Civil Justice Litigation

 Civil Justice has several lawyers on staff who provide direct representation to Maryland consumers with legal issues that have broad public impact. Current cases involve mortgage servicing, predatory lending, foreclosure practices, automobile fraud, and other consumer protection issues. Civil Justice files individual and class cases, co-counsels with Civil Justice Network members, and files amicus briefs in important consumer impact litigation.  A few examples of our current and recent litigation are provided below, as well as citations to some of our past impact litigation.

Current and Recent Civil Justice Cases

$65,000 Settlement in Illegal Eviction Case
Civil Justice represented a young mother who was illegally evicted by her landlord despite having  a court order the landlord not to evict her almost two weeks before the eviction.  Civil Justice’s client succeeded in having a judge order the landlord to let her back into the property after the eviction, only to find that all of her belongings had been thrown out, so she was forced to start living in her grandmother’s house.  The landlord had the  nerve to claim that she owed him thousands of dollars in unpaid rent for the now-vacant apartment.  Civil Justice filed an affirmative claim against the landlord for the wrongful eviction and disposal of the tenant’s property.  The case settled in December of 2016 with the landlord giving up the claim for the unpaid rent and paying Civil Justice’s client $65,000.00 to compensate her for her ordeal.

Sprye, et al. v. Ace Motor Acceptance Corporation
Civil Justice has filed a class action case on behalf of two intersecting groups that were wronged by a sub-prime auto lender; the first is a group of Marylanders who had their telephone conversations recorded without their permission, in violation of the Maryland Wiretapping Act, and the second is a nationwide group of people whose cell phones were called using an autodialer without their permission, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Parham, et al. v. Lyons, Doughty & Veldhuis, P.C. / P.A.
Civil Justice has filed a class action case on behalf of a group of Maryland consumers who were subjected to aggressive collections practices by a debt collection law firm.  Specifically, the approximately 450 potential class members were served with interrogatories that included the incorrect deadline for responding, as well as an interrogatory that asked them how much they would pay to settle the case, which we believe violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.    

Lockett v. Blue Ocean Bristol
Civil Justice authored an amicus brief in this important case in the Maryland Court of Appeals.  As urged by Civil Justice, the Court held that a Circuit Court committed reversible error when it denied, without explanation,  an attorney’s fee petition by a tenant who won a case against a landlord for violations of a consumer protection statute which allowed for an award of fees.   
For Civil Justice’s Brief, click here.
For the Court of Appeals’ Opinion, click here.

Allstate Lien and Recovery Corp. v. Stansbury
Civil Justice authored an amicus brief in this important appeal of a jury verdict in favor of a consumer against an auto dealer who attempted to add a “processing” fee to an auto mechanic’s lien before allowing the plaintiff to pay to get the vehicle back from the auto mechