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Maryland Civil Litigation Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: In general, when filing Maryland court cases, how can one request that a civil case simply be kept private?
Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
answered on May 23, 2022

You would need to file a motion to seal and show the reasons why the file and all pleadings should be sealed.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: How can I get receipts

MOM has Alzhiemers. Sister and her Daughter are ones that take care of her.They tell us what they want us to know. They don't show any receipts, paperwork or proof of what they claim they do. Nothing is discussed with our Sister or Myself before Sister makes Decisions. Such things as... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on May 21, 2022

Any Maryland lawyer can answer your question. If you are looking to hire a lawyer from Baltimore, that is a different issue. The first question any lawyer would have for you is, does anyone (e.g., your sister) have a power of attorney executed by your mother appointing them as your mother's... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Legal Malpractice for Maryland on
Q: I'm a realtor in MD and a client posted a defamatory google review...can I sue for non-economic damages?
Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Mar 28, 2022

I am also a MD broker, and we have had this question from many of our clients, over time. The answer is entirely dependent on what the review says, and the circumstance. But it is extremely unlikely that you would ever recover non-economic damages. Have you exhausted your remedies with Google? Have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Banking and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: What quailifies somone as a convinice oerson on a joint account. Does it have to be expressly stated?

Can the role of convenice person be presumed based on who added money to the account and how it was used if nothing was expressly stated in the account agreement?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 19, 2022

If two person's names are listed as joint account holders, and there is no designation otherwise, the law presumes the account is joint owners with right of survival, and both account holders have equal access to the funds from the bank's perspective. However, if there is an agreement... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Encroachment I have a survey with where my property starts and it ends and it ended over my neighbor’s fence

I have pictures and a video showings when the surveyor was doing the work he put a stake in her yard she has now removed the stake twice and will not remove here fence I am mailing her a letter giving her a copy of the survey and asking here to remove here fence within 30 days from the date on... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Mar 17, 2022

Good for you, to be proactive! If she doesn't respond you can remove the fence. If you want to avoid a possible confrontation, or escalation of neighbor dispute, you might consider an action for trespass/ejectment in the Circuit Court.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: In small claim court must a defendant provide the plaintiff copies of his evidence. If all evidence submitted to court
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 4, 2022

It is generally good practice to come to court equipped with copies for all parties, and to keep a copy for yourself; however, a judge is not going to refuse the admission of relevant evidence solely on the ground there are no copies for the other side. However, before the evidence may be accepted... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Could someone regret his/her gift and take it back?

Someone gives a certain amount of cash as a gift unconditionally and voluntary*, but later he regrets and asks the receiver to return it. The receiver initially, as a courtesy shows willingness to return it**, but later he changes his mind due to very rude attitude of gift's giver. He wants to... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 10, 2022

A gift is a gift, unconditional and complete upon transfer to the recipient. There are no "take-backs." If the giver now claims it was a loan, then it's a dispute of fact. Your word versus theirs, plus any evidence that supports your claim that it was a gift and not a loan. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law, Civil Litigation and Health Care Law for Maryland on
Q: What approach would you recommend in a situation when hospital security deny a father access to seeing his child born?

My boyfriend was not allowed to see our daughter born 2 weeks ago when he was in the lobby trying to get me . His wallet was stolen so he didn't have his ID but he had a copy of his birth certificate and he is listed in my hospital records as my emergency contact. He was peaceful and the... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Feb 6, 2022

A Maryland attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for two weeks. I'm sorry for your unfortunate experience. In terms of legal advice you seek before meeting with hospital staff, you could reach out to a local attorney to discuss in further detail. You likely already know... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Can a Maryland business deny you service based on LGBT status? My child (exploring gender) was told they aren't welcome
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 2, 2022

Not in Maryland they can't. The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 prohibits it. If the business is an establishment where the public has access to goods and services (bars, restaurants, hotels, gas stations, retail stores, etc.), it is not allowed to treat a person who identifies... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law, Business Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: What recourse do I have when a business refuses to accept a gift card that is still within 4 years of original purchase?

The gift card has fine print, smaller than 12 pt font, indicating that it expires 1 year from purchase.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 15, 2021

Read all about your rights at the following link, and scroll to the end of the page on the link for phone numbers to call. You can also search for a consumer protection lawyer who may be able to take on the case under a consumer protection statute that allows them to sue for attorney's fees... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: What can be done to remove an adult family member who refuses to leave my home.
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 15, 2021

If there are grounds for a peace order or order for protection from domestic violence, those options can result in near immediate removal simply by filling out the petition forms, appearing befoe a judge or District Court Commissioner, and have the Sheriff remove them pursuant to an order. You do... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: When referring to squatters, does the term “exclusive” refer to one person or a family as well?

For a squatter to possess property, it is required that they fulfill the requirements: Hostile, Actual, Open & Notorious, Exclusive, Continuous

The exclusive part is vague as it does not determine whether it is for exclusively one person or one party. Does this mean one family... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 1, 2021

"Exclusive" in this context means exclusive of the owner's and other third parties' (unrelated to the squatter) possession or occupation, without permission of the owner (the owner is not in possession, and has not permitted or agreed to the presence of the squatters). The time... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: A car is under parent name, but I pay car note and insurance which is under my name

4 years ago, I traded in a car for another. It was put under a parents name. I pay the car note and pay for insurance which is under my name. I’ve been hearing that as soon as car is fully paid for, they are going to claim it stolen and take the car. They haven’t allowed me to update... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Nov 22, 2021

Gather all your evidence of payments, trading in your prior car as the downpayment, cost of oil changes and maintenence, insurance premiums and policies issued in your name, as well as any evidence of your continuous possession and exclusive use of the vehicle since it was purchased. They may have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Contracts for Maryland on
Q: What are the exceptions to the 3 year requirement for filing a law suit for breech of contract?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Nov 14, 2021

(1) the word, "seal" appears on, near or under th signature of the person signing the contract, which extends th SOL to 12 years in Maryland.

(2) the contract specifies a different SOL.

(3) the party suing is or was under a disability during the time the SOL was running,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: In MD we were told that all we needed was the death certificate to sell a car that 2 people owned

Someone else told us that we needed a letter of administration is that true?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Oct 22, 2021

Most car titles are held jointly, with right of survival, meaning if one owner dies, the surviving owner becomes the sole owner. That is the default ownership status if not otherwise stated. The proof you need is simply the death certificate in that scenario to prove the one owner is deceased.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Consumer Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: My mortgage company refuse to sign my insurance claim check and sent the check back with no explanation.

I live in Maryland

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Oct 14, 2021

You cannot expect a response that will help you in any meaningful way without providing facts, details and context. Start with stating what you received an insurance check for, why it was sent to your insurance company, and the reason the insurance company sent it back to you. If you don’t know... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Civil Litigation and Domestic Violence for Maryland on
Q: . He's had 3 attys . They asked to be striken. He won't cooperate ,md court , what does plaintiff's exhibit mean

We have many assets . 3 businesses.a classic car collection. Ect. He's failed to put in discovery

My atty has asked for 2nd motion for sanctions

What's this mean

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 23, 2021

Ask your lawyer. This is what you are paying for: legal advice and counseling.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Child Custody and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: If I had a criminal charge expunged, can the police report

from the incident that led to my arrest be used as evidence in a civil hearing?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 18, 2021

No. First of all, the contents of a police report is hearsay, so unless the report has some non-hearsay evidentiary purpose, it will not be allowed over your objection even were the case not expunged. The police officer who wrote the report can be called to testify as to matters over which they... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Civil Litigation and Construction Law for Maryland on
Q: I hired a window installation company to replace windows. Unbeknownst to me, they used subcontractors.

1. I would have never hired a company to subcontract. Can they do this if it wasn't in the contract?

2. The original window installation company continues to refuse to provide a lien release from the subcontractors. Again, and again.

Is there any way to force them to... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Aug 11, 2021

If the contract does not prohibit it, they can use subcontractors. Why do you need a lien release? Have they filed a lien? It is unlikely that a window replacement contract would be a large enough percentage of your property value to qualify for a mechanics lien. Why have they sued you? Not enough... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Maryland on
Q: My sister refuses to give my cat back. I have microchip, breeder contract when bought . How can I get him back?

She agreed to holding him until I got a job and back on my feet and can pick him up after. But now she has blocked me everywhere and just absolutely will not communicate or return him. He is a $2000 sphynx.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jul 4, 2021

File a District Court complaint for "replevin", a form of action to recover property that belongs to you from a person wrongfully holding it. The complaint forms can be downloaded from the court's website, and are fillable PDF documents; or, you can obtain paper copies from the... Read more »

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