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Court of Appeals of Maryland. Donald SPANGLER, et al. v. Peggy McQUITTY and Gary McQuitty, as Personal Representatives of the Estate of Dylan McQuitty. No. 23, Sept. Term, 2011. Jan. 27, 2012. Background: Parents, on behalf of their child, who was born with severe cerebral palsy, brought suit against obstetrician, asserting that he negligently breached his duty to obtain informed consent when he failed to advise mother, after she was hospitalized with numerous pregnancy complications, that child could have been delivered at an earlier date, thereby preventing mother from determining course of her treatment. The jury returned verdict in favor of plaintiffs for $13,078,515 in damages. Defendant filed motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV). The Circuit Court, Baltimore County, Michael J. Finifter, J., granted motion, on basis that doctrine of informed consent pertained only to affirmative violations of patient's physical integrity. Plaintiffs appealed. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed. Plaintiffs petitioned for certiorari, and the Court of Appeals, 410 Md. 1, 976 A.2d 1020, reversed and remanded. On remand, obstetrician moved for a new trial or a reduction in the award of future medical expenses following child's death. The Circuit Court, Baltimore County, Finifter, J., denied motion for revision of judgment, but granted in part motion for remittitur. Obstetrician appealed. Holdings: Upon grant of certiorari, the Court of Appeals, Battaglia, J., held that: (1) in a matter of apparent first impression, obstetrician was not entitled to reduction in award for future medical payments for child who died after case was remanded; (2) hospital, which was granted a summary judgment in action, was not considered a joint tort-

feasor under the Uniform Contribution Among Tort-Feasors Act; and (3) trial judge did not abuse his discretion in ordering that the plaintiffs be awarded post-judgment interest from the date of the original judgment. Affirmed. West Headnotes [1] Judgment 228 314

228 Judgment 228VIII Amendment, Correction, and Review in Same Court 228k314 k. Amount of recovery. Most Cited Cases Taking into consideration the absence of annuitization of medical payments, obstetrician was not entitled to reduction in award for future medical payments for child, where judgment notwithstanding the verdict was entered in medical malpractice case but was reversed on appeal and the child died while the case was on remand for consideration of a motion for remittitur. [2] Damages 115 63

115 Damages 115III Grounds and Subjects of Compensatory Damages 115III(B) Aggravation, Mitigation, and Reduction of Loss 115k63 k. Reparation by wrongdoer. Most Cited Cases Hospital, which was granted a summary judgment in negligence action, was not considered a joint tort-feasor under the Uniform Contribution Among Tort-Feasors Act, and thus, obstetrician was not entitled to have judgment against him reduced by hospital's settlement with parents. West's Ann.Md.Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, 31404. [3] Interest 219 39(3)

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219 Interest 219III Time and Computation 219k39 Time from Which Interest Runs in General 219k39(3) k. Interest from date of judgment or decree. Most Cited Cases Trial judge, in effectuating the mandate in appellate court opinion, did not abuse his discretion in ordering that the plaintiffs be awarded postjudgment interest in negligence action against doctor from the date of the original judgment; although the appellate court judgment reversing the trial court's grant of judgment notwithstanding the verdict did not expressly instruct the trial court to award post-judgment interest from the date of the original judgment, it was clear that the appellate court reviewed and reversed the trial court's grant of judgment notwithstanding the verdict and remanded the case only for consideration of the remittitur motion filed by doctor and not to reconsider the jury's verdict and judgment, and thus, the original judgment was reinstated. [4] Interest 219 39(3)

Tolley III of Dugan, Babij & Tolley, LLC, Timonium, MD), on brief, for Appellees. Argued before BELL, C.J., HARRELL, BATTAGLIA, GREENE, ADKINS, BARBERA, JOHN C. ELDRIDGE, (Retired, Specially Assigned), JJ. BATTAGLIA, J. *529 In this case, we have been asked to sit in judgment once again in the case of McQuitty v. Spangler, about which we previously opined, 410 Md. 1, 976 A.2d 1020 (2009) (hereinafter McQuitty I ). In a series of post-trial motions following McQuitty I, Appellant, Dr. Donald Spangler, moved to reduce the verdict in favor of the Appellees, Dylan McQuitty and his parents Peggy and Gary McQuitty. After the verdict, but prior to resolution of the post-trial motions, Dylan died. Dr. Spangler argued, among numerous other contentions, that Dylan's death absolved the portion of the judgment allocated to Dylan's future medical expenses; Judge Michael J. Finifter of the Circuit Court for Baltimore County disagreed. Dr. Spangler appealed to the Court of Special Appeals, but prior to any proceedings in the intermediate appellate court, we granted certiorari to consider the following questions: 1. Whether, under Maryland law, a litigant is denied due process of law where a trial court denies a motion for *530 new trial following the Court of Appeals of Maryland's substantive change of the common law of informed consent. 2. Whether, under Maryland law, a trial court abuses its discretion by entering judgment in favor of the estate of a deceased plaintiff where an award for future medical care is included as one of the elements of damages in the judgment entry. 3. Whether, under Maryland law, a settling defendant may increase the liability of a nonsettling defendant merely by designating himself

219 Interest 219III Time and Computation 219k39 Time from Which Interest Runs in General 219k39(3) k. Interest from date of judgment or decree. Most Cited Cases In instances where judgments are entered following an appeal of a post-trial motion, it is within the sound discretion of the trial court to award postjudgment interest dating back to the entry of the original judgment, in pursuit of equitable principles, where the mandate of the appellate court does not expressly address the issue of postjudgment interest. **929 D.C. Offutt, Jr. (Offutt Nord, PLLC, Huntington, West Virginia; Robert J. Farley of Wharton, Levin, Ehrmantraut & Klein, P.A., Annapolis, MD), on brief, for Appellants. Henry E. Dugan, Jr. (Bruce J. Babij and George S.

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a non-joint tortfeasor. 4. Whether, under Maryland law, a litigant can alter or change Maryland's law by contractual agreement and thereby preclude a settling tortfeasor from being classified as a joint tortfeasor under the Uniform Contribution Among Joint TortFeasors Act to the detriment of a nonsettling tortfeasor who was not a party to the agreement. 5. Whether, under Maryland law and the circumstances of this case, Post Judgment Interest should run from the last date final judgment is entered, where the original judgment was vacated due to the trial court's **930 grant of the defendant's judgment notwithstanding the verdict. We shall affirm the trial court's denial of Dr. Spangler's motions for post-trial relief, because our holding in McQuitty I did not substantively change the Maryland common law of informed consent. We also shall hold that the post-verdict death of Dylan does not absolve Dr. Spangler from the finality of the jury's award of future medical expenses. In addressing Dr. Spangler's third and fourth questions together, we shall hold that the Franklin Square Hospital, for which summary judgment was entered in its favor as to liability and damages during the first case, was not a joint tort-feasor under Maryland's Uniform Contribution Among TortFeasors Act, Sections 31401 to 1409 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article, Maryland Code (1973, 2006 Repl.Vol.), such that its settlement release from the McQuittys did not entitle Dr. *531 Spangler to a reduction of the judgment against them. We finally shall hold that postjudgment interest on the verdict accrued from the date of the original judgment. I. Background FN1

), so that we provide here only those relevant to Dr. Spangler's present appeal. Dylan McQuitty, by and through his parents Peggy and Gary McQuitty (together the McQuittys), successfully sued Ms. McQuitty's obstetrician and primary care physician, Donald Spangler, and his practice, Glowacki, Elberfeld & Spangler, P.A. (together Dr. Spangler) for having failed to obtain her informed consent to treatment, FN2 after which Ms. McQuitty suffered complete FN3 placental abruption that resulted in severe injuries to Dylan during his birth in 1995. FN2. Specifically, Dr. Spangler failed to inform Ms. McQuitty of risks and available alternative treatments related to material changes in her pregnancy, those being a second partial-placental-abruption, oligohydramnios, and intrauterine growth restriction, all three conditions posing significant risks to the baby. 410 Md. at 3, 976 A.2d at 102122. FN3. Placental abruption was defined in McQuitty I as: The placenta is a structure that develops in the uterus during pregnancy to nourish the growing baby. If the placenta peels away from the inner wall of the uterus before deliveryeither partially or completelyit's known as placental abruption. Placental abruption can deprive the baby of oxygen and nutrients and cause heavy bleeding in the mother. Left untreated, placental abruption puts both mother and baby in jeopardy. 410 Md. at 3, 976 A.2d at 1021, quoting Placental AbruptionMayo Clinic.com, http:// www. mayoclinic. com/ health/ placental- abruption/ DS 00623. In the original complaint, the McQuittys also named as defendants the Hospital where Dylan was

FN1. The underlying facts of the informed consent claim and its resolution are set forth in detail in McQuitty v. Spangler, 410 Md. 1, 976 A.2d 1020 (2009) (McQuitty I

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born, Franklin Square Hospital Center, Inc, and Dr. Spangler's partner, Harrold Elberfeld. Franklin Square Hospital moved for summary judgment as to liability and damages, which was granted by the Circuit Court, and both the Hospital and Dr. Elberfeld settled with the McQuittys before trial. Franklin Square *532 Hospital's Release and Settlement of Claim provided that the Hospital would be considered a joint tortfeasor only if it was adjudicated to be a joint tortfeasor by a final judgment of a court of record after trial on the merits. In contrast, Dr. Elberfeld's release provided that he would be considered a joint tortfeasor. These settlements were entered on the record and the case proceeded, on the informed consent claim, with Dr. Spangler and his practice as the sole defendants. **931 Prior to trial on the informed consent claim, Dr. Spangler also moved for summary judgment, arguing that he had no duty to obtain the informed consent of Ms. McQuitty regarding a placental abruption because he did not conduct or propose an affirmative invasion of her physical integrity. McQuitty I, 410 Md. at 1314, 976 A.2d at 102728. The motion was denied, and, eventually, a trial ensued. The jury awarded Dylan $13,078,515.00 in damages, including $8,442,515.00 in future medical expenses. Dr. Spangler filed a Motion for Remittitur and a Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict, again asserting that the doctrine of informed consent required an affirmative invasion of physical integrity. The Circuit Court granted a judgment notwithstanding the verdict in favor of Dr. Spangler, and the Court of Special Appeals affirmed. We ultimately reversed the grant of judgment notwithstanding the verdict in McQuitty I, concluding that physical invasion was not a prerequisite to a physician's duty to obtain a patient's informed consent. Rather than battery, we recognized that personal autonomy and personal choice of the patient were foundational for the informed consent doctrine. We observed that our prior opinion apply-

ing the doctrine, Reed v. Campagnolo, 332 Md. 226, 630 A.2d 1145 (1993), did reference, but that it did not rely upon, Karlsons v. Guerinot, 57 A.D.2d 73, 394 N.Y.S.2d 933 (1977), a New York case requiring an affirmative physical invasion of the patient before the physician's duty to obtain the informed consent of the patient arose. We explained that the New York doctrine of informed consent relied upon battery rather than negligence, *533 which contrasted with our own common law that a lack of informed consent claim is clearly predicated on negligence and the gravamen is the healthcare provider's duty to provide information, rather than battery or the provider's physical act. 410 Md. at 31, 976 A.2d at 1038. We, therefore, reversed the Circuit Court's grant of judgment notwithstanding the verdict and remanded with instructions that the Circuit Court consider Dr. Spangler's unresolved Motion for Remittitur. Dylan McQuitty, however, died on September 26, 2009, prior to the trial court's resolution of the remittitur. Dr. Spangler then filed various post-trial motions seeking a new trial or a reduction in the award of future medical expenses, alleging that Dylan's death was a significant event [affecting] the equities of this case and seeking a reduction of future medical expenses to only be those actually expended. He also argued that our opinion in McQuitty I overruled a consistent line of procedural decisions upon which Dr. Spangler based his defense, so that the application of McQuitty I to the case, without a new trial, constituted a deprivation of due process of law. Judge Finifter denied the Motion for Revision of Judgment but denied in part and granted in part Dr. Spangler's Motion for Remittitur. Judge Finifter reduced the jury's award, pursuant to the statutory cap on non-economic damages of $500,000, under Section 11108(b)(2)(i) of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article, Maryland Code (1973, 2006 Repl.Vol.) and then reduced the judgment by fifty percent to reflect Dr. Elberfeld's pro rata share of liability, pursuant to Dr. Elberfeld's joint tortfeasor

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release from the McQuittys and the Uniform Contribution Among TortFeasors Act, Section 31404 FN4 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article. Judge *534 **932 Finifter denied Dr. Spangler's requests to permit the payment of future economic damages in the form of periodic payments under Section 11109(c) of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article, Maryland Code (1973, 2006 FN5 Repl.Vol.), to further reduce the jury's award by the Franklin Square Hospital's settlement amount, as the Hospital had not been judicially determined to be a joint tort-feasor, and finally that no post-judgment interest be calculated. Judge Finifter ultimately concluded that the judgment should be reduced to $5,039,257.50, plus post-judgment interest calculated from the date of the entry of Judgment, September 27, 2006, plus costs. FN4. Section 31404 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article, Maryland Code (1973, 2006 Repl. Vol.) provides: A release by the injured person of one joint tort-feasor, whether before or after judgment, does not discharge the other tort-feasors unless the release so provides, but it reduces the claim against the other tort-feasors in the amount of the consideration paid for the release or in any amount or proportion by which the release provides that the total claim shall be reduced, if greater than the consideration paid. FN5. Section 11109(c) of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article, Maryland Code (1973, 2006 Repl.Vol.) provides, in pertinent part: (c) Form of award for future economic damages; appointment of conservator. (1) The court or the health claims arbitration panel may order that all or part of the future economic damages portion of the award be paid in the form of annuities or other appropriate financial instru-

ments, or that it be paid in periodic or other payments consistent with the needs of the plaintiff, funded in full by the defendant or the defendant's insurer and equal when paid to the amount of the future economic damages award. Dr. Spangler filed a Renewed Motion for New Trial on Due Process Grounds, Renewed Motion for New Trial on Due Process Grounds (Amended) (Amended Motion for New Trial) and Motion for the Court to Order a New Trial, or to Conditionally Order a New Trial Unless Plaintiffs Agree to a ReFN6 mittitur, Pursuant to Maryland Rule 2533 or, in the *535 Alternative, to Alter, Amend, or Revise the Judgment Entered Against Them Pursuant to FN7 FN8 Maryland Rules 2534 and 2535. In his **933 motions, Dr. Spangler again argued that McQuitty I changed the common law, which required that the case be retried and also that Dylan's death served as grounds for *536 reopening and revising the damages award, specifically by reducing the future medical expenses award to that which was actually expended prior to his death. These motions were denied by Judge Finifter and this appeal followed. FN6. Rule 2533 provides, in pertinent part: (b) Grounds. All grounds advanced in support of the motion shall be filed in writing within the time prescribed for the filing of the motion, and no other grounds shall thereafter be assigned without leave of court. (c) Disposition. The court may set aside all or part of any judgment entered and grant a new trial to all or any of the parties and on all of the issues, or some of the issues if the issues are fairly severable. If a partial new trial is granted, the judge may direct the entry of judgment as to the remaining parties or issues or stay the entry of judgment until

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after the new trial. When a motion for new trial is joined with a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and the motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict is granted, the court at the same time shall decide whether to grant that party's motion for new trial if the judgment is thereafter reversed on appeal. FN7. Rule 2534 provides: In an action decided by the court, on motion of any party filed within ten days after entry of judgment, the court may open the judgment to receive additional evidence, may amend its findings or its statement of reasons for the decision, may set forth additional findings or reasons, may enter new findings or new reasons, may amend the judgment, or may enter a new judgment. A motion to alter or amend a judgment may be joined with a motion for new trial. A motion to alter or amend a judgment filed after the announcement or signing by the trial court of a judgment but before entry of the judgment on the docket shall be treated as filed on the same day as, but after, the entry on the docket. FN8. Rule 2535 provides, in pertinent part: (a) Generally. On motion of any party filed within 30 days after entry of judgment, the court may exercise revisory power and control over the judgment and, if the action was tried before the court, may take any action that it could have taken under Rule 2534. A motion filed after the announcement or signing by the trial court of a judgment or the return of a verdict but before entry of the judgment on the docket shall be treated as filed on the same day as, but after, the

entry on the docket. (b) Fraud, mistake, irregularity. On motion of any party filed at any time, the court may exercise revisory power and control over the judgment in case of fraud, mistake, or irregularity. (c) Newly-discovered evidence. On motion of any party filed within 30 days after entry of judgment, the court may grant a new trial on the ground of newlydiscovered evidence that could not have been discovered by due diligence in time to move for a new trial pursuant to Rule 2533. (d) Clerical mistakes. Clerical mistakes in judgments, orders, or other parts of the record may be corrected by the court at any time on its own initiative, or on motion of any party after such notice, if any, as the court orders. During the pendency of an appeal, such mistakes may be so corrected before the appeal is docketed by the appellate court, and thereafter with leave of the appellate court. II. Discussion Dr. Spangler invokes Maryland Rule 2535 to revisit the jury's verdict. This rule provides, in pertinent part: Rule 2535. Revisory power (b) Fraud, mistake, irregularity. On motion of any party filed at any time, the court may exercise revisory power and control over the judgment in case of fraud, mistake, or irregularity. He contends that he is entitled to a new trial because our opinion in McQuitty I changed the common law and was therefore an irregularity. We have clarified, however, that an irregularity in the context of this Rule is a failure to follow required process or procedure. Radcliff v. Vance,

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360 Md. 277, 292, 757 A.2d 812, 820 (2000), citing Early v. Early, 338 Md. 639, 652, 659 A.2d 1334, 1340 (1995). Clearly, our opinion in McQuitty I was not such a failure. He also contends that our opinion in McQuitty I changed the doctrine of informed consent, and due process entitles him to a new trial. He argues that our opinions in Reed v. Campagnolo, 332 Md. 226, 630 A.2d 1145 (1993), and Landon v. Zorn, 389 Md. 206, 884 A.2d 142 (2005) and the Court of Special Appeals's opinion in Arrabal v. CrewTaylor, 159 Md.App. 668, 862 A.2d 431 (2004), required an affirmative violation of the patient's physical integrity before the physician's duty to obtain informed consent arose, and that our opinion in McQuitty I removed that requirement. He maintains that he would not have pursued the same litigation strategy, had he known that the law would be as we enunciated in McQuitty I. Our opinion in McQuitty I explored the doctrine of informed consent and reaffirmed that physical invasion was not a prerequisite to the physician's duty to obtain the informed consent*537 from a patient, because battery was not foundational. We reiterated that the recognition of personal autonomy and negligence, rather than battery, always steered the doctrine before and after Reed and Landon. Not only did McQuitty I not alter Maryland common law, but Dr. Spangler had more than ample opportunity to be heard regarding his contention that it did before the trial and on appeal when he asserted the claim in his motion for summary judgment that battery was a requirement of informed consent. Dr. Spangler clearly knew before **934 his presentation at trial that he needed to address informed consent, without the necessity of a battery. In his second question before us, Dr. Spangler contends that Dylan's post-verdict death warrants a reduction of the award of future medical expenses to compensate for only that which was actually expended by Dylan prior to his death. From the outset, it is noteworthy in this regard that Dr. Spangler,

in his original Motion for Remittitur filed prior to our opinion in McQuitty I, requested that all future economic damages be paid in the form of annuities or periodic payments, pursuant to Section 11109(c) of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article, Maryland Code (1973, 2006 Repl.Vol.), which provides that a court may order all or part of the future economic damages portion of the FN9 award be paid in the form of annuities.... When the motion was heard following *538 Dylan's death, Dr. Spangler argued that Section 11109(c) reflects Maryland law that there should not be a windfall, ... that the damages paid should reflect the actual damages incurred ... [and] under that statute there is an implicit authority of this court to strike the future medical and rehab damages from the verdict but did not argue that he should be granted an annuity award, which would end his liability for medical expenses upon Dylan's death pursuant to Section 11109(d). Judge Finifter denied Dr. Spangler's request. FN9. Section 11109 provides, in pertinent part: (a) Economic damages defined. (1) In this section, economic damages means loss of earnings and medical expenses. (2) Economic damages does not include punitive damages. (b) Itemized award. As part of the verdict in any action for damages for personal injury in which the cause of action arises on or after July 1, 1986 or for wrongful death in which the cause of action arises on or after October 1, 1994, the trier of fact shall itemize the award to reflect the monetary amount intended for: (1) Past medical expenses; (2) Future medical expenses;

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(3) Past loss of earnings; (4)Future loss of earnings; (5) Noneconomic damages; and (6) Other damages. (c) Form of award for future economic damages; appointment of conservator. (1) The court or the health claims arbitration panel may order that all or part of the future economic damages portion of the award be paid in the form of annuities or other appropriate financial instruments, or that it be paid in periodic or other payments consistent with the needs of the plaintiff, funded in full by the defendant or the defendant's insurer and equal when paid to the amount of the future economic damages award. *** (d) Death of plaintiff before final payment of award. If the plaintiff under this section dies before the final periodic payment of an award is made, the unpaid balance of the award for future loss of earnings shall revert to the estate of the plaintiff and the unpaid balance of the award for future medical expenses shall revert to the defendant or to the defendant's insurer if the insurer provided the funds for the future damages award. Before us, Dr. Spangler does not challenge the trial court's denial of his request for annuitization under Section 11109(c), but argues that Section 11109(d), which provides that [i]f the plaintiff under this section dies before the final periodic payment of an award is made, ... the unpaid balance of the award for future medical expenses shall revert to the defendant, precludes Dylan's estate from receiving any of the original award for future medical expenses, other than that actually incurred prior to Dylan's death. In essence, Dr. Spangler argues that

even though he was not awarded the benefit of periodic payments, Dylan was given only a life estate in the award for medical expenses, with the remainder to Dr. Spangler. **935 The McQuittys counter with the death of a personal injury plaintiff at any time after a jury verdict is not grounds for extinguishing the award of future damages, reopening the evidence, or otherwise providing the basis for relief from the *539 entry of a final judgment[;] to hold otherwise would contravene the public policy in favor of the finality of judgments and extend litigation interminably. The importance of finality, the McQuittys argue, motivated the United States Circuit Court for the Sixth Circuit in Davis v. Jellico Community Hospital, Inc., 912 F.2d 129 (1990), and a United States District Court in Boyd v. Bulala, 672 F.Supp. 915 (W.D.Va.1987), to conclude that the death of the plaintiff following trial but before the resolution of post-trial motions does not constitute a basis to reduce a judgment, because [t]he defendant cannot, by his argument, be allowed to profit from the [plaintiff's] premature death by securing a reduction in the judgment. Boyd, 672 F.Supp. at 923. As to Section 11109(d), the McQuittys respond that the return of all future medical expenses following the premature death of the prevailing party is required only where an annuity payment system is obtained under Section 11109(c), which was not the case here. [1] We have occasion to write on a clean slate when we address the impact of the death of a prevailing party on an award of future medical expenses after a judgment notwithstanding the verdict was entered but was reversed on appeal and the case was returned for consideration of a motion for remittitur. Dr. Spangler urges that the notion of equity favors a reduction of damages under these circumstances, but we note that when that policy has been embraced, it has been explicated in statFN10 utes, such as Wisconsin, which provides that *540 future medical expenses over a given amount, assessed against a health care provider, shall be

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paid in periodic payments that will cease upon the recipient's death. FN10. Section 655.015 of the Wisconsin Statutes (2004) provides: If a settlement or judgment under this chapter resulting from an act or omission that occurred on or after May 25, 1995, provides for future medical expense payments in excess of $100,000, that portion of future medical expense payments in excess of an amount equal to $100,000 plus an amount sufficient to pay the costs of collection attributable to the future medical expense payments, including attorney fees reduced to present value, shall be paid into the fund. The commissioner shall develop by rule a system for managing and disbursing those moneys through payments for these expenses, which shall include a provision for the creation of a separate accounting for each claimant's payments and for crediting each claimant's account with a proportionate share of any interest earned by the fund, based on that account's proportionate share of the fund. The commissioner shall promulgate a rule specifying the criteria that shall be used to determine the medical expenses related to the settlement or judgment, taking into consideration developments in the provision of health care. The payments shall be made under the system until either the account is exhausted or the patient dies. Similar statutory provisions to that in Wisconsin do not exist in Maryland. Section 11109, rather, permits the payment of future economic damages to be annuitized, with the trial court's discretion. The subsequent death of the prevailing party, then, would warrant cessation of periodic payments for future medical damages. Here, however, Dr. Spangler has not appealed from the

denial of the annuity award as an abuse of the trial court's discretion; he urges us, rather, to obviate the legislative mandate by holding that every award, whether annuitized or not, warrants cessation of an award of future medical expenses at death. **936 In the absence of a statute mandating reversion of the remainder of future medical expenses following the death of the recipient, some of our sister courts addressing the same issue have ruled that finality is the valued norm. In Davis v. Jellico Community Hospital, Inc., the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit observed that Tennessee law did not establish structured damage awards with builtin contingencies for deaths well before a plaintiff's expected life span. 912 F.2d at 135. In that case, Jackie Davis was awarded a $2.5 million judgment but died thirty-three days later, while his doctors and hospital's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict was still pending. After Mr. Davis's death, the doctors and the hospital amended their post-trial motion, seeking a new trial on the issue of damages. The district court denied their post-trial motions under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure FN11 FN12 59 and 60, reasoning that evidence adduced *541 regarding Mr. Davis's life span supported the verdict, was not false, and was rebuttable, albeit unsuccessfully, at trial. FN11. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(a) currently provides, in pertinent part: (1) Grounds for New Trial. The court may, on motion, grant a new trial on all or some of the issuesand to any partyas follows: (A) after a jury trial, for any reason for which a new trial has heretofore been granted in an action at law in federal court; or (B) after a nonjury trial, for any reason for which a rehearing has heretofore been granted in a suit in equity in federal court.

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(2) Further Action After a Nonjury Trial. After a nonjury trial, the court may, on motion for a new trial, open the judgment if one has been entered, take additional testimony, amend findings of fact and conclusions of law or make new ones, and direct the entry of a new judgment. FN12. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60 currently provides, in pertinent part: (b) Grounds for Relief from a Final Judgment, Order, or Proceeding. On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or (6) any other reason that justifies relief. On appeal, the Sixth Circuit affirmed, citing cases denying motions to reopen and modify judgments in light of an apparent improvement or decline in the prevailing party's health discovered following trial and concluding that finality outweighed claims of inequity in damages awarded. Id. at 136,

citing Still v. Townsend, 311 F.2d 23, 2324 (6th Cir.1962) and Campbell v. American Foreign S.S. Corp., 116 F.2d 926, 928 (2d Cir.1941). The Sixth Circuit reasoned that, [t]he defendants in this and every other tort case well know that a plaintiff may not survive to fully enjoy an award of damages. It is the defendant's responsibility to make clear to the fact finder that the plaintiff could die as soon as he or she leaves the courthouse. *542 Id. at 136. The court concluded that the doctors and hospital could not circumvent finality by reopening this case to limit damages awarded to Mr. Davis. Id. Similarly, in Boyd v. Bulala, 672 F.Supp. 915 (W.D.Va.1987), the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia denied a motion for post-judgment relief after the prevailing party **937 Veronica Lynn Boyd, an infant born with severe cerebral palsy, died approximately six weeks after trial. 672 F.Supp. at 922. In denying the motion, the district court considered the physician's request to weigh the equities of this case against the rule regarding the finality of judgments, and resolved that [t]his balancing test is seriously flawed ... [b]ecause the weight accorded to the finality of judgment necessarily increases as time passes, [the test] would allow relief when the plaintiff dies prematurely, but would deny relief when the plaintiff lives longer than expected. Id. at 923. A postverdict death of the prevailing party could not disturb the finality of the judgment: Were the rule otherwise, litigation would never end.... The defendant cannot, by his argument, be allowed to profit from the child's premature death by securing a reduction in the judgment. Id. at 92223. In the present case, taking into consideration the absence of annuitization of medical payments, we determine that the finality of judgment must be the norm; otherwise litigation could continue interminably.

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[2] Dr. Spangler also contends that he is entitled to a reduction in the jury's award for the amount the Franklin Square Hospital paid the McQuittys. Franklin Square, in the original trial, was granted summary judgment as to both liability and damages but, thereafter, settled with the McQuittys for $500,000. In a Release and Settlement of Claim, the McQuittys agreed to discharge all claims against the Hospital related to Dylan's injuries and damages. The Release further specified that any future judgment awarded to the McQuittys would be reduced by the Hospital's pro rata share of liability, pursuant to the Uniform Contribution Among TortFeasors *543 Act, Section 31404 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article, should the Hospital be judicially determined to be liable: It is further understood and agreed that if the Releasing Party [i.e., the McQuittys] files or pursues a lawsuit or other claim against someone other than the Released Parties [i.e., the hospital and its insurers] seeking recovery for damages as a result of or relating to the Occurrence, and if, in any such lawsuit or claim in relation to that lawsuit, a crossclaim, third-party claim or other claim is brought against the Released Parties, then any and all damages recoverable by the Releasing Party ... shall be reduced by the statutory pro rata share(s) of the Defendant in accordance with the Uniform Contribution Among [Tort-feasors] Act, Section 31401, et seq., Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc.Code Ann., but only on the condition that the issue of liability of Franklin Square Hospital Center, Inc. is actually presented for judicial decision and the Franklin Square Hospital Center, Inc. is adjudicated to be a joint tortfeasor by a final judgment of a court of record after trial on the merits. Then and only in that event, the Releasing Party agrees and stipulates that all damages incurred by the Releasing Party resulting from the Occurrence and recoverable by the Releasing Party against anyone other than the Released Parties, will be reduced under the provisions of the Uniform Contribution Among Tort-feasors Act, as set forth above.

