On March 15, 2022, Associate Policy Director D’Paul Nibber testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of HB 1448 – District Court – Concurrent Civil Jurisdiction – Violation of Ordinances. This bill allows counties and the City of Baltimore to serve as the first bodies, in addition to Maryland district courts, to hear an appeal of a civil citation issued based on local law.
From the MACo testimony:
This bill arises out of a Court of Appeals decision, Angel Enterprises Limited Partnership, et al. v. Talbot County, Maryland, et al. In Angel Enterprises, the Court stated that violations of county ordinances cannot be appealed to a county agency, invalidating several fines levied by Talbot County regarding a construction matter. The Court cited a state law requiring that appeals go directly to state court.
Like Talbot, several counties and Baltimore City have appeals processes that run through their respective agencies. HB 1448 would change state law, as cited by the Angel Enterprises court, to allow those counties to maintain their current appeals processes. Counties that already refer their appeals cases to district court would be unaffected, though some may opt to develop administrative appeals processes. Regardless of whether a county directly hears a civil citation appeal, according to state law, all decisions may be reviewed by a state court.
More on MACo’s Advocacy:
Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.
Learn more about MACo’s 2022 Legislative Initiatives.
Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog.