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Maryland Judiciary. Court of Appeals. Court of Special Appeals. Circuit Court Jury. District Court No jury. Arrested. District Court Commissioner. Maryland Judiciary.

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Court of Appeals

Court of Special Appeals

Circuit Court

Jury

District CourtNo jury

Arrested

District Court

Commissioner


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Maryland Judiciary

The mission of the Maryland Judiciary is to provide equaland exact justice for all whoenter the courts. What does this mean to you?


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Imagine yourself in this simple situation. You walk out of your classroom and see a 19 year old student writing with a pencil on the wall.




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You call the principal and explain

what you saw.

This sounds like a simple case,

but we’ll see what happens.


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The principal takes a picture of the writing on the wall, brings the student to his office and calls the student’s parents and the police. Principal takes no further action.Police interview student; read student Miranda warning; student admits to writing on wall. Charges are filed.


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Charging Statute brings the student to his office and calls the student’s parents and the police.

Felony: to threaten to explode a destructive device

Misdemeanor:“willfully disturb or otherwise willfully prevent the orderly conduct of the activities, administration, or classes of any institution of elementary, secondary, or higher education.”


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Arrest v. Summons Case brings the student to his office and calls the student’s parents and the police.

Misdemeanor

Felony

Misdemeanor Citizen Charges


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District Court Commissioners brings the student to his office and calls the student’s parents and the police.

  • Judicial officers, appointed by the Chief Judge

  • Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a yearCommissioners have two primary responsibilities:• Reviewing Applications for Statement of Charges to determine whether probable cause exists to issue charging documents; and• Conducting initial appearance hearings on arrested individuals to decide the conditions of pre-trial release


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Court of Appeals brings the student to his office and calls the student’s parents and the police.

Court of Special Appeals

Circuit Court

Jury

District CourtNo jury

Arrested

District Court

Commissioner


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THE FACE OF DISTRICT COURT brings the student to his office and calls the student’s parents and the police.

  • Chief Judge

  • 34 Court Locations

  • 1300 employees, including

    • 112 Judges, 10 year appointment

    • 254 Commissioners

  • 12 Administrative Judges, Commissioners, and Clerks

  • Headquarters – Chief Clerk, 4 Assistant Chief Clerks


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• Where most people experience the judicial system brings the student to his office and calls the student’s parents and the police.• Pro se litigants• No jury trials… litigants interact directly with judge

District Court


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A wide variety of cases come to this court. brings the student to his office and calls the student’s parents and the police.• Motor vehicle and boating violations• Small Claims • Civil lawsuits up to a certain $ amount• Misdemeanors and felonies• Landlord and tenant disputes• Domestic Violence, and• Peace Orders

District Court


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Case Filings by Type brings the student to his office and calls the student’s parents and the police.District Court - 2005


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Criminal Docket brings the student to his office and calls the student’s parents and the police.

Problem Solving/Specialized Courts

  • Drug Courts

  • Driving Under Influence Courts

  • Early Resolution Courts

  • Domestic Violence Courts

  • Mental Health Courts

  • Mental Health Diversion Courts

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution


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Evidence brings the student to his office and calls the student’s parents and the police.

  • Police officer’s statement that student admitted to writing “There is a bomb.”

  • Teacher’s eyewitness testimony that he/she saw student write on the wall

  • Criminal case “Beyond reasonable doubt.”


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When a case is appealed, it moves to circuit court, where the case is retried.

District Court Appeals


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The face of Circuit Court the case is retried.

  • 24 locations; one in each county, one in Baltimore City

  • Funded by city or county

  • Handles approximately 300,000 case per year

  • 146 judges, appointed & must run in special election

  • Chair of judicial conference


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Circuit Court the case is retried.

Handles

• Major civil cases

• Serious criminal cases

• All juvenile & family cases

• Hears all jury cases and

• Appeals from District Court• De Novo• Jury Trial• Beyond Reasonable doubt

• Specialized courts


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The court finds the student guilty of breaking the Maryland law that makes it a misdemeanor to: “willfully disturb or otherwise willfully prevent the orderly conduct of the activities, administration, or classes of any institution of elementary, secondary, or higher education.”What do you think?

CircuitCourt


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The boy and his lawyer don’t think so and decide to appeal his case to the Court of Special Appeals. The basis of the appeal was a legal argument that the incident did not fall within the statute, because there was no “evidence of any actual disturbance or disruption of school activities…”

Court of Special Appeals


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The face of his case to the Court of Special Appeals. The basis of the appeal was a legal argument that the incident did not fall within the statute, because there was no “Court of Special Appeals

  • Intermediate appellate court

  • Handles any reviewable judgments

  • 13 judges, but generally hears cases in panels of 3

  • 10 year appointment; retention elections


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Court of Special Appeals his case to the Court of Special Appeals. The basis of the appeal was a legal argument that the incident did not fall within the statute, because there was no “

  • Standard of Review

  • Abuse of Discretion – evidentiary Issues

  • De Novo--- Legal Interpretations


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Court of Special Appeals his case to the Court of Special Appeals. The basis of the appeal was a legal argument that the incident did not fall within the statute, because there was no “

Statutory Interpretation

  • Plain meaning of words

  • Legislative intent

  • Legislative record

  • Newspaper commentator


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In this case, the Court of Special Appeals agrees with the boy saying that the boy’s action did not constitute a disturbance or the prevention of orderly activities inthe school. Essentially the court says that the boy simply wrote on the wall.What do you think?

Court of Special Appeals


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The State’s attorney and the school disagree with the Court of Special Appeals and decide to take the case to the highest court in the state, the Court of Appeals.

Court of Appeals


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The face of Court of Special Appeals and decide to take the case Court of Appeals

  • Chief judge

  • Highest court

  • Hears cases by way of certiorari

  • 7 judges

  • Hears oral argumentsLegislative Intent


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The Court of Appeals upholds the decision of the Court of Special Appeals. Statutory interpretationLegislative intent--- newspaper articles

Court of Appeals


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Court of Appeals Special Appeals.

Case reversed.

Court of Appeals rejects the state’s argument. It states: “there is a level of disturbance that is simply part of the school activity, that is intended to be dealt within the context of school administration… The only sensible reading of the statute is that …there must not only be an ‘actual disturbance,’ but the disturbance must be more than a minimal one.”


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What do you think? Special Appeals.

Maryland Appellate Court Opinions may be found at

http://www.courts.state.md.us/opinions.html

District Court website: http://mdcourts.gov/district/index.html


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