Although Dr. Spangler had not preserved any direct action against the Hospital nor had the Hospital been judicially determined to be liable, he urged in his Motion for Remittitur that he was entitled to a dollar for dollar set off for the Hospital's $500,000 settlement. The McQuittys conversely maintain that no such contribution was appropriate under the Release or the Uniform Contribution Among TortFeasors Act because the Hospital was judicially absolved of liability when the Circuit **938 Court granted its motion for summary judgment. Under the Uniform Contribution Among TortFeasors Act, [t]he right of contribution exists among joint tort-feasors. *544 Section 31402(a) of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article. The term Joint tort-feasors is defined as two or more persons jointly or severally liable in tort for the same injury to person or property, whether or not judgment has been recovered against all or some of them. Section 31401(c) of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article. Dr. Spangler contends that the trial court's denial of his request for pro rata contribution for Franklin Square Hospital's Release was erroneous, because it is undisputed that [the Hospital] had independent liability for its care provided, and thus was a joint-tortfeasor whose settlement with the McQuittys should reduce the judgment against Dr. Spangler. He further argues that the Hospital's Release absolved the Hospital from contribution claims by other tort-feasors, in an effort to preclude Dr. Spangler from obtaining a reduction in the jury award, contrary to the purpose and effect of the Uniform Contribution Among TortFeasors Act. Finally, he argues that summary judgment in favor of the Hospital did not preclude the Hospital from having joint-tort-feasor status under the Uniform Act, because summary judgment was granted prior to the signing of the Release. The McQuittys respond that the Hospital was judicially determined not to be a joint tort-feasor, so that the McQuittys were not required to take a reduction in the judg-

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ment to reflect the Hospital's settlement. The concept of joint tort-feasor status was succinctly summarized by Judge Sally D. Adkins, while an active member of the Court of Special Appeals, in the case of Jacobs v. Flynn, 131 Md.App. 342, 37475, 749 A.2d 174, 191 (2000), in which she explained that a settling defendant, who is judicially determined to be liable or who admits liability in the settlement agreement, is a joint tort-feasor under the Uniform Contribution Among TortFeasors Act: As the Court of Appeals recognized long ago, [the Uniform Act] does not specify the test of liability. Clearly, something short of an actual judgment will suffice. Swigert v. Welk, 213 Md. 613, 619, 133 A.2d 428 (1957). The fact, however, that a party has been sued or threatened with *545 suit is not enough to establish joint tort-feasor status. See OwensCorning Fiberglas Inc. [Corporation ] v. Garrett, 343 Md. 500, 53132, 682 A.2d 1143 (1996). Tort-feasor status, in the absence of adjudication, generally rests on admission by the purported tort-feasor of such status. Thus, a party will be considered a joint tort-feasor when it admits joint tort-feasor status in a settlement agreement, see Martinez, 300 Md. at 9495, 476 A.2d 197, or if a default judgment has been entered against a party. See Porter Hayden Co. v. Bullinger, 350 Md. 452, 47374, 713 A.2d 962 (1998) (because a default judgment is considered an admission of liability, it is sufficient to establish joint tort-feasor status). One will not be considered a joint tort-feasor, however, merely because he or she enters a settlement and pays money. See Garrett, 343 Md. at 532, 682 A.2d 1143. Where the settling parties specify in the release that the settling party shall not be considered a joint tort-feasor, monies paid on account of such settlement will be considered merely volunteer payments; a non-settling defendant judicially determined to be liable will not be entitled to a reduction of the damages awarded against it on account of the consideration paid by

the settling party. See id. at 53133, 682 A.2d 1143; **939Collier v. Eagle Pitcher [ EaglePicher ] Indus., Inc., 86 Md.App. 38, 57, 585 A.2d 256, cert. denied, 323 Md. 33, 591 A.2d 249 (1991). In this case, the Hospital was a volunteer after it was granted summary judgment and then paid the McQuittys $500,000. Its release from the McQuittys so specified. The fact that the determination of no liability was made on summary judgment rather than after trial is of no moment because, as we have previously held, in Porter Hayden Co. v. Bullinger, 350 Md. 452, 470, 713 A.2d 962, 971 (1998), when there is a judicial determination by either a judge or jury that the releasee is not liable, the releasee is not considered a joint tortfeasor, and section 31404 does not apply to reduce the plaintiff's claim against the nonsettling joint tort-feasor. (emphasis added). *546 We, finally, turn to the calculation of post-judgment interest, which is controlled by Maryland Rule 2604(b): (b) Post-judgment interest. A money judgment shall bear interest at the rate prescribed by law from the date of entry. [3] Dr. Spangler disputes the date of the entry of judgment in this case; he argues that the original verdict was set aside by the Circuit Court when it granted Dr. Spangler's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, such that there was no judgment prior to January 20, 2010, when the trial court granted in part and denied in part his Motion for Remittitur and entered judgment in favor of the McQuittys for $5,039,257.50. In the January 2010 order, however, Judge Finifter instructed that postjudgment interest be calculated from September 27, 2006, the date of the original judgment, because this Court's mandate of reversal was, in effect, a finding that Plaintiff's original judgment always existed, quoting our decision in Carpenter Realty Corp. v. Imbesi, 369 Md. 549, 566, 801 A.2d 1018, 1028 (2002) and that of the Court of Special Ap-

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peals in Brown v. Medical Mutual, 90 Md.App. 18, 21, 599 A.2d 1201, 1204 (1992). The purpose of post-judgment interest, as we stated in I.W. Berman Prop. v. Porter Bros., 276 Md. 1, 24, 344 A.2d 65, 79 (1975), is to compensate the successful suitor for the same loss of the use of the monies represented by the judgment in its favor, and the loss of income thereon, between ... when there is a judicial determination of the monies owed it and the satisfaction of the judgment by payment. In light of this purpose, we denied post-judgment interest in Carpenter Realty Corp., 369 Md. at 568, 801 A.2d at 1029, where the original judgment, rendered in favor of the estate of Thomas L. Imbesi, was reversed on appeal. [4] In instances where judgments are entered following an appeal of a post-trial motion, it is within the sound discretion of the trial court to award post-judgment interest dating back to the entry of the original judgment, in pursuit of equitable principles, where the mandate of the appellate court does not expressly address the issue of postjudgment interest. *547Imbesi, 369 Md. at 561, 801 A.2d at 1025. In Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society v. Davis, 365 Md. 477, 781 A.2d 781 (2001), we affirmed the trial court's award of postjudgment interest on a judgment that was reduced pursuant to a remittitur, from the date of the original judgment awarded by the jury. In so doing, we followed the principle that post-judgment motions or appeals, which may cause a money judgment for a plaintiff to lose some aspects of its finality, ordinarily do not have the effect of postponing the accrual of post-judgment interest from the date that the original money judgment was entered. Id. at 486, 781 A.2d at 786. **940 Similarly, in Brown v. Medical Mutual, 90 Md.App. 18, 25, 599 A.2d 1201, 1204 (1992), the Court of Special Appeals ruled that postjudgment interest would accrue from the date of the original judgment in a case in which it reversed a subsequent judgment notwithstanding the verdict on appeal, reasoning that a reversal of a judgment

notwithstanding the verdict equated to a finding that original judgment always existed: Here, the [judgment notwithstanding the verdict] was, in fact, reversed on appeal, which means that the original jury verdict must be reinstated as if it had never been eliminated by the trial court. A reversal on appeal of a [judgment notwithstanding the verdict] is, in effect, a finding that plaintiff's original judgment always existed. The intermediate appellate court further observed that its prior mandate, which expressly instructed that post-judgment interest be calculated from the date of the original judgment's entry, supported its conclusion. See id. at 25, 599 A.2d at 1204. In the case sub judice, our mandate in McQuitty I, reversing the trial court's grant of judgment notFN13 withstanding the verdict, did not expressly instruct the trial court to award post-judgment interest from the date of the original judgment *548 in September 2006. McQuitty I, 410 Md. at 33, 976 A.2d at 1039. It is clear, however, from the language of McQuitty I that we reviewed and reversed the trial court's grant of judgment notwithstanding the verdict and remanded the case only for consideration of the remittitur motion filed by Dr. Spangler, which was not decided, and not to reconsider the jury's verdict and judgment entered on September 27, 2006. 410 Md. at 33, 976 A.2d at 1039. Thus, the original judgment was reinstated. We, therefore, conclude that the trial judge, in effectuating the mandate in McQuitty I, did not abuse his discretion in ordering that the McQuittys be awarded post-judgment interest from the date of the original judgment on September 27, 2006. FN13. The provided: mandate in McQuitty I

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS REVERSED. CASE REMANDED TO THAT COURT WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO REVERSE THE

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JUDGMENT OF THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR BALTIMORE COUNTY AND TO REMAND THE CASE TO THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR PROCEEDINGS NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THIS OPINION. COSTS IN THIS COURT AND IN THE COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS TO BE PAID BY RESPONDENT. 410 Md. at 33, 976 A.2d at 1039. JUDGMENT OF THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR BALTIMORE COUNTY AFFIRMED. COSTS TO BE PAID BY APPELLANTS. Md.,2012. Spangler v. McQuitty 424 Md. 527, 36 A.3d 928 END OF DOCUMENT

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West Headnotes Court of Appeals of Maryland. Katie McDANIEL v. Tom BARANOWSKI. No. 64, Sept. Term, 2010. May 4, 2011. Background: Landlord filed complaint for repossession of the leased premises against tenant for failure to pay rent. Tenant filed counterclaim in which she alleged that lease was void or voidable as against public policy, because landlord had failed to obtain a license for the premises, as well as that landlord had violated the Consumer Protection Act. The District Court denied tenant's counterclaim and entered judgment in favor of landlord for possession of the property, as well as for back rent with concomitant late fees. Tenant appealed. The Circuit Court, Anne Arundel County, Philip T. Caroom, J., struck the appeal of the judgment of repossession as not timely filed, and affirmed the award of back rent and late fees and the denial of tenant's counterclaim. Tenant petitioned for writ of certiorari. Holdings: The Court of Appeals, Battaglia, J., held that: (1) landlord, who did not possess a current license to operate the premises as mandated by county code, was not entitled to utilize the summary ejectment procedures; (2) in order to invoke the summary ejectment process, a landlord in those jurisdictions requiring licensure must affirmatively plead and demonstrate that he is licensed at the time of the filing of the complaint; and (3) tenant failed to demonstrate actual loss or injury, and thus was not entitled to damages pursuant to the Consumer Protection Act. Judgments of Circuit Court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded with instructions. [1] Appeal and Error 30 82(3)

30 Appeal and Error 30III Decisions Reviewable 30III(D) Finality of Determination 30k82 Orders After Judgment 30k82(3) k. Opening or vacating judgment. Most Cited Cases District court's denial of tenant's timely postjudgment motion to revise dispossession and denial of damages judgment was appealable. Md.Rule 3535(a). [2] Landlord and Tenant 233 296(1)

233 Landlord and Tenant 233IX Re-Entry and Recovery of Possession by Landlord 233k293 Summary Proceedings 233k296 Grounds and Right to Maintain Proceedings 233k296(1) k. In general. Most Cited Cases Rental property owner, who did not possess a current license to operate the premises as mandated by county code, was not entitled to utilize the summary ejectment procedures upon tenant's failure to pay rent. West's Ann.Md.Code, Real Property, 8208(f), 8401. [3] Landlord and Tenant 233 20

233 Landlord and Tenant 233II Leases and Agreements in General 233II(A) Requisites and Validity 233k20 k. Nature of the contract. Most Cited Cases The legal relationship between landlord and tenant is governed by the contract between the parties, as well as any statutory authority. [4] Landlord and Tenant 233 296(1)

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233 Landlord and Tenant 233IX Re-Entry and Recovery of Possession by Landlord 233k293 Summary Proceedings 233k296 Grounds and Right to Maintain Proceedings 233k296(1) k. In general. Most Cited Cases In order to invoke the facile process of summary ejectment, a landlord in those jurisdictions requiring licensure must affirmatively plead and demonstrate that he is licensed at the time of the filing of the complaint for summary ejectment process. West's Ann.Md.Code, Real Property, 8401. [5] Antitrust and Trade Regulation 29T 200

*562 In this case, we are asked to consider FN1 whether the owner of a multiple dwelling in Brooklyn Park, who has failed to obtain a license for the premises, as mandated by Section FN2 1110102 of the Anne Arundel County Code, may nevertheless initiate summary ejectment proceedings for a tenant's failure to pay rent, pursuant to Section 8401 of the Real Property Article, Maryland Code (1974, 2003 Repl.Vol., 2009 FN3 Supp.). FN1. Section 154202 of the Anne Arundel County Code (2005, 2009 Supp.) defines a multiple dwelling as follows: Multiple dwelling. A structure containing more than two dwelling units or a non-owner occupied dwelling containing two or more dwelling units. FN2. Section 1110102 of the Anne Arundel County Code (2005, 2009 Supp.) provides: A person may not operate a multiple dwelling or rooming house without a license issued by the Department. A separate license is required for each multiple dwelling or rooming house. FN3. Section 8401 of the Real Property Article, Maryland Code (1974, 2003 Repl.Vol., 2009 Supp.), states, in relevant part: (a) Right to repossession. Whenever the tenant or tenants fail to pay the rent when due and payable, it shall be lawful for the landlord to have again and repossess the premises. (b) Complaint; summons. (1) Whenever any landlord shall desire to repossess any premises to which the landlord is entitled under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the landlord or the landlord's duly qualified agent or attor-

29T Antitrust and Trade Regulation 29TIII Statutory Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection 29TIII(C) Particular Subjects and Regulations 29Tk200 k. Housing rentals. Most Cited Cases Tenant failed to demonstrate actual loss or injury due to rental property owner's failure to obtain a license for the premises as mandated by county code, and thus tenant was not entitled to damages pursuant to the Consumer Protection Act, where tenant failed to present any evidence of bills for medical treatment, loss of wages, or the cost of securing suitable substitute housing. West's Ann.Md.Code, Commercial Law, 13101 et seq. **928 Lisa Marie Sarro (Legal Aid Bureau, Inc., Annapolis, MD), on brief, for petitioner. Robert B. Greenwalt, Baltimore, MD, for respondent. Argued before BELL, C.J., HARRELL, BATTAGLIA, GREENE, MURPHY, ADKINS and BARBERA, JJ. BATTAGLIA, J.

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ney shall file the landlord's written complaint under oath or affirmation, in the District Court of the county wherein the property is situated: (i) Describing in general terms the property sought to be repossessed; (ii) Setting forth the name of each tenant to whom the property is rented or any assignee or subtenant; (iii) Stating the amount of rent and any late fees due and unpaid; (iv) Requesting to repossess the premises and, if requested by the landlord, a judgment for the amount of rent due, costs, and any late fees;.... All references to the Real Property Article throughout are to Maryland Code (1974, 2003 Repl.Vol., 2009 Supp.), in effect at the time the events in question occurred, unless otherwise noted. *563 Before us, the tenant, Katie McDaniel, dispossessed of the premises by the District Court, asks us to consider the following questions on certiorari, McDaniel v. Baranowski, 415 Md. 337, 1 A.3d 467 (2010), which we have renumbered: 1. Did the District Court err by striking tenant's appeal as untimely in an action pursuant to 8401 of the Real Property Article where the tenant filed a timely post-judgment motion under Maryland Rule 3535, and the District **929 Court subsequently heard the case on the merits and then issued judgment? 2. Did the District Court err as a matter of law in granting possession to the landlord on his claim under Real Property Article 8401 because the landlord's failure to obtain a license to rent the property precluded him from using the courts to enforce the rental agreement?

3. Did the District Court err as a matter of law by denying tenant's claims under the Consumer Protection Act where the uncontroverted evidence showed not only that the rental property at issue was unlicensed for rental use, but also that the property contained an electrical defect and other problems that affected and endangered the tenant on a daily basis throughout the majority of her tenancy? We shall hold that a rental property owner who does not possess a current license to operate the premises, is not entitled to utilize the summary ejectment procedures outlined in Section 8401 of the Real Property Article upon a tenant's failure to pay rent, if the dwelling is located in a jurisdiction that requires owners to obtain such licenses. We shall further hold that the District Court judge did not err in determining that the tenant did not demonstrate actual loss or injury due to the rental property owner's failure to obtain a license for the premises, and was, thus, not entitled to damages FN4 pursuant to the Consumer Protection Act. FN4. Section 13303 of the Commercial Law Article, Maryland Code (1975, 2005 Repl.Vol.), states: A person may not engage in any unfair or deceptive trade practice, as defined in this subtitle or as further defined by the Division [of Consumer Protection of the Office of the Attorney General], in: (1) The sale, lease, rental, loan, or bailment of any consumer goods, consumer realty, or consumer services; (2) The offer for sale, lease, rental, loan, or bailment of consumer goods, consumer realty, or consumer services; (3) The extension of consumer credit; or (4) The collection of consumer debts. Section 13408 of the Commercial Law

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Article, Maryland Code (1975, 2005 Repl.Vol.), provides in relevant part: (a) Actions authorized. In addition to any action by the Division or Attorney General authorized by this title and any other action otherwise authorized by law, any person may bring an action to recover for injury or loss sustained by him as the result of a practice prohibited by this title. (b) Attorney's fees. Any person who brings an action to recover for injury or loss under this section and who is awarded damages may also seek, and the court may award, reasonable attorney's fees. *564 On March 9, 2009, Katie McDaniel, Petitioner, entered into a written lease with Tom Baranowski, Respondent, for the rental of a secondfloor apartment in Brooklyn Park, in Anne Arundel County, the tenancy of which commenced a few days later, on March 12, 2009. Although McDaniel was not aware at the time, Baranowski had failed to obtain a license for the multiple dwelling, defined in Section 154202 of the Anne Arundel County Code (2005, 2009 Supp.), as a non-owner occupied dwelling containing two or more dwelling units. In Anne Arundel County, [a] person may not operate a multiple dwelling ... without a license issued by the Department [of Inspections and Permits], and [a] separate license is required for each multiple dwelling.... Section 1110102. A license may not be issued, moreover, without the approval of a Health Officer, who shall approve the issuance of a license if an inspection ... reveals that the multiple dwelling ... complies with the requirements of [the Anne Arundel County Code]. Section 1110105(a). Those requirements are designed to insure the **930 safety and habitability FN5 of the *565 premises, namely that the dwelling is clean, sanitary, fit for human occupancy, and in

compliance with this title and other applicable State and County law. Section 154103. FN5. Habitability is described as [t]he condition of a building in which inhabitants can live free of serious defects that might harm health and safety. Black's Law Dictionary 779 (9th ed.2009); see also Williams v. Hous. Auth., 361 Md. 143, 146, 760 A.2d 697, 698 (2000) (describing the warranty of habitability as an obligation of the landlord to repair and eliminate conditions and defects that constitute, or, if uncorrected, would constitute, a serious and substantial threat to the life, health, or safety of the occupants). Although Baranowski had previously secured a license to lease the premises, that license had expired on January 31, 2005. Thereafter, the Anne Arundel County Department of Inspections and Permits Commercial Division contacted Baranowski on February 14, 2005, August 10, 2005, July 11, 2007, December 28, 2007, and on July 24, 2008, requesting that Baranowski renew his license to operate the premises in question. Baranowski finally reapplied for a rental license on May 21, 2009, after he had initiated summary ejectment proceedings against McDaniel. Before moving into the apartment, McDaniel had paid Baranowski the first month's rent of $650, as well as a security deposit of $650. Upon taking possession, after putting the utilities in her name, McDaniel discovered various problems involving the fuse box, which was sizzling and sparking. Specifically, when the fuse box sparked, the power in the apartment would shut off. McDaniel contacted Baltimore Gas and Electric and was directed to contact the fire department, whose personnel, upon assessing the situation, advised her to vacate the apartment. She, nevertheless, stayed in the apartment because she had nowhere to go. Although McDaniel did contact Baranowski, who had sent a maintenance person on more than one occasion, the problems with the fuse box persisted, happening

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every day, quite a few times per day, with the power shutting off each time for one to two minutes. It was not until the weekend of May 22nd when Baranowski hired a professional electrician to repair the problem, that the fuse box was fixed, a week before the trial in the present case commenced. *566 According to McDaniel, other aspects of the apartment also were in disrepair, including two windows that had fallen out of their frames, hitting McDaniel and her young daughter on the head on separate occasions. In addition, the kitchen windows were missing locks, and the kitchen countertop was loose, unglued to the cabinet on which it sat. McDaniel also had contacted the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, and an inspector was dispatched to inspect the premises in mid-April. The inspector issued a letter to Baranowski dated April 22, 2009, notifying him of numerous Code violations involving the poor condition of the windows, kitchen countertop, and electrical system. FN6 *567 Throughout all of this, McDaniel did not pay any rent, after the **931 $1,300 she had initially paid for the first month's rent and the security deposit. She apparently vacated the apartment on or about June 1, 2009. FN6. The letter provided that the inspection revealed numerous Code violations and mandated that the violations be corrected by May 16, 2009, to avoid civil citations ranging from $125.00 to $1,000 per day per violation: An inspection of the above referenced dwelling was conducted on April 16, 2009 in response to a complaint received by this Department. During that inspection, the following violations of Article 15, Title 4, Construction and Property Maintenance Codes were observed: 2nd Floor

The entrance door to the unit is in disrepair as the top hinge is loose. The kitchen window and the left living room window come out too easily. The kitchen cabinet door hinge is loose. The cabinet top by the stove is detached. The fuse box door is off. 2 window screens are torn and 2 are missing. The electrical system is in disrepair due to the electricity periodically shutting off while the breakers remain on. The electrical system must be repaired to a safe and approved manner. The electrical system must be properly wired and installed. The system must be repaired in accordance with the County Electrical Code. Permits must be obtained. The kitchen sink backs up on occasion. The plumbing waste line shall be repaired so that it functions properly and shall be kept free from obstructions, leaks, and defects. It is recommended that a licensed professional be utilized. The violations must be corrected by May 16, 2009. If the violations are not corrected at that time and further reinspections are needed, you will be charged $80.00 for each subsequent reinspection. In addition, civil citations may be issued for each day the violations continue to exist. Those fines can range from $125.00 to $1,000 per day

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per violation. On April 16, 2009, Baranowski filed a Complaint for Repossession of Rented Property under Real Property 8401 in the District Court of Maryland, Anne Arundel County, against McDaniel, for failure to pay rent that was due April 12th. McDaniel was present when the case was heard on April 23, 2009, and the District Court judge awarded possession of the premises to Baranowski and entered judgment in the amount of FN7 $707.50 in rent and late fees. FN7. We do not address the effect of the lack of a license on a breach of contract claim brought by the landlord, because the issue was not raised in the Petition for Certiorari. McDaniel was scheduled to be evicted on May 15, 2009, but was granted an extension to remain on the premises until May 19th. That day, after securing representation from the Legal Aid Bureau, she filed an Emergency Motion to Stay Eviction and to Revise Judgment, and Request for Rent Escrow, alleging that the District Court had erroneously entered judgment [b]y consent when in actuality, McDaniel, who at that time was pro se, had asserted at the hearing that the premises contained serious and substantial defects and also FN8 had requested the remedy of rent escrow. FN8. Section 8211 of the Real Property Article, governing repair of dangerous defects, provides, in relevant part: (a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide tenants with a mechanism for encouraging the repair of serious and dangerous defects which exist within or as part of any residential dwelling unit, or upon the property used in common of which the dwelling unit forms a part. The defects sought to be reached by this section are those which present a substantial and serious threat of danger

to the life, health and safety of the occupants of the dwelling unit, and not those which merely impair the aesthetic value of the premises, or which are, in those locations governed by such codes, housing code violations of a nondangerous nature.... (b) Sanctions and repair consistent with public policy. It is the public policy of Maryland that meaningful sanctions be imposed upon those who allow dangerous conditions and defects to exist in leased premises, and that an effective mechanism be established for repairing these conditions and halting their creation. *** (j) ReliefIn general. (1) Whether the issue of rent escrow is raised affirmatively or defensively, the tenant may request one or more of the forms of relief set forth in this section. (2) In addition to any other relief sought, if within 90 days after the court finds that the conditions complained of by the tenant exist the landlord has not made the repairs or corrected the conditions complained of, the tenant may file a petition of injunction in the District Court requesting the court to order the landlord to make the repairs or correct the conditions. **932 *568 Prior to the filing of the Emergency Motion to Stay Eviction and to Revise Judgment, Baranowski had filed a second complaint for repossession of the premises against McDaniel on May 13, 2009, for failure to pay rent due May 12th. Through counsel, in response, McDaniel filed a Notice of Intention to Defend and Counterclaim, in which she alleged that the lease was void or voidable as against public policy, because Baranowski had failed to obtain a license

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for the premises, as well as that Baranowski had breached the implied warranty of habitability, and violated the Consumer Protection Act; McDaniel also requested a rent escrow. In support of her claim that the lease was void or voidable as against public policy, McDaniel alleged the following: COUNT ONE (Recovery of Money Paid Under Void Lease) 1. Tenant and the Plaintiff, Mr. Thomas Baranowski (hereinafter, Landlord), entered into a purported lease of the real property at 5210 Brookwood Road, Second Floor, Brooklyn Park, Maryland 21225 (the Property), on or about March 12, 2009. 2. On or about March 12, 2009, in consideration of the purported lease, Tenant paid Landlord a total of $1,300.00, representing $650 for the first month's rent and a $650 security deposit. Landlord presently retains this sum. *569 3. The Property is a multiple dwelling under Anne Arundel County Code, 154201[sic] (2005, Feb. 2009 Supp.) (County Code), as supplemented by the Construction & Property Maintenance Code Supplement, because it is a non-owner occupied dwelling containing two or more dwelling units. 4. Under County Code, 1110102, [a] person may not operate a multiple dwelling or rooming house without a license issued by the Department [of Inspections and Permits]. 5. On information and belief, Landlord does not have a current license to operate the Property as a multiple dwelling, nor did he have such a license at the time the purported lease was executed. 6. Because County law prohibits Landlord from operating the Property as a multiple dwelling, the purported lease of the Property is void or voidable as an illegal contract and/or as against the public policy of Anne Arundel County and the State of Maryland.

McDaniel further alleged that Baranowski had breached the implied warranty of habitability as follows: COUNT TWO (Breach of Implied Warranty) 7. Tenant incorporates the allegations of the foregoing Paragraphs 16. 8. The Property contains serious and substantial defects that are a hazard to human life and health. These defects include a serious electrical problem, whereby the circuit breaker box sparks and the power to the dwelling goes out intermittently, while failing to trip the electrical breakers, causing a fire hazard. 9. As such, the Property is not presently habitable. 10. Landlord knew, or should have known, of the dangerous defects in the Property at the time the purported lease was executed. *570 11. Landlord knew, or should have known, at the time the purported lease **933 was executed, that he was not legally permitted to operate the Property as a multiple dwelling. 12. By proffering a residential lease to Tenant, Landlord impliedly warranted that the Property was habitable as a residence, and further impliedly warranted that he was authorized to rent the Property. 13. By entering into the purported lease under the circumstances, Landlord breached the aforementioned implied warranties. Additionally, McDaniel alleged that Baranowski had violated the Consumer Protection Act by failing to provide a safe and habitable living environment: COUNT THREE (Violation of the Consumer Protection Act) 14. Tenant incorporates the allegations of the foregoing Paragraphs 112.

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15. By making the aforesaid implied warranties in connection with the lease of the Property, when he knew or should have known that they were false, Landlord engaged in unfair or deceptive trade practice in violation of the Consumer Protect Act (CPA), 13101 et seq. of the Maryland Code, Commercial Law Article (2005 Repl.Vol., 2008 Supp.) (C.L.). 16. C.L. 13408 authorizes an action for damages for violation of the CPA. Finally, McDaniel alleged that she was entitled to abate rent, because she had informed Baranowski of the substantial electrical defect, and he had failed to timely correct the problem: COUNT FOUR (Request for Rent Escrow) 17. Tenant incorporates the allegations of the foregoing paragraphs 116. 18. Landlord has had actual notice of the substantial electrical defect in the Property since at least on or about *571 March 21, 2009, when Tenant informed Landlord by telephone of the defect. The defect was also cited in a letter dated April 22, 2009 to Landlord from an inspector with the Anne Arundel County Department of Health. 19. Section 8211(i) of the Maryland Code, Real Property Article (2003 Repl.Vol., 2008 Supp.) (R.P.) authorizes a tenant to refuse to pay rent and raise the existence of [serious and substantial] defects or conditions as an affirmative defense to ... any complaint proceeding brought by the landlord to recover rent or the possession of the leased premises. 20. Relief under R.P. 8211 is conditioned upon proper notice to the landlord, reasonable time to correct defects, and [p]ayment by the tenant, into court, of the amount or rent required by the lease, unless this amount is modified by the court.... R.P. 8211(k). 21. Landlord has had sufficient notice under the statute and reasonable time to correct defects. See

R.P. 8211(g)(2)(3), (h). McDaniel requested that the District Court dismiss Baranowski's complaint and sought $1,300 in damages (the amount of her first month's rent and security deposit). She further requested that the District Court abate her rent until Baranowski had made repairs to the premises. McDaniel also contemporaneously filed a Motion to Consolidate Baranowski's April and May complaints, which the court granted. At a hearing on the consolidated cases on May 29, 2009, the District Court Judge denied McDaniel's Motion to Revise the April judgment, denied her counterclaims, and entered judgment in favor of Baranowski for possession of the property, as well as for May rent with concomitant late **934 fees, determining that Baranowski's failure to obtain a license for the premises did not preclude his summary ejectment action and that McDaniel had failed to prove actual injury under the Consumer Protection Act: [The cases] [t]alk about damage to the consumer. Look at actual loss or injury caused by the unfair or deceptive *572 trade practice.... And what I find is that the failure to get a license in this case, [ ] I don't find it to be void.... [The] tenant basically agreed that everything has finally been fixed. It would be nice to have a letter from the county that they're satisfied.... So what I'm doing today is, in the April [complaint], motion for rent escrow is denied. Motion to revise judgment is denied. Motion to stay eviction, order staying eviction as to June 1, 2009 is affirmed. In the case for May's rent, I enter judgment in favor of the landlord for six hundred eighty-two dollars and fifty cents. Counter claim is denied. And in that case, both sides are advised that they have four days to appeal. The Judge did grant McDaniel's motion to stay

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the eviction until June 1, 2009; McDaniel appealed the various adverse judgments. Regarding McDaniel's appeal of the April judgment of repossession, the court struck the appeal as not timely filed, but allowed the appeal involving the monetary judgment entered in the consolidated cases. Thereafter, McDaniel filed a Motion for Reconsideration, asserting that her Emergency Motion to Stay Eviction and to Revise Judgment, filed on May 19, 2009, was timely in connection with the judgment of repossession, entered on April 28, 2009. Specifically, McDaniel argued that the motion was filed pursuant to Rule 3535, describing the District Court's revisory power, which provides that [o]n motion of any party filed within 30 days after entry of judgment, the court may exercise revisory power and control over the judgment and may take any action it could have taken under Rule 3534 [governing motions to alter or amend a judgment]. The District Court denied the motion. Although McDaniel filed an appeal in the Circuit Court regarding the rental amount and alleged damages to her, Baranowski's failure to obtain a license for the premises and the availability of a summary ejectment was not pursued, because McDaniel had moved out of the property by the time of the hearing. In a memorandum opinion, the Circuit *573 Court affirmed the decision of the District Court regarding back rent and concomitant late fees due Baranowski and also the denial of McDaniel's Consumer Protection Act claim, reasoning that she had failed to present any evidence of actual injury as required by the Act. [1] As a threshold matter before us, McDaniel asserts that the District Court erred in striking her appeal regarding the judgment of repossession entered on April 28, 2009. McDaniel contends that the May 29, 2009 hearing, in which the District Court considered both of Baranowski's complaints, amounted to a new trial on the April [repossession] case, such that her appeal was timely. Alternatively, McDaniel suggests that her

appeal in connection with the repossession judgment was timely, because she had filed a timely Motion to Revise Judgment, pursuant to Rule FN9 3535(a), asking the District Court **935 to [v]acate the judgment of possession, because Baranowski had failed to repair the serious electrical problem, as well as a host of other defects in the unit. FN9. Rule 3535(a), governing revisory power, states: (a) Generally. On motion of any party filed within 30 days after entry of judgment, the court may exercise revisory power and control over the judgment and may take any action that it could have taken under Rule 3534. The issue regarding the appealability of the Motion to Revise Judgment requires only cursory review, because we have previously indicated that a motion to revise judgment clearly is subject to appellate review. Southern Management Corp. v. Taha, 378 Md. 461, 495, 836 A.2d 627, 647 (2003). FN10 Therefore, an appeal from the timely postjudgment *574 motion to revise the dispossession and denial of damages judgment was appropriate. FN10. In Southern Management Corp. v. Taha, 378 Md. 461, 836 A.2d 627 (2003), we considered the scope of a circuit court's power under Rule 2535(a), which is nearly identical to Rule 3535(a), although applicable to the circuit court rather than the district court: (a) Generally. On motion of any party filed within 30 days after entry of judgment, the court may exercise revisory power and control over the judgment and, if the action was tried before the court, may take any action that it could have taken under Rule 2534. Rule 3535(a), governing the revisory

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power of a district court, provides: (a) Generally. On motion of any party filed within 30 days after entry of judgment, the court may exercise revisory power and control over the judgment and may take any action that it could have taken under Rule 3534. [2] Our focus in the present case is whether a rental property owner in Anne Arundel County, who does not possess at the relevant times a license to operate the rental premises as mandated by the County Code, may nevertheless initiate summary ejectment proceedings, should a tenant fail to pay rent. McDaniel asserts that because Baranowski undisputably failed to comply with the licensing requirements of Section 11 10102 of the Code, he should not be permitted to reap the benefits of the streamlined repossession process outlined in Section 8401 of the Real Property Article. McDaniel further argues that the county ordinance is a public health and safety measure, designed to safeguard tenants and insure the habitability of rental properties. Baranowski counters that because Section 8401 contains no explicit requirement that a landlord be licensed by local authority in order to recover possession of premises when the tenant fails to pay rent, he should be permitted to initiate and maintain a summary ejectment. [3] The legal relationship between landlord and tenant is governed by the contract between the parties, Delauter v. Shafer, 374 Md. 317, 822 A.2d 423 (2003), Village Green Mutual Homes v. Randolph, 361 Md. 179, 760 A.2d 716 (2000), as well as any statutory authority. Statewide provisions relating to landlords and tenants are found in FN11 Title 8 of the Real Property Article, enacted as a comprehensive framework to correct existing inconsistencies in the law, as well as improve the efficiency and effectiveness of resolving disputes FN12 *575 between landlords and tenants. Commission to Review LandlordTenant**936 Laws, Letter of Transmittal (1998).

FN11. Title 8 of the Real Property Article was enacted by Chapter 12 of the Maryland Laws of 1974, and was subsequently reenacted by Chapter 649 of the Maryland Laws of 1999. FN12. The comprehensiveness of Title 8 is evinced in the purpose statement of the For the purpose of revising provisions of law relating to landlords and tenants; clarifying the rent escrow procedures to be followed in certain landlord-tenant actions; providing miscellaneous requirements for lease option agreements, security deposits, landlords' receipts, and residential leases; clarifying the procedures to be followed in instances of retaliatory evictions; authorizing the court to award certain late fees and additional accruing installments of rent in certain summary ejectment actions; authorizing the court to enter judgments for unpaid rent under certain circumstances in certain tenant holding over actions; authorizing a tenant who has not been personally served with a summons to make a limited appearance in certain landlord-tenant actions without becoming subject to the personal jurisdiction of the court; providing that the acceptance of payment under certain circumstances shall not constitute a waiver of certain rights absent a specific written agreement to the contrary; defining certain terms; establishing procedures to be followed in wrongful detainer actions; establishing procedures to be followed where the title to real property is claimed to be disputed in a landlord-tenant action; clarifying the procedures to be followed when a party in certain landlord-tenant actions elects a trial by jury; authorizing the court to exercise injunctive powers in certain landlord-tenant actions; making technical

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and stylistic changes; and generally relating to the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants and actions involving landlords and tenants. 1999 Md. Laws, Chap. 649. Section 8401(a) of that statutory scheme recognizes that a landlord has the right of possession of the premises, once a tenant fails to pay rent: (a) Right to repossession. Whenever the tenant or tenants fail to pay rent when due and payable, it shall be lawful for the landlord to have again and repossess the premises. The aggrieved landlord need only file a verified complaint for repossession in the District Court, alleging title to the premises, the name of each tenant, and the amount of rent due and owing, after which a hearing is held expeditiously, upon notice to the tenant by mail: (b) Complaint; summons. (1) Whenever any landlord shall desire to repossess any premises to which the landlord is entitled under the provisions of subsection (a) of this *576 section, the landlord ... shall file the landlord's written complaint under oath or affirmation, in the District Court of the county wherein the property is situated; (i) Describing in general terms the property sought to be repossessed; (ii) Setting forth the name of each tenant to whom the property is rented or any assignee or subtenant; (iii) Stating the amount of rent and any late fees due and unpaid; (iv) Requesting to repossess the premises and, if requested by the landlord, a judgment for the amount of rent due, costs, and any late fees; ***

(2) For the purpose of the court's determination under subsection (c) of this section the landlord shall also specify the amount of rent due for each rental period under the lease, the day that the rent is due for each rental period, and any late fees for overdue rent payments. (3) The District Court shall issue its summons, directed to any constable or sheriff of the county entitled to serve process, and ordering the constable or sheriff to notify the tenant, assignee, or subtenant by first-class mail: (i) To appear before the District Court at the trial to be held on the fifth day after the filing of the complaint; and (ii) To answer the landlord's complaint to show cause why the demand of the landlord should not be granted. (4)(i) The constable or sheriff shall proceed to serve the summons upon the tenant, assignee, or subtenant or their known or authorized agent as follows: 1. If personal service is requested and any of the persons whom the sheriff **937 shall serve is found on the property, the sheriff shall serve any such persons; or 2. If personal service is requested and none of the persons whom the sheriff is directed to serve shall be found on the property and, in all cases where personal service is not *577 requested, the constable or sheriff shall affix an attested copy of the summons conspicuously upon the property. (ii) The affixing of the summons upon the property after due notification to the tenant, assignee, or subtenant by first-class mail shall conclusively be presumed to be a sufficient service to all persons to support the entry of a default judgment for possession of the premises, together with court costs, in favor of the landlord, but it shall not be sufficient service to support a default judgment in favor of the landlord for the amount

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of rent due. Repossession, once judgment is obtained, is swift, if the tenant fails to comply with the dictates of the court order, should the landlord prevail: (d) Removal of tenant for noncompliance with judgment in favor of landlord; stay of execution of warrant of restitution. (1)(i) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection, if judgment is given in favor of the landlord, and the tenant fails to comply with the requirements of the order within 4 days, the court shall, at any time after the expiration of the 4 days, issue its warrant, directed to any official of the county entitled to serve process, ordering the official to cause the landlord to have again and repossess the property by putting the landlord ... in possession thereof, and for that purpose to remove from the property, by force if necessary, all the furniture, implements, tools, goods, effects or other chattels of every description whatsoever belonging to the tenant, or to any person claiming or holding by or under said tenant. *** (2)(i) The administrative judge of any district may stay the execution of a warrant of restitution of a residential property, from day to day, in the event of extreme weather conditions. (ii) When a stay has been granted under this paragraph, the execution of the warrant of restitution for which the stay has been granted shall be given priority and completed within 3 days after the extreme weather conditions cease. *578 It is obvious that, in this truncated process, the landlord's entitlement to enforcement of his superior interest in the premises is a given, once the failure to pay rent is proven and appropriate notice is provided. Licensure to operate the premises, however, is not mentioned anywhere in Section 8401. None of its legislative history, either, assists our query regarding the need for a license to operate prior to

FN13 initiating summary ejectment proceedings. The definition of landlord, codified at **938*579 Section 1101(g) of the Real Property Article and applicable to its entirety, as well as prior iterations of the definitional provision, are also of no assistFN14 ance in the present inquiry. FN13. A review of the legislative history of Section 8401 of the Real Property Article indicates that it was first enacted in 1937, when the General Assembly added several new sections to Article 53, Maryland Code (1935 Supp.), as follows: 24B. Whenever the tenant under any demise or agreement of rental, express or implied, verbal or written, of lands or tenements, whether real estate or chattels real within the State of Maryland, shall fail to pay rent thereunder when due and payable, it shall be lawful for the lessor to have again and repossess the premises so rented. 24C. Whenever any lessor shall desire to have again and repossess any premises to which he is entitled under the provisions of the preceding section, he or his duly qualified agent or attorney, shall make his written complaint under oath or affirmation, before any justice of the peace of the county or city wherein such property is situated, and describing therein in general terms the property sought to be had again and repossessed as aforesaid, and also setting forth the name of the tenant to whom the same is rented, or his assignee or under tenant or tenants, with the amount of rent thereon due and unpaid; and praying by warrant to have again and repossess the premises together with judgment for the amount of rent due and costs;.... 24D. If at the trial on the second day aforesaid, the justice of the peace shall

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be satisfied the interest of justice will be better served by an adjournment to enable either party to procure his necessary witnesses, he may adjourn the trial for a period not exceeding one day, except by consent of all parties.... 24E. In case judgment shall be given in favor of said lessor in the manner aforesaid, and the tenant shall fail to comply with the requirements of said order within two days aforesaid, the said justice of the peace shall, on or at any time after the expiration of said two days, issue his warrant, directed to any constable of the county or city wherein such complaint has been filed, that the lessor may elect, ordering him to cause said lessor to have and repossess said premises.... 24F. The tenant may appeal from the judgment of the justice of peace to the Circuit Court for any county or the Baltimore City Court, as the case may be, at any time within two days from the rendition of such judgment;.... 1937 Md. Laws, Chap. 529. The statute was renumbered, but remained essentially unchanged until 1971, when the Legislature amended then Section 39O of Article 53, Maryland Code (1957, 1968 Repl.Vol., 1970 Supp.), to require that a tenant be notified by first class mail if a complaint for summary ejectment had been filed against him. 1971 Md. Laws, Chap. 745. In 1972, former Sections 39N through 39R of Article 53, Maryland Code (1957, 1968 Repl.Vol.), were repealed and reenacted without substantive change as Section 8401 of the Real Property Article. 1972 Md. Laws, Chap. 349. In 1975, the Legislature extended the time period, from two days to five days, from the filing of the landlord's complaint to the trial. 1975

Md. Laws, Chap. 642. Thereafter, in 1978, the General Assembly repealed and reenacted former Section 8401(b), Maryland Code (1974, 1977 Supp.), requiring personal service on the tenant for the entry of a money judgment for past due rent. 1978 Md. Laws, Chap. 450. In 1996, the Legislature amended former Section 8401(d) of the Real Property Article, Maryland Code (1974, 1996 Repl.Vol.), increasing the number of days, from two to four, for a tenant to vacate the premises should the landlord prevail. 1996 Md. Laws, Chap. 586. And in 1999, the General Assembly clarified situations in which a landlord could collect back rent that had accrued after the filing of the initial complaint for repossession. 1999 Md. Laws, Chap. 649. FN14. Section 1101(g) defines landlord as follows: Landlord means any landlord, including a lessor. A review of the legislative history of Section 1101(g) indicates that the provision was enacted by Chapter 349 of the Maryland Laws of 1972, as follows: (e) Landlord includes lessor. In 1974, the General Assembly repealed and reenacted former Section 1101(e) of Article 21, Maryland Code (1957, 1973 Repl.Vol.), in its present iteration: (g) Landlord means any landlord, including a lessor. 1974 Md. Laws, Chap. 12. What is helpful is a review of Section 8208 of the Real Property Article, the purpose of which was to define which leases must be in writing and their terms. Section 8208 of the Real Property Article

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was enacted in 1974 in response to the recommendations of the Governor's LandlordTenant Laws FN15 Study Commission, and provided: FN15. The Commission was appointed by Governor Mandel in 1970, under the Chairmanship of Judge Edgar P. Silver, pursuant to Resolution No. 46, to produce practical legislation which would clarify the area of landlord-tenant law. Interim Report of the Governor's Commission on LandlordTenant Law Revision, Letter of Transmittal (1972). **939 *580 (a) Prohibited provisions. No lease shall contain any of the following provisions: (1) A provision whereby the tenant authorizes any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the lease. (2) A provision whereby the tenant agrees to waive or to forego any right or remedy provided by applicable law. (3) A provision providing for a penalty for the late payment of rent in excess of 5% of the amount of rent due for the rental period for which the payment was delinquent.... (4) Any provision whereby the tenant waives his right to a jury trial. (5) Any provision whereby the tenant agrees to a period required for landlord's notice to quit less than that provided by applicable law; provided, however, that neither party is prohibited hereby from agreeing to a longer notice than that required by applicable law. (6) Any provision authorizing the landlord to take possession of the leased premises, or the tenant's personal property therein unless the lease has been terminated by action of the parties or by operation of law, and such personal property has been abandoned by the tenant without the benefit of formal legal process.

(b) General provisions. (1) If any lease shall contain a provision calling for an automatic renewal of the lease term unless prior notice is given by the party or parties seeking to terminate the lease, any such provision shall be distinctly set apart from any other provision of the lease and provide a space for the written acknowledgment of tenant's agreement to the automatic renewal provision, except leases containing an automatic renewal period of one (1) month or less. Any such provision not specifically accompanied by either the tenant's initials, signature, or witnessed mark, shall be unenforceable by the landlord. *581 (2) No provision of this section shall be deemed to be a bar to the applicability of supplementary rights afforded by any public local law enacted by the General Assembly or any ordinance or local law enacted by any municipality or political subdivision of this State; provided, however, that no such law can diminish or limit any right or remedy granted under the provisions of this section. 1974 Maryland Laws, Chapter 375 (emphasis adFN16 ded). The current iteration of Section 8208 contains similar language: FN16. Former Section 8208(b)(2) of the Real Property Article, Maryland Code (1974, 1998 Repl.Vol.), was renumbered by Chapter 649 of the Maryland Laws of 1999, but has remained otherwise unchanged. (f) Supplementary rights afforded by local law or ordinance. No provision of this section shall be deemed to be a bar to the applicability of supplementary rights afforded by any public local law enacted by the General Assembly or any ordinance or local law enacted by any municipality or political subdivision of this State; provided, however, that no such law can diminish or limit any right or remedy granted under the provisions of this section.

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The minutes of the LandlordTenant Laws Study Commission give insight into the types of local ordinances contemplated by the language of supplementary rights afforded by local ordinance. In at least one section of the Study Commission's meeting minutes, the Commission envisioned comprehensive habitability codes being enacted by locFN17 al governments. In **940 fact, a licensure requirement to operate rental premises, addressing habitability concerns, was in existence in Anne ArFN18 undel*582 County as early as 1967. Former Section 11A1200 of the Anne Arundel County Code, (1967 Supp.), provided: FN17. The minutes of the November 17, 1970 meeting of the Governor's LandlordTenant Laws Study Commission provide, in pertinent part: At present there is no statewide housing code. Indeed, there are many counties which have no housing codes. The purpose of such a statewide code would not be to replace any city's or county's code, but rather to provide a bare minimum in housing standards which would set a universal minimum standard. Safe heating, plumbing, electrical wiring and basic structural integrity should be the right of all Maryland tenants. Moreover, local governmental units should be encouraged to enact more comprehensive codes. FN18. The legislative finding in Bill No. 5067 provided: It is hereby found that there exist and may in the future exist, within Anne Arundel County, premises, dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units, or parts thereof, which by reason of their structure, equipment, sanitation, maintenance, use, or occupancy affect or are likely to affect adversely the public health, (including the physical, mental and so-

cial well-being of persons and families), safety, and general welfare. To correct and prevent the existence of such adverse conditions, and to achieve and maintain such levels of residential environmental quality as will protect and promote public health, safety, and general welfare, it is further found that the establishment and enforcement of minimum housing standards are required. No person shall operate a multiple dwelling or rooming house unless he holds a current, unrevoked operating license issued by the department of inspections and permits with the concurrence of the health officer, in his name for the specific named multiple dwelling or rooming house. The Study Commission also recognized the necessity of multiple dwelling licensing laws to insure the safety and habitability of rental premises. FN19 FN19. The Commission discussed the necessity for local ordinances requiring a license to operate rental premises: At a time when our society carefully regulates and inspects fundamental consumer products and services (airplanes, cars, children's toys, foods, clothing, drugs, to name an obvious few), it seems strange that housing is largely exempt. Multiple dwelling inspection and licensing laws, like fire escape laws for apartments and factories, grew out of some disastrous sweatshop and tenement fires around the turn of the century. Surely we have progressed beyond that. Governor's LandlordTenant Laws Study Commission, Minutes of the Commission's Meeting, Nov. 17, 1970. If, then, Section 8208(f) recognizes the enforceability of local habitability ordinances, what should their effect be on the availability of sum-

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FN20 mary ejectment? We **941 have recognized in *583 analogous contexts that the failure to obtain a license as required by local ordinance ordinarily renders the contract invalid and unenforceable. In Berenter, Inc. v. Berman, 258 Md. 290, 265 A.2d 759 (1970), we considered whether a contractor could enforce a mechanic's lien, when he was not licensed as required by the Maryland Home Improvement Law. In holding that the unlicensed contractor could not resort to a mechanic's lien, we reasoned that if a statute requiring a license for conducting a trade or business is regulatory in nature for the protection of the public, rather than merely to raise revenue, a person who has neglected to obtain a license will not be given the assistance of the courts in enforcing the contract. Id. at 293, 265 A.2d at 761. In other words, once we determined that the purpose of the statute was to eliminate a perceived harm, rather than to build the public fisc, then we recognized that an unlicensed person should not be afforded the benefit of swift justice, FN21 or the establishment of a mechanic's lien, which requires but a filing in court for its creation. FN22 FN20. To the extent that the language in the second clause of Section 8208(f), which provides, no such law can diminish or limit any right or remedy granted under the provisions of this section, could suggest that a landlord's ability to seek summary ejectment under Section 8401 may not be defeated by a local habitability ordinance, this argument is without merit. Section 8208 enumerates several safeguards for residential tenants. In particular, subsection (a) requires that any landlord who offers five or more units for rent must use a written lease, and Section 8208(b) provides that a landlord must furnish a copy of the written lease to a prospective tenant upon request. Subsection (c) outlines mandatory lease provisions, including a statement that the premises will be made available in a condition permitting

habitation, and Section 8208(d) contains numerous terms that a landlord may not insert in a residential lease. Finally, subsection (e) requires that a provision calling for an automatic renewal of the lease must be distinctly set apart and provide a space for the written acknowledgment of the tenant's agreement. These statutory protections for the tenant may be supplemented, but cannot be diminished by any local law, as stated in Section 8208(f). FN21. We have also determined that the failure to obtain a license precluded the enforcement of a contract in proceedings regarded as other than summary in nature. See Snodgrass v. Immler, 232 Md. 416, 194 A.2d 103 (1963) (reasoning that an architect could not recover, in a breach of contract action, architectural fees for services rendered because he was not licensed as an architect as required by State law). FN22. Recently, our colleagues on the intermediate appellate court considered the effect of lack of a building license on the enforceability of a construction contract in Baltimore Street Builders v. Stewart, 186 Md.App. 684, 975 A.2d 271 (2009), in which an unlicensed contractor sought to enforce a mechanic's lien when the property owner failed to pay the balance due for construction work and materials. The intermediate appellate court determined that because the contractor had failed to obtain a home improvement license, pursuant to a state statute designed to safeguard homeowners from unskilled builders, rather than merely raise revenue, the contractor could not enforce the contract through the expedited process of obtaining a mechanic's lien. *584 Former Section 19 of Article 63, Maryland Code (1957, 1968 Repl.Vol.), in effect at the time Berenter was decided, provided for the estab-

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lishment of a mechanic's lien once the builder filed a petition in the circuit court containing cursory information, namely the contractor's name and address and a description of the work: Every such claim shall set forth: First, the name of the party claimant and of the owner or reputed owner of the building, and also of the contractor or architect, or builder, when the contract was made by the claimant with such contractor, architect, or builder; second, the amount or sum claimed to be due and the nature or kind of work or the kind and amount of materials furnished and the time when the materials were furnished or the work done; thirdly, the locality of the building and the number and size of the stories of the same, or such matters of description as may be [ FN23] necessary to identify the same. [ FN23. Present Section 9105 of the Real Property Article, Maryland Code (1974, 2010 Repl.Vol.), governing the filing of mechanic's liens, is substantially similar and provides: (a) In general. In order to establish a lien under this subtitle, a person entitled to a lien shall file proceedings in the circuit court for the county where the land or any part of the land is located within 180 days after the work has been finished or the materials furnished. The proceedings shall be commenced by filing with the clerk, the following: (1) A petition to establish the mechanic's lien, which shall set forth at least the following: (i) The name and address of the petitioner; (ii) The name and address of the owner; (iii) The nature or kind of work done or the kind and amount of materials fur-

nished, the time when the work was done or the materials furnished, the name of the person for whom the work was done or to whom the materials were furnished and the amount or sum claimed to be due, less any credit recognized by the petitioner; (iv) A description of the land, including a statement whether part of the land is located in another county, and a description adequate to identify the building;.... **942 *585 As a builder cannot seek swift justice through the institution of a mechanic's lien if he is unlicensed to operate his business, so should a landlord not be able to seek to dispossess a tenant, summarily, without having a license to operate the leased premises as required by local ordinance. FN24 FN24. In a similar vein, Section 8208(d) of the Real Property Article acknowledges that particular lease terms may be rendered void and unenforceable as against public policy. Specifically, the Section prohibits lease terms that provide for indemnity by a tenant of a landlord for loss within the landlord's control as void against public policy. Present Section 8208(d) was enacted by Chapter 789 of the Maryland Laws of 1976 to provide that lease provisions that are void and against public policy under RP Article Section 8105 cannot be placed in a lease. Real Property Article Section 8105 currently provides that lease provisions seeking to exculpate a landlord from tort liability to persons injured in the common areas are void and against public policy; neither Section 8105 nor Section 8208, however, prohibit a lease from containing such a void provision. Even though such a clause is void under Section 8105, it might deter a tenant

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from seeking redress for personal injuries if it is contained in a lease. Letter from Steven G. Davison to Thomas J. Peddicord, Governor's LandlordTenant Laws Study Commission, Jan. 20, 1976. The Section was renumbered by Chapter 649 of the Maryland Laws of 1999, but has remained substantively unchanged. Whether, though, the landlord must establish his bona fides regarding licensure at the time of filing, as a matter of law, or whether the tenant should plead the lack of a license as an affirmative defense remains an issue. In this regard, we have characterized summary ejectment proceedings as substantively and procedurally limited, precluding complexity. We recognized this in Shum v. Gaudreau, 317 Md. 49, 562 A.2d 707 (1989), in which we considered whether a landlord's action for repossession of the premises and unpaid rent, pursuant to Section 8401, precluded, by virtue of the doctrine of res judicata, a subsequent contract action by the landlord to recover for damage to the premises. In Shum, we determined that res judicata did not bar a subsequent suit for damages by a landlord, because the relief available in a summary ejectment*586 action is limited to a judgment for repossession of premises and rent actually due: To accomplish the objective of speedy adjudication, our General Assembly, like legislatures in other states, limited a summary ejectment action to repossession of premises and rent actually due. The determination of the amount of rent due is often (although not always) a relatively straightforward calculation, and its recovery is not inconsistent with simple and speedy adjudication. It would be contrary to the purpose of the summary ejectment statutory scheme to allow recovery of general contract damages, with possible complexities of proof, in a summary ejectment action. Id. at 5960, 562 A.2d at 712 (emphasis added). In so holding, we emphasized that Section

8401 would not afford ample procedural means for fully developing the entire transaction, and therefore, the landlord's more complex contract claim was more appropriately heard in a separate action. Id. at 60, 562 A.2d at 713; see Greenbelt Consumer v. Acme Mkts., 272 Md. 222, 229, 322 A.2d 521, 525 (1974) **943 (describing summary ejectment as one of several possessory in rem or quasi in rem actions that provide[ ] a means by which a landlord [may] rapidly and inexpensively obtain repossession of his premises....); Law Offices of Taiwo Agbaje v. JLH Props., II, LLC, 169 Md.App. 355, 370, 901 A.2d 249, 258 (2006) (reasoning landlord's request for attorney's fees was not cognizable in a summary ejectment proceeding, because such a complex factual inquiry would frustrate the expedited design of the summary ejectment statute). As a result, the summary ejectment proceedings could become enmeshed in complexity, were the tenant to have to plead and prove the absence of a license to operate the rental property on the part of the landlord. [4] The summary ejectment procedure itself is mired in the superior title of the landlord to the leased premises, once nonpayment occurs, because it only requires that the landlord describe the property sought to be repossessed, the name of each tenant, and the amount of rent and any late fees due and unpaid, in making the landlord's prima facie case warranting*587 summary ejectment. Licensure under local ordinances in order to operate rental dwelling units is an integral part of a landlord's status as claimant in those jurisdictions that require licensure. As a result, in order to invoke the facile process of summary ejectment, a landlord in those jurisdictions requiring licensure, must affirmatively plead and demonstrate that he is licensed at the time of the filing of the complaint for summary ejectment in order to initiate the summary ejectment process. [5] With respect to the damages to which McDaniel claims entitlement under the Consumer Protection Act, McDaniel argues that the District

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Court erred in denying her claim because she failed to prove actual damages. In CitaraManis v. Hallowell, 328 Md. 142, 613 A.2d 964 (1992), we considered whether a tenant, pursuant to the Consumer Protection Act, could obtain restitution of rent paid for premises that were not licensed as required by a local housing code, after the tenant only proved lack of licensure. In the case, the CitaraManises had not alleged nor proved that the house they had rented was unclean, unsafe, uninhabitable or unsuitable in any regard, or that they had suffered any diminution of the rental value of the property as a result of the lack of licensure. In our analysis of the implications of these omissions, we contrasted the situation with that in Golt v. Phillips, 308 Md. 1, 517 A.2d 328 (1986), in which the tenant was forced to move to another apartment, because the unit he had rented from an unlicensed landlord contained numerous housing code violations, including no toilet facilities in Golt's apartment, defective door locks, and the lack of fire exits and fire doors. Golt demonstrated actual injury, in both the diminution of value of the premises due to defects in the unit, which did not even have toilet facilities, and also in the cost of securing suitable substitute housing. See also Galola v. Snyder, 328 Md. 182, 613 A.2d 983 (1992) (reasoning tenant was required to prove actual loss or injury stemming from the lack of licensure). The present case is analogous to CitaraManis, because McDaniel failed to present any evidence that she sustained *588 any actual damages, such as bills for medical treatment, loss of wages, or the cost of securing suitable substitute housing, for example. Therefore, we agree with the District Court that McDaniel failed to prove actual loss or injury, a prerequisite to recovery under the Consumer Protection Act. JUDGMENT OF THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY REGARDING THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT CLAIM AFFIRMED.**944 JUDGMENTS OF THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR ANNE AR-

UNDEL COUNTY IN DIST. CT. CASES 297200012177 AND 297200010105 AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART: AFFIRMED AS TO BACK RENT AND REVERSED AS TO THE LANDLORD'S POSSESSION OF THE PREMISES. DISTRICT COURT CASES 297200012177 AND 297200010105 REMANDED TO THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO REVERSE THE JUDGMENTS PERTAINING TO POSSESSION OF THE PREMISES AND REMAND THE CASES TO THE DISTRICT COURT WITH DIRECTIONS TO DISMISS THE SUMMARY EJECTMENT ACTIONS. COSTS TO BE PAID BY THE RESPONDENT. Md.,2011. McDaniel v. Baranowski 419 Md. 560, 19 A.3d 927 END OF DOCUMENT

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Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. Eui KIM, et al. v. COUNCIL OF UNIT OWNERS FOR COLLINGTON CENTER III CONDOMINIUM. No. 734, Sept. Term, 2007. July 2, 2008. Background: After landlord of commercial condominium unit obtained a default judgment of possession of unit in action against tenant, purported owner of unit brought action to quiet title against landlord. The Circuit Court, Prince George's County, Ronald D. Schiff, J., granted landlord summary judgment. Purported owner appealed. Holding: The Court of Special Appeals, Kenney, J., held that district court's decision in prior litigation between landlord and tenant precluded any further litigation by purported owner regarding title to unit. Appeal dismissed. West Headnotes [1] Judgment 228 584

228 Judgment 228XIII Merger and Bar of Causes of Action and Defenses 228XIII(B) Causes of Action and Defenses Merged, Barred, or Concluded 228k584 k. Nature and Elements of Bar or Estoppel by Former Adjudication. Most Cited Cases A determination that res judicata applies may render a case moot. [3] Action 13 6

13 Action 13I Grounds and Conditions Precedent 13k6 k. Moot, Hypothetical or Abstract Questions. Most Cited Cases A case is moot if, at the time it is before the court, there is no longer an existing controversy between the parties so that there is no longer any effective remedy which the court can provide. [4] Judgment 228 958(2)

228 Judgment 228XIII Merger and Bar of Causes of Action and Defenses 228XIII(B) Causes of Action and Defenses Merged, Barred, or Concluded 228k584 k. Nature and Elements of Bar or Estoppel by Former Adjudication. Most Cited Cases Res judicata bars a lawsuit involving claims that have been litigated or should have been litigated in a prior proceeding between the same parties, or their privies. [2] Judgment 228 584

228 Judgment 228XXIII Evidence of Judgment as Estoppel or Defense 228k958 Trial and Review 228k958(2) k. Questions for Jury. Most Cited Cases Whether the parties are the same or in privity with a party in the prior proceeding for purposes of res judicata is a question of law. [5] Judgment 228 675(2)

228 Judgment 228XIV Conclusiveness of Adjudication 228XIV(B) Persons Concluded 228k675 Persons Participating in or Promoting Action or Defense 228k675(2) k. Participating Through Attorney. Most Cited Cases Judgment 228 679

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228 Judgment 228XIV Conclusiveness of Adjudication 228XIV(B) Persons Concluded 228k679 k. Nature of Estate or Interest in Subject-Matter in General. Most Cited Cases Purported owner of commercial condominium unit was in privity with tenant, who allegedly sold interest in unit, for purposes of res judicata, and thus, district court's decision in prior litigation between landlord and tenant, which found landlord had ownership of unit, precluded any further litigation by purported owner regarding title to unit; purported owner had a direct interest in the litigation between landlord and tenant, and counsel for tenant also served as counsel for purported owner. West's Ann.Md.Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, 4402(b). [6] Judgment 228 585(1)

[7] Judgment 228

540

228 Judgment 228XIII Merger and Bar of Causes of Action and Defenses 228XIII(A) Judgments Operative as Bar 228k540 k. Nature and Requisites of Former Recovery as Bar in General. Most Cited Cases Res judicata restrains a party from litigating the same claim repeatedly and ensures that courts do not waste time adjudicating matters which have been decided or could have been decided fully and fairly. [8] Courts 106 472.1

228 Judgment 228XIII Merger and Bar of Causes of Action and Defenses 228XIII(B) Causes of Action and Defenses Merged, Barred, or Concluded 228k585 Identity of Cause of Action in General 228k585(1) k. Necessity in General. Most Cited Cases Judgment 228 586(1)

228 Judgment 228XIII Merger and Bar of Causes of Action and Defenses 228XIII(B) Causes of Action and Defenses Merged, Barred, or Concluded 228k586 Identity of Subject-Matter 228k586(1) k. Necessity. Most Cited Cases The doctrine of res judicata bars the relitigation of a claim when the subject matter and causes of action are identical or substantially identical as to the issues actually litigated and as to those which could have been or should have been raised in the previous litigation.

