Articles Posted in Maryland Court of Appeals

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Maryland Underground Damage Prevention Authority cited Reliable Contracting Company for violating Md. Code Ann. Pub. Util. Cos. 12-101, under which advance notice must be given to the one-call system of certain types of excavation, and imposed a civil monetary penalty. Reliable Contracting petitioned for judicial review, asserting that the Authority’s enabling statute conferred judicial power on a non-judicial body in violation of separation of powers principles. Reliable Contracting also contended that the statute failed to provide adequate guidance to the Authority for the assessment of such penalties. The circuit court upheld the constitutionality of the statute. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals vacated the judgment of the Court of Special Appeals and remanded, holding (1) the Authority is an administrative agency in the executive branch of State government that exercises quasi-judicial powers subject to judicial review, and therefore, its enabling law is not contrary to the State Constitution’s Judicial Vesting Clause or Separation of Powers Clause; and (2) because the Authority is an administrative agency, Md. Code Ann. State Gov't 10-1001 provides guidelines for the exercise of its discretion in assessing civil penalties. View "Reliable Contracting Co. v. Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Auth." on Justia Law

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Maryland Underground Damage Prevention Authority cited Reliable Contracting Company for violating Md. Code Ann. Pub. Util. Cos. 12-101, under which advance notice must be given to the one-call system of certain types of excavation, and imposed a civil monetary penalty. Reliable Contracting petitioned for judicial review, asserting that the Authority’s enabling statute conferred judicial power on a non-judicial body in violation of separation of powers principles. Reliable Contracting also contended that the statute failed to provide adequate guidance to the Authority for the assessment of such penalties. The circuit court upheld the constitutionality of the statute. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals vacated the judgment of the Court of Special Appeals and remanded, holding (1) the Authority is an administrative agency in the executive branch of State government that exercises quasi-judicial powers subject to judicial review, and therefore, its enabling law is not contrary to the State Constitution’s Judicial Vesting Clause or Separation of Powers Clause; and (2) because the Authority is an administrative agency, Md. Code Ann. State Gov't 10-1001 provides guidelines for the exercise of its discretion in assessing civil penalties. View "Reliable Contracting Co. v. Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Auth." on Justia Law