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Maryland Civil Litigation Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Criminal Law for Maryland on
Q: if a contractor or company doesn't pay for services and rental of equipment can we file criminal case for theft of

services in Delaware, our home state.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 25, 2023

Theft typically requires an intent to steal and not pay as of the time the property is taken, so if equipment was obtained under a rental agreement from its lawful owner, without force and voluntarily provided to the contractor by agreement, then the owner of the equipment would have to prove that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Can equitable tolling of the SOL be applied to issues that were incorporated in prior lawsuits that were dismissed?

Can equitable tolling of the statute of limitations be applied to issues or claims that were incorporated in prior lawsuits that were eventually dismissed for other technical reasons?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 11, 2023

Maryland courts construe statutes of limitations strictly, and equitable tolling only will be applied to suspend the running of a statute of limitations if the defendant holds out an inducement not to file suit or indicates that limitations will not be pleaded. Otherwise, the time to file suit... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Contracts for Maryland on
Q: How is the Doctrine of Unconscionability applied?

Can the Doctrine of Unconscionability only be used for issues relating to the contract itself or can it also be presented for issues beyond the contract? For instance, if the person can prove that s/he is the subject of harassment and harm and cannot fulfill contract obligations, can s/he present... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 9, 2023

No, unless the claims are directed at the other party to the contract, whose harassing actions directly interfered with or resulted in the harassed party being unable to perform their obligations under the contract. But the defense in that scenario is not "unconcionability" but a claim... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Maryland on
Q: Wedding vendor is withholding funds to photographer even though contract is paid in full on my end.

I paid in full for an all-inclusive wedding where the venue would pay the third-party vendors themselves with the money I paid them. We are now three months post wedding and the photographer is withholding our pictures because they still haven't been paid. The vendor is refusing to respond to... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 8, 2023

So, I imagine you would like the photos asap. You can pay a lawyer to send a letter to the vendor to either pay the money they owe at once, or you will pay and then sue the vendor for breach of contract. This will cost you (1) to pay the lawyer; and (2) pay the photographer what you've... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Business Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Do I have to retain multiple lawyers?

If my business is in Maryland, and the business is being sued by entities outside of my state/county - do I have to retain lawyers from these particular areas?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Dec 26, 2022

You will need a lawyer where the lawsuit is filed, but your lawyer in Maryland can probably coordinate that and try to get the case moved or dismissed and brought to you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Can one Motion to Seal be submitted for multiple case filings by the same Plaintiff that has the same presiding Judge?

Can one Motion or Request to Seal be submitted for past multiple case filings by the same Plaintiff that has the same presiding Judge?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 19, 2022

Possibly, if they are all interrelated, but if they are distinct separate cases, you should file a separate motion for each separate case number.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Gov & Administrative Law for Maryland on
Q: If the fiance (giver of the engagement ring) cheat before marriage can the fiance (receiver of the engagement) keep it?

Wouldn't this be a breach of the proposal/contract?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 12, 2022

In Maryland, the law views an engagement ring as a "conditional gift" for which marriage is the condition. If the condition is not met, then the recipient must give back the ring, and the giver of the ring is restored ownership. This is different than the usual effect of an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Maryland on
Q: Hi, my roommate (ex) moved out of our mobile home, which is in my name , without notice and left belongings. How long

How long until I can get rid of them. Only my name is on the house or lease and I live in Maryland. He also left with unpaid rent, electric and water.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 10, 2022

To be safe, send/serve him with written notice that he make reasonable arrangements within 30 days to come pick up his property, or failing that, you will deem the items to be abandoned property and will dispose of them in any manner expedient to you. Take photographs of the items, so as to make a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: I need legal representation regarding a failure to disclose underlying conditions case. Thanks
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Dec 5, 2022

A Maryland attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for four weeks. In addition to your own searches, you could try the tab above, "Find a Lawyer." Additionally, many state bar associations have attorney referral services. Good luck

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Criminal Law for Maryland on
Q: I live in Maryland and was scammed by someone from Texas. I have his residential address. Once I file police report with

local law enforcement, what else can I do? The amount is over $5000.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 2, 2022

You can file a civil suit in Maryland, or in Texas. Getting a judgment awarded is one thing; collecting it is another. If the scammer is in Texas, you will almost certainly have to enforce the judgment in Texas if that is where he has his assets. In a criminal proceeding, the judge can order... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Small business did some subcontractor work for a General contract and they have not paid me and have gone ghost .