106 Courts 106VII Concurrent and Conflicting Jurisdiction 106VII(A) Courts of Same State 106VII(A)1 In General 106k472 Exclusive or Concurrent Jurisdiction 106k472.1 k. In General. Most Cited Cases The phrase an action involving landlord and tenant as used in statute giving district court exclusive civil jurisdiction was intended to be limited to those possessory in rem or quasi in rem actions that provided a means by which a landlord might rapidly and inexpensively obtain repossession of his premises situated in the State or seek security for rent due from personalty located on the leasehold. West's Ann.Md.Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, 4401(4). [9] Courts 106 472.1

106 Courts 106VII Concurrent and Conflicting Jurisdiction 106VII(A) Courts of Same State 106VII(A)1 In General 106k472 Exclusive or Concurrent Jurisdiction 106k472.1 k. In General. Most Cited Cases

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Statute providing general limitations on the district court's jurisdiction is not applicable in instances arising under statute that gave district court exclusive original jurisdiction in certain situations, including an action involving a landlord and tenant. West's Ann.Md.Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, 4401, 4402(b). [10] Judgment 228 804

erty 228k747(.5) k. In General. Most Cited Cases Where title to or a right or interest with respect to real property is put directly in issue, and such issue is tried and determined, the judgment is conclusive in all further litigation between the same parties or their privies, regardless of the purpose of the action in which the judgment was rendered. **347 Alyssa W. Chang, Germantown, for appellant. Frank J. Emig, Greenbelt, for appellee. Panel: HOLLANDER, WOODWARD, JAMES A. KENNEY, III (retired, specially assigned), JJ. KENNEY, J. *609 Appellee, the Council of Unit Owners for Collington Center III (the Council), as landlord of a commercial condominium complex located in Prince George's County, instituted repossession proceedings in the District Court for Prince George's County against Angela Trading Company, Inc. (Angela Trading), tenant of Condominium Unit 104 (the Unit). A default judgment of possession of the Unit was entered for the Council. While Angela Trading's motion for a new trial was pending in the District Court, appellants, Eui Kim and Sook Ja Kim (the Kims), as the purchasers of the Unit from Angela Trading, sought a declaratory**348 judgment in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County that they owned the Unit. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of the Council. The Kims present four questions for our review, which we have consolidated and reworded as follows: I. Are the Kims barred from pursuing their claim to the Unit by the doctrine of res judicata?

228 Judgment 228XVI Judgments in Rem 228k803 Nature of Adjudication 228k804 k. In General. Most Cited Cases A judgment in rem is an adjudication pronounced on the status of a some particular subject matter. [11] Judgment 228 812(1)

228 Judgment 228XVI Judgments in Rem 228k812 Operation and Effect 228k812(1) k. In General. Most Cited Cases Judgment 228 812(3)

228 Judgment 228XVI Judgments in Rem 228k812 Operation and Effect 228k812(3) k. Conclusiveness. Most Cited Cases A judgment in rem is binding and conclusive with respect to the res, and it binds all persons who may have or claim any right or interest in the subject matter of the litigation, as to the particular point or matter decided. Restatement (First) of Judgments 74(1). [12] Judgment 228 747(.5)

228 Judgment 228XIV Conclusiveness of Adjudication 228XIV(D) Judgments in Particular Classes of Actions and Proceedings 228k747 Actions Relating to Real Prop-

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*610 II. Did the circuit court err in granting summary judgment in favor of the Council? III. Did the Council have standing to challenge the validity of the deed purporting to give an interest in the condominium unit to the Kims? For the following reasons, we shall dismiss this appeal as moot. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY I. Facts On October 15, 1985, Prince George's County, as landlord, entered into a 61year lease agreement (the Prime Lease) with Foreign Trade Zone Three Associates Limited Partnership (FTZT Associates), as tenant, for approximately 11.8 acres of land in the subdivision known as Prince George's International Commerce Center (the Property). That same day, pursuant to a sublease agreement (the Sublease), FTZT Associates leased all of its rights and interests in the Property to Harkins Associates, Inc. (Harkins Associates) for a term to expire, unless sooner terminated, upon the expiration of the term of the Prime Lease[.] Section 14 of the Sublease permitted Harkins Associates to develop the Property into commercial condominiums for sale to third parties, subject to the terms of [the Prime Lease]. The Memorandum of the Prime Lease and the Sublease, signed by representatives for Prince George's County, FTZT Associates, and Harkins Associates, Inc., was recorded among the land records on November 5, 1985. Harkins Associates established a condominium regime of twenty-six commercial units known as Collington Center III Condominium on August 3, 1987. Also on August 3, the Prime Lease and the Sublease were amended to extend the respective term of each to sixty-six years. The First Amendment to the Memorandum of the Prime Lease and the Sublease reflecting the new term was recorded. On November 25, 1987, by a Deed and Assignment of Subleasehold Interest (the Unit 104 Assignment Deed), Harkins*611 Associates assigned

FN1 its interest in the Unit to Angela Trading for the term of years set forth in [the Prime Lease]. The Unit 104 Assignment Deed expressly stated that it was subject to the Prime Lease and the Sublease, and that the Unit is a portion of the property of which Prince George's County was the fee simple owner. It was recorded on November 27, 1987. FN1. The Unit 104 Assignment Deed stated that Harkins Associates assigned its sub-leasehold estate, title and interests in and to [the Property] and all of [its] interests in and to the improvements to Angela Trading. On July 6, 1989, Prince George's County assigned its interest in the Prime Lease to Collington Center Associates Limited Partnership (Collington Center Associates), and, by a deed recorded on July 10, 1989, it granted its fee simple ownership of the Property to Collington Center Associates. Collington Center Associates conveyed its fee simple ownership of the Property to the Council on May 28, 1996. By a separate agreement, Collington Center's interest in the Prime Lease and FTZT **349 Associates' interest in the Sublease were assigned to the Council. Relevant to this case, Section 12.13 of the Prime Lease and Section 3 of the Sublease amendment provided that interests under those leases would not merge unless a written instrument effecting such a merger was executed. The Council became sublessor under the Sublease. On August 31, 2005, Angela Trading executed a deed (the Deed) purporting to grant to the Kims, in FEE SIMPLE, [its] sub-leasehold estate, title and interests in and to the land and all of their interests in and to the improments [sic] [,] for consideration of the sum of Ten and No/100 (10.00) Dollars[.] The Deed was recorded on October 5, 2005. II. Legal Proceedings A. District Court Proceedings

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On April 14, 2006, the Council filed a complaint for breach of lease against Angela Trading in the District Court for Prince George's County, asserting that Angela Trading was in substantial*612 violation of the Sublease for [u]nauthorized lease to subtenant, excessive noise and disturbance[,] and FN2 creating a nuisance. The complaint stated that, on October 13, 2005 and January 25, 2006, the Council notified Angela Trading that it was in violation of the Sublease and that the Council desired to repossess the premises. FN2. In a letter to Angela Trading dated October 13, 2005, the Council stated: You should be aware that possession of your unit is pursuant to various lease agreements. [The Council] is the landlord under these leases. By permitting your tenant to conduct its operations in a loud and offensive manner, you are in violation under the terms of your lease with [The Council]. On January 25, 2006, the Council sent another notice to Angela Trading, informing it that it had thirty [ ] days to remove [its] subtenant from [the Unit,] or its lease of [the Unit would] expire and terminate. Angela Trading did not appear at the June 13, 2006 hearing, and a default judgment of possession of the Unit was entered in favor of the Council. Angela Trading did not appeal the default judgment within the required ten day period. In a letter dated June 23, 2006, the Council's attorney notified counsel for Angela Trading that it had filed a petition for a warrant to remove Angela Trading from the Unit. Angela Trading filed a motion for a new trial on June 26, 2006, in which it claimed that it was the tenant of the Unit and that it had not been served with the Counsel's complaint for breach of lease. Attached to it's motion, Angela Trading

provided an affidavit of non-service signed by Eui Kim, as principal for Angela Trading[.] In the affidavit, Eui Kim asserted: 3. I was never served with any complaint in the above captioned case. 4. I am not in breach of the lease with [the Council] and if I was previously in breach of lease with [the Council], any such breach has been cured at this time. (Emphasis added.) On August 24, 2006, Angela Trading filed an amended motion for a new trial. In its supporting memorandum, filed *613 seven days later, it explained that, previous to the filing of [the breach of lease action], [it had] conveyed its ownership interest in [the Unit] to [the Kims.] In the memorandum, Angela Trading argued: Neither Angela Trading [ ], nor [the Kims] had any knowledge of the pending action for breach of lease, nor did either Angela Trading [ ] or [the Kims] know about the entry of judgment by default until June 26, 2006[,] when the attorney for Angela Trading [ ] and [the Kims] received a letter from [the Council's] attorney, just after the appeal period **350 had run, advising [their] counsel that a judgment had been entered by default in favor of [the Council.] That judgment names only Angela Trading [ ] as a defendant[,] and does not name [the Kims], the actual tenants pursuant to the [D]eed and assignee of the subleasehold interest. In its conclusion, it asserted that [the Kims], the true lessor, [have] a valid and credible defense to the alleged breaches of lease filed against Angela Trading [,] and that [the Council] has put [the Kims'] property interest in jeopardy and has caused [the Kims] to incur substantial legal fees[.] The initial hearing on the original motion for a FN3 new trial, conducted on August 30, 2006, was

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limited to whether Angela Trading had been actually served and had notice of the June 13, 2006 hearing. Another hearing on whether the proper defendant was named, the issue raised in the amended motion for a new trial, was held on December 11, 2006. FN3. A prior hearing, set for August 22, 2006, was reassigned so that it could be heard by the judge who ordered the default judgment. At the August 30, 2006 hearing, Bonnie Windsor, supervisor of the landlord clerks and civil clerks in the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office, testified that she mailed the complaint and summons to the Unit on April 26, 2006. Kristina Coleman, a Prince George's County deputy sheriff, testified that she served the complaint by affixing it to the front door of the Unit on April 28, 2005. Frank Carlyle, president of In The *614 Beginning School of Arts, testified that the school subleased the Unit from Angela Trading. He stated that any mail that he received at the Unit that was addressed to Angela Trading was store[d] [ ] in the inbox for [Eui] Kim [,] who typically retrieved the mail once a week. Eui Kim testified that he had been Angela Trading's president for thirty-five years, and that he was the owner of the Unit. He stated that he had visited the Unit in late April of 2006, but he did not see the complaint posted on the door and he did not receive the District Court's mailed notice of the June 13, 2006 hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the District Court stated that it did not believe Eui Kim's testimony and found that the complaint was properly served. Angela Trading's amended motion for a new trial, in which it argued that the Kims were the proper party to the breach of lease proceedings, was heard on December 11, 2006. At that hearing, it was asserted that the Kims were the owners of the Unit, and, because they were not named as defendants in the complaint, they could not have received notice of the June 13, 2006 hearing. The Council argued that Angela Trading had acquired only a

leasehold interest in the Unit and, therefore, it could not transfer fee simple title. According to the Council, the Deed was invalid because it did not comply with the Prime Lease's restriction on assignability, did not mention the Prime Lease, and purported to convey a fee simple interest, which Angela Trading did not possess. Because the Kims did not acquire an interest in the Unit, the Council asserted, Angela Trading was the proper defendant in the breach of lease proceeding. At the conclusion of the hearing, the District Court denied the motion for a new trial. It determined that Angela Trading had a leasehold interest in the Unit, and that the Deed to the Kims was invalid. Therefore, Angela Trading was the proper party. Angela Trading noted an appeal on **351 the reFN4 cord, which was subsequently dismissed. FN4. The Council filed a motion to dismiss Angela Trading's appeal, asserting that it disregarded the appeal rules and [it] ha[d] not taken any steps to prosecute [its] appeal because it did not order the transcript of the District Court proceeding, as required by Maryland Rule 7113(b), and it did not submit a memorandum, as required by Rule 7113(d). The docket entry reads: [The Council's] motion to dismiss [Angela Trading's] appeal from district court argued. motion granted. district court decision final. judgment by district court stands. case closed statistically. *615 B. Circuit Court Proceedings The Kims filed a Verified Complaint to Quiet Title and Declaratory Judgment on August 29, 2006. In their Complaint, they asked the court to declare that the Deed conveyed ownership of the Unit to them. The Kims simultaneously filed a motion seeking summary judgment. In its cross-motion for summary judgment, the Council asserted that the Deed failed to transfer any

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interest in the property to the Kims. Attached to its cross-motion, the Council included a Statement of Undisputed Material Facts that traced the chain of title of the Property and the Unit. The Kims did not file a contravening affidavit. Following the April 4, 2007 hearing, the circuit court issued a written opinion granting summary judgment in favor of the Council. After the denial of their motion to reconsider, the Kims filed this appeal. DISCUSSION I. Effect of District Court Proceeding A. Res Judicata Included in the Council's brief is a motion to dismiss the Kims' appeal as moot, arguing that [t]he sole issue raised in [the Kims'] declaratory judgment action and in this appeal was already asserted and finally decided in the District Court landlord-tenant proceedings. [1][2][3] Res judicata bars a lawsuit involving claims that have been litigated or should have been litigated in a prior proceeding between the same parties, or their privies. *616United Book Press, Inc. v. Maryland Composition Co., Inc., 141 Md.App. 460, 476, 786 A.2d 1 (2001). A determination that res judicata applies may render a case moot. Maryland Rule 8602(a)(10) permits this Court, on motion or on its own initiative, to dismiss an appeal because the case has become moot. A case is moot if, at the time it is before the court, there is no longer an existing controversy between the parties so that there is no longer any effective remedy which the court can provide. Baltimore Sun Co. v. State, 340 Md. 437, 454, 667 A.2d 166 (1995) (quoting Attorney General v. A.A. School Bus, 286 Md. 324, 327, 407 A.2d 749 (1979)). See Arundel Corp. v. Board of Zoning Appeals of Howard County, 255 Md. 78, 79, 257 A.2d 142 (1969) (Dismissing the appeal of a denial of an injunction as moot based on res judicata.); Roebuck v. Steuart, 76 Md.App. 298, 307 fn. 2, 544 A.2d 808 (1988) (Steuart correctly observes in his brief that this issue would become moot by a holding in

his favor that this judgment is barred because [ ] of the doctrine of res judicata[.]). In Simpkins v. Ford Motor Credit Company, 389 Md. 426, 441 fn. 23, 886 A.2d 126 (2005), the Court of Appeals summarized the doctrine of res judicata in Maryland: Maryland law requires the following elements for the application of res judicata: 1) that the parties in the present **352 litigation are the same or in privity with the parties to the earlier dispute; 2) that the claim presented in the current action is identical to the one determined in the prior adjudication; and 3) that there was a final judgment on the merits. Accordingly, a judgment between the same parties and their privies acts as a final prohibition to any other proceeding upon the same cause of action and is final, not only as to all matters decided in the original suit, but also as to matters that could have been litigated in the original suit. Res judicata is applied notwithstanding the type of court which rendered the earlier final judgment, provided that the earlier final judgment was rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction. The judgment of a court, acting*617 within the limits of its jurisdiction, that has not been reversed must be accepted as conclusive by all other courts. (Citations omitted.) [4][5] Whether the parties are the same or in privity with a party in the prior proceeding is a question of law. Boyd v. Bowen, 145 Md.App. 635, 658, 806 A.2d 314 (2002) (citing Douglas v. First Security Federal Savings Bank, Inc., 101 Md.App. 170, 180, 643 A.2d 920 (1994)). Because the Kims were not named parties in the District Court case, the question is whether they are in privity with Angela Trading, the named party in that proceeding. In Douglas, 101 Md.App. at 183, 643 A.2d 920, we examined privity in the context of res judicata:

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Generally, the parties to a suit are those persons who are entered as parties of record. But for the purpose of the application of the rule of res judicata, the term parties includes all persons who have a direct interest in the subject matter of the suit, and have a right to control the proceedings, make defense, examine witnesses, and appeal if an appeal lies. So, where persons, although not formal parties of record, have a direct interest in the suit, and in the advancement of their interest take open and substantial control of its prosecution, or they are so far represented by another that their interests receive actual and efficient protection, any judgment rendered therein is conclusive upon them to the same extent as if they had been formal parties. (Emphasis in original.) As Angela Trading asserted during the DecemFN5 ber 11, 2006 hearing, the Kims clearly had a direct interest in the District Court proceedings. Counsel for Angela Trading, who also served as FN6 counsel for the Kims, repeatedly contended that the *618 Kims had a fee simple interest in the Unit. Eui Kim, when he testified at the August 30, 2006 hearing, stated that he was the owner of the Unit. FN5. At the hearing, counsel for Angela Trading stated that the Kims had a property interest that goes towards the merits of the breach of lease action. FN6. At the August 30, 2006 hearing, counsel for Angela Trading stated that he also represented the Kims. Eui Kim actively participated in the District Court proceedings. In his affidavit of non-service to accompany Angela Trading's motion for a new trial, he stated that he was not served with the complaint and that he was not in breach of the lease with the Council. At the August 30, 2006 hearing on the service of process, he testified that he had not been served with the complaint.

Angela Trading, acting through Eui Kim, represented, and attempted to protect, the Kims' asserted interest in the Unit throughout the District Court proceedings.**353 Attached to its first motion for a new trial, it included Eui Kim's affidavit described above. The amended motion for a new trial explained that Angela Trading had conveyed its interest in the Unit to the Kims, and that [n]either Angela Trading [ ], nor [the Kims] had any knowledge of the pending action for breach of lease, nor did either Angela Trading [ ] or [the Kims] know about the entry of judgment by default until June 26, 2006[,] when the attorney representing Angela Trading [ ] and [the Kims] received a letter from [the Council's] attorney[.] (Emphasis added.) Moreover, the conclusion of the motion focused solely on the Kims' interests: Upon information and belief, [the Kims], the true lessor[s], [have] a valid and credible defense to the alleged breaches of lease filed against Angela Trading Company. By failing to thoroughly investigate its claim and filing suit prematurely against the wrong party, [the Council] has put [the Kims'] property interest in jeopardy and has caused [the Kims] to incur substantial legal fees as a result of this improper action. This Court should strike its judgment and dismiss this action filed against the wrong party. Counsel clearly represented the Kims' interest in the Unit during the hearings. At the August 30, 2006 hearing, when the District Court rejected its argument that it did not receive notice of the breach of lease proceeding, Angela Trading *619 asserted that it had conveyed its fee simple interest in the Unit to the Kims, and, therefore, it was not the correct party defendant and the default judgment of possession should be vacated. The success of that contention depended on establishing the Kims' interest in the Unit. That argument was asserted again during the December 11, 2006 hearing. Eui Kim served as president of Angela Trading for thirty-five years and took an active role in the litigation. In Bodnar v. Brinsfield, 60 Md.App. 524,

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483 A.2d 1290 (1984), this Court stated that [w]hen the owners of a closely-held corporation participate at trial it may be presumed that their interest coincide with the corporation's interests and that one opportunity to litigate interests that concern them in common should sufficiently protect both. Under these circumstances, the Kims' failure to formally intervene and become parties of record does not permit them to circumvent the judgment of the District Court by a separate proceeding in the circuit court. See Douglas, 101 Md.App. at 186187, 643 A.2d 920 ([I]t is a well established principle of law that a person who has full knowledge of pending litigation and that it affects, or will determine, his rights, and, who is entitled to appear, but who makes no effort to intervene as a party, and permits such a conclusion thereof without objection, such person is concluded by the proceedings as effectually as if he were named on the record. ) (quoting Reddick v. State, 213 Md. 18, 30, 130 A.2d 762, cert. denied, 355 U.S. 832, 78 S.Ct. 50, 2 L.Ed.2d 44 (1957)). [6][7] The doctrine of res judicata bars the relitigation of a claim when the subject matter and causes of action are identical or substantially identical as to the issues actually litigated and as to those which could have been or should have been raised in the previous litigation. R & D 2001, LLC v. Rice, 402 Md. 648, 663, 938 A.2d 839 (2008) (quoting Board of Ed. v. Norville, 390 Md. 93, 106, 887 A.2d 1029 (2005)). Res judicata restrains a party from litigating the same claim repeatedly and ensures that courts do not waste time adjudicating matters which have been decided or could have been *620 decided fully and fairly. **354Anne Arundel County Board of Education v. Norville, 390 Md. 93, 107, 887 A.2d 1029 (2005) (Emphasis in original.) At the conclusion of the December 11, 2006 hearing, the District Court concluded that [the Council] is the owner [of the Unit] in this case; that Angela Trading is [its] tenant; [and] that there was a leasehold established between the two parties. It

further concluded that, because Angela Trading's attempt to transfer some interest to the Kims ... wasn't done properly[,] the Kims did not have a FN7 property interest in the Unit. In their complaint in the circuit court, the Kims request that the court determine, adjudicate and declare the rights of the parties with respect to [the Deed] and whether [the Council] [was] entitled to possession and/or ownership of [the Unit]. The District Court, in its finding, effectively determined both the ownership and the right to possession in the Unit. FN7. The District Court initially stated that it found the deed entered on November 25, 1987 invalid, but it subsequently clarified that it was the deed entered on August 31, 2005 that was invalid, not the Unit 104 Assignment Deed. [8] The Kims' argument that the District Court lacked jurisdiction to determine the parties' respective property rights fails because the District Court made its decision regarding the property rights and the status of the parties in the exercise of its exclusive jurisdiction in landlord and tenant actions. Maryland Code Annotated (1974, 2006 Repl.Vol.) 4402(b) of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article (CJ) states that, [e]xcept as provided in 4401 of this subtitle, the District Court does not have jurisdiction to decide the ownership of real property or of an interest in real property. (Emphasis added.) CJ 4401(4) provides the District Court with exclusive jurisdiction in [a]n action involving a landlord and tenant, ... regardless of the amount involved. Although an action involving landlord and tenant in CJ 4401(4) was intended to be limited to those possessory in rem or quasi in rem actions that provided a means by *621 which a landlord might rapidly and inexpensively obtain repossession of his premises situated in this State or seek security for rent due from personalty located on the leasehold, this was such a case. Williams v. Housing Authority of Baltimore City, 361 Md. 143, 157, 760 A.2d 697 (2000) (quoting Greenbelt Consumer Services, Inc. v.

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Acme Markets, Inc., 272 Md. 222, 229, 322 A.2d 521 (1974)). Statutory construction is an issue of law. Singley v. County Commissioners of Frederick County, 178 Md.App. 658, 675, 943 A.2d 636 (2008). In Rush v. State, 403 Md. 68, 9798, 939 A.2d 689 (2008), the Court of Appeals recently summarized: It is well established that [t]he cardinal rule of statutory construction is to ascertain and effectuate the intent of the Legislature. We begin our analysis by first looking to the normal, plain meaning of the language of the statute so that no word, clause, sentence or phrase is rendered superfluous or nugatory. Further, whenever possible, an interpretation should be given to the statutory provisions which does not lead to unreasonable or illogical consequences. If the language of the statute is clear and unambiguous, we need not look beyond the statute's provisions and our analysis ends. If, however, the language is subject to more than one interpretation, it is ambiguous, and we resolve that ambiguity by looking to the statute's legislative history, case law, and statutory purpose. (Citations omitted.) [9] A plain-language reading of the phrase, [e]xcept as provided in 4401 of this subtitle, indicates that **355CJ 4 402(b)'s general limitation on the District Court's jurisdiction is not applicable in instances arising under CJ 4401, including an action involving a landlord and tenant as FN8 provided in CJ 4401(4). FN8. The District Court's jurisdiction under CJ 4401(4) is not without limitation. Maryland Code Annotated (1974, 2003 Repl.Vol.), 8404 of the Real Property Article (RP) provides that certain title disputes in a landlord tenant action must be heard in the circuit court.

*622 The legislative history of CJ 4402(b) confirms this interpretation. See Mayor of City Council of Baltimore v. Chase, 360 Md. 121, 131, 756 A.2d 987 (2000) ([E]ven when the language of a statute of free from ambiguity, in the interest of completeness' we may, and sometimes do, explore the legislative history of the statute under review. We do so, however, to look at the purpose of the statute and compare the result obtained by use of its plain language with that which results when the purpose of the statute is taken into account. In other words, the resort to legislative history is a confirmatory process; it is not undertaken to contradict the plain meaning of the statute.) Before it was amended in 1993, CJ 4402(b) read, The District Court does not have jurisdiction to decide the ownership of real property or of an interest in real property. The present introductory phrase was proposed in House Bill 1174. See H. 1174, 1993 Leg., 407th Sess. (Md.1993). Its accompanying Floor Report stated that, at that time, CJ 4401(8) FN9 grant[ed] the District Court jurisdiction over petitions filed by a county or municipality for the listed purposes if the relief sought [was] an injunction[;] [h]owever, under 4402(b) ..., the District Court [did] not have jurisdiction to decide the ownership of real property or of an interest in property. House Bill 1174, the Floor Report explained, alter[ed] this provision to grant the District Court jurisdiction in all cases where equitable relief is provided. FN9. CJ 4408 provides: (8) A petition filed by a county or municipality, including Baltimore City, for enforcement of local health, housing, fire, building, electric, licenses and permits, plumbing, animal control, consumer protection, and zoning codes for which equitable relief is provided. In a statement dated March 4, 1993, Mary E. Gardner, the Baltimore City Mayor's legislative liaison to the Department of Housing and Community Development, explained that the amend-

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ment [would] state, in effect, that except as ancillary to its existing jurisdiction, the District Court cannot decide the ownership of real property. According to Gardner, [i]t is only common sense that the District Court has to have ancillary jurisdiction to decide questions of property ownership *623 without which it would be largely out of businessunable to exercise properly the jurisdiction explicitly granted in [CJ ] 4401. See also Webb v. Oxley, 226 Md. 339, 343344, 173 A.2d 358 (1961) (The so-called ancillary jurisdiction rule is a concept enunciated by the federal courts by which it is held that a district court acquires jurisdiction of a case or controversy as an entirety, and hence may, as an incident to disposition of a matter properly before it, possess jurisdiction to decide other matters raised by the case of which it could not take cognizance were they independently presented.) On September 29, 2000, former Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. issued an opinion related to a cooperative housing project that is relevant to this case: You have requested our opinion [as to] whether the District Court has jurisdiction over eviction actions brought by **356 Armistead Homes Corporation, a cooperative housing corporation, against its member tenants, who occupy housing units under renewable 99year leases. For the reasons detailed below, it is our opinion that the District Court has jurisdiction to handle such a matter as a landlord-tenant proceeding. Of course, a defendant would have the right to remove the action to circuit court for a jury trial if the defendant's property interest in the unit exceeds $10,000. *** A. Jurisdiction of the District Court The District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction. Maryland Constitution, Article IV 41A ([t]he District Court shall have the original juris-

diction prescribed by law.) Except for juvenile cases, the Constitution requires that the District Court's jurisdiction be uniform throughout the State. Id. Subject to limited exceptions, the District Court does not have equity jurisdiction or jurisdiction to decide the ownership of an interest in real property. However, the District Court does have exclusive original jurisdiction in [a]n action*624 involving landlord and tenant ... regardless of the amount involved. Of course, this provision must be construed in conjunction with the constitutional right to a jury trial should the property interest exceed $10,000. Thus, whether the District Court has jurisdiction of an action by the Corporation to evict a member from Armistead Gardens based on a violation of the lease depends on whether the relationship between the Corporation and its members is a landlord-tenant relationship. *** C. Summary Because the relationship between Armistead Homes Corporation and its members is properly characterized as a landlord-tenant relationship, the covenants set forth in, or incorporated into the lease, are enforceable in the District Court as a landlord-tenant matter. 85 Op. Att'y Gen. 265 (2000). After the District Court rejected Angela Trading's lack of notice defense, it argued that it was not a proper party because it had conveyed its interest in the Unit to the Kims. To reject that argument, as it did, the District Court had to determine what interest, if any, the Kims held in the Unit, which it was permitted to do under CJ 4401(4) and 4402(b). That the underlying judgment of possession was a default judgment that the District Court did not vacate does not erode its res judicata effect in

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the case. See Morris v. Jones, 329 U.S. 545, 550551, 67 S.Ct. 451, 91 L.Ed. 488 (1947)( A judgment of a court having jurisdiction of the parties and of the subject matter operates as res judicata, in the absence of fraud or collusion, even if obtained upon a default. ) (quoting Riehle v. Margolies, 279 U.S. 218, 225, 49 S.Ct. 310, 73 L.Ed. 669 (1929)); Millison v. Ades of Lexington, Inc., 262 Md. 319, 328, 277 A.2d 579 (1971) (A judgment by default, while it may require extension by way of proof of damages ... is still final in respect of the question of the liability of the party against *625 whom it is obtained. Like every other judgment, it is conclusive of every fact necessary to uphold it. ); Wagner v. Cholley, 181 Md. 411, 414, 31 A.2d 852 (1943) (stating that a default judgment in an Ohio action was conclusive in the Maryland action on the judgment as to all defenses which were available in the Ohio action); **357 Sheahy v. Primus Automotive Financial Services, Inc., 284 F.Supp.2d, 278, 281 (D.Md.2003) ([A]lthough the earlier suit filed by Primus against Sheahy in the Maryland District Court resulted in a default judgment, for res judicata purposes a default judgment is given the same [preclusive] effect as a judgment entered after a trial on the merits.). The District Court's denial of the motion for a new trial constituted a final judgment, which could be, and was, appealed. See Gravely v. State, 164 Md.App. 76, 90, 882 A.2d 889 (2005) (The trial court's decision on [the motion for a new trial] was a final judgment that appellant could have appealed.); see also CJ 12101(f) (defining final judgment as a judgment, decree, sentence, order, determination, decision, or other action by a court, including an orphans' court, from which an appeal, application for leave to appeal, or petition for certiorari may be taken.). B. InRem Proceeding [10] The District Court's judgment awarding possession of the Unit to the Council was a judgment in rem. See Jones v. Albert, 50 Md.App. 685,

689, 440 A.2d 416 (1982) (stating that an action is an in rem action in so far as it involves a clarification of title and recovery of possession of land). A judgment in rem is an adjudication pronounced on the status of a some particular subject matter[.] Syester v. Brewer, 27 Md. 288, 313 (1867). [11] A judgment in rem is binding and conclusive with respect to the res, and it binds all persons who may have or claim any right or interest in the subject matter of the litigation, as to the particular point or matter decided. See Brown v. Smart, 69 Md. 320, 332, 17 A. 1101, 1101 (1888); *626 Restatement (First) of Judgments 74(1) (In a proceeding in rem with respect to a status[,] the judgment is conclusive upon all persons as to the existence of the status.) [12] Additionally, where, as here, title to or a right or interest with respect to real property is put directly in issue, and such issue is tried and determined, the judgment is conclusive in all further litigation between the same parties or their privies, regardless of the purpose of the action in which the judgment was rendered. See Bugg v. State Roads Commission, 250 Md. 459, 462, 243 A.2d 511 (1968) (finding that the appellant was not entitled to relief because the description under his deed was identical to the description of a tract that was the subject of an ejectment suit which was brought by third persons against plaintiff and in which title was found to be vested in third persons); Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., Inc. v. State, to use of Ritter, 201 Md. 433, 438439, 94 A.2d 639 (1953) (If, however, title to the property was in issue in the replevin suit, judgment there is conclusive as to title in the suit on the bond.). The District Court's decision as to ownership and the right to possession of the Unit, therefore, is conclusive. APPEAL DISMISSED AS MOOT; COSTS TO BE PAID BY APPELLANTS. Md.App.,2008. Kim v. Council of Unit Owners for Collington Center III Condominium

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