This case arises from a garnishment of bank accounts jointly held by a married couple, Dorothy O’Brien (“Dorothy”) and appellant, Michael O’Brien (“Michael”), as well as another bank account held by Dorothy, Michael, and appellant, Lavelle O’Brien (“Lavelle”), who is Michael’s mother, to satisfy a judgment entered against Dorothy. Appellants filed an amended complaint in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City against appellees, Bank of America, N.A. (“Bank of America”) and the Attorney General of Maryland, Douglas Gansler (“Attorney General”), in his official capacity, alleging conversion and/or trespass to chattel, breach of contract, and a violation of the Expedited Funds Availability Act. Appellants further requested a declaratory judgment that appellees violated Md. Code (1974, 2013 Repl. Vol.), § 11-603(c) of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article [hereinafter Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art. § 11-603(c)], the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Article 19 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights, and Article 3, Section 43 of the Maryland Constitution. Appellees filed their respective motions for judgment, which the trial court granted. Appellants noted an appeal, and presents five issues for our consideration:
1. Did the trial court erroneously fail to give [ ] [a]ppellants a reasonable opportunity to introduce materials pertinent to whether Lavelle O’Brien’s account was a joint account?
2. Did the trial court commit a legal error by finding and declaring that subsection 11-603(c) does not violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution?
3. Did the trial court commit a legal error by finding and declaring that subsection 11-603(c) does not violate Article , [S]ection 43 of the Maryland Constitution?
4. Did the trial court commit a legal error by finding and declaring that subsection 11-603(c) does not violate Article 19 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights?
. Did the trial court commit a legal error by finding that the seized accounts were “available for withdrawal” under the Expedited Funds Availability Act?
For the reasons that follow, we answer all of the above-mentioned questions in the negative. We affirm the judgment of the circuit court.
Judge(s): Michelle D. Hotten
Jurisdiction: Maryland Court of Appeals
Related Categories: Civil Procedure
, Civil Remedies
, Constitutional Law
|Court of Appeals Judge(s)||
Alexander Wright, Jr.