Over $ 5,000 and I would like to put a lien on the property

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Oct 25, 2022

Assuming this is contruction on real property, if it is a private residence then the dollar value of the entire project (of which your subcontract is a part) must be equal to or greater than 15% of the value of the property itself or you cannot assert a mechanic's lien. You must first serve... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: My lease ended at Aug 2022, I pre-informed the leasing office 14 days before i'm not renewing but I'm charged of $2500

I contacted the leasing office that I'm financially not stable to continue my rent, therefore I will vacate the apartment at the end of my lease agreement in August, which I did, because I don't want to break the contract, I was told by the leasing manager, I have to give 60 days notice;... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Oct 6, 2022

Check your local area for a legal clinic offering free landlord-tenant services in your area. I believe University of Maryland has one, but you might also check local bar associations for guidance. Someone needs to review your lease and the facts.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: I recently stayed at an Airbnb and am being wrongfully accused of smoking in the property. How do fight this?

Property owner has a “smoke detection” device and claims that smoke remediation was needed, which they are charging us for. Again, none of us smoke so this is impossible.

Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
answered on Aug 25, 2022

If they attempt to charge your credit card, you should dispute the charge. If they try to bill you for it, you can refuse to pay it. If they sue you for it, you can have a trial to decide the issue.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Municipal Law for Maryland on
Q: How long do I have to legally hold my exes belongings before I can get rid of the stuff?

I live in Hagerstown Maryland and my ex left some of his belongings in my apartment and he was not on the lease. It has been 50 days and I have asked him numerous times to get his belongings and he has not come to get it.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Aug 16, 2022

Assuming there is not some other written agreement or court order that specifically addresses the issue, you should send a final, written notice by any (or multiple) means likely to reach your ex, that he must make immediate arrangements with you to pick up his belongings at a mutuall agreeable... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: How to get information on doing a publication by a newspaper to properly file a motion for alternate service?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Aug 16, 2022

First, you only file a mtion for alternative service of process when the normal methods of service of process on the defendant, despite good faith diligent attempts, have failed, and renewal of summons for similar future attempts would be impractical or unlikely to succeed. The usual reasons for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: If unable to locate business resident agent, is it acceptable service to the General Counsel's Office?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Aug 3, 2022

Maryland Rule 2-124:

(d) "Service is made upon a corporation, incorporated association, or joint stock company by serving its resident agent, president, secretary, or treasurer. If the corporation, incorporated association, or joint stock company has no resident agent or if a good...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Is an express waiver of federal government sovereign immunity done only by statute(s)?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jul 19, 2022

I am unaware of any statute or court opinion that permits a non-specific statutory basis for waiving sovereign immunity of any government, be it local or federal. No elected official, appointee, employee or other agent acting on behalf of the government can, through their individual acts or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: I wanted to know if you could cancel charges already in process, and if the person being charged could charge you back

I also wanted to know how long it takes for charges to go to court

Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
answered on Jul 14, 2022

Once charges are filed, only the State's Attorney can drop the charges. The victim has no control over the charges. The victim can tell the State's Attorney he or she wants the charges dropped, but the State does not have to follow the victim's wishes and often does not.

The...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Do the court provides an Oath taker and Court Reporter that is certified with the courts?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jun 28, 2022

In proceedings like trials and merits hearings where testimony is being taken by the litigants or witnesses, all persons testifying are sworn under oath by the clerk seated to the side of the judge prior to testifying. Court reporters have been replaced with electronic recordings using sensitive... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: in the graham v. connor did the supreme court find in favor of graham or connor
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jun 10, 2022

Graham.

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