Cataloging legal literature / Melody Busse Lembke, Melissa Beck.  (LIB REF Z695.1.L3 E65 2016)

Data visualizations and infographics / Sarah K. C. Mauldin.  (LIB REF Z678.93.G73 M38 2015)

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Maryland Libraries and 2017 Maryland Legislative Session

Posted by Joan Bellistri on April 11, 2017

The Maryland Legislative Session ended at midnight last night and Maryland librarians can be happy with the outcome. There were two bills in the 2017 Legislative Session of special interest to libraries.  Both bills passed both houses unanimously and are on the way to becoming law.

Maryland Libraries – Reorganization of Governance Structure  (SB587/HB1094)

Under the current or soon to be previous law, libraries were a part of the Maryland Department of Education with K through 12.  Now there will be a separate, independent agency on the same level as the Department of Education and the Department of Higher Education.  Maryland will now have a State Library Agency headed by the State Librarian with a State Library Board made up of citizens appointed by the Governor. This way there will be an agency devoted solely to the issues of libraries that will ensure that funding intended for libraries is used for libraries.

UELMA (SB137/HB165)

The LLAM (Law Library Association of Maryland) information sheet states: The Maryland Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA) provides online legal material with the same level of trustworthiness traditionally provided by publication in a law book. It is the People’s insurance policy that official electronic legal materials are  authenticated, by providing a method to determine that it is unaltered;  preserved, either in electronic or print form; and accessible, for use by the public on a permanent basis.  This means that if a publisher of Maryland legal material such as the code, regulations or case law would cease to be published in print, the publication would become official and would have to be authenticated, preserved and accessible.  As long as the print exists, the provisions will not be activated.  However, if and when the time comes, Maryland is ready to make sure that this important information is still available.

 

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