May 2015 Archives

Help For Abused, Neglected, or Abandoned Children Out of Immigration Status

A special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) is a child who is abused, neglected, or abandoned and who, with their family, illegally entered the United States. The law still requires that the immigrant child obtain an order from a state court making findings that the juvenile satisfies certain criteria. Once a state court makes an SIJ order, a child may file with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services for SIJ-status which can lead to lawful permanent resident status. Under the recent case of Simbaina v. Bunay decided by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, a divorce court must act on requests to sign SIJ orders and must sign these orders when appropriate. 

If You Want to Collect From The Owner - Remember Your Time Is Limited

Judge Bredar of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland recently buttressed the well-established doctrine that a subcontractor cannot sue an owner for the debts of the general contractor by using an unjust enrichment or quantum meruit theory of recovery. The judge also held, in the case of Elite Construction Team, Inc. v. Wal-Mart, that attempts to establish a constructive trust are also doomed to failure. A subcontractor may bring a mechanic's lien claim (within applicable time limits of course) or can garnish the contractor's share after obtaining a judgment. 

Under Divorce Agreement, Deferred Retirement Benefits Are the Same as Pension Benefits

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has recently ruled that benefits in the deferred retirement option program are the same as pension benefits under divorce agreement, entitling the ex-wife to one-half of the marital share of ex-husband's pension. 

Failing to Cross at Crosswalk is not Contributory Negligence

In the tragic case of Davis v. Board of Education, a 13-year-old child was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing street to board school bus. A jury found that the bus driver negligently caused the child's wrongful death by failing to stop on the side of the road where the child lived, as required by regulation. The trial judge overturned the jury's decision claiming, among other things, that the child was required to cross at a crosswalk. The judge's determination was later overturned by the Court of Special Appeals and the jury's verdict as to negligence was reinstated. 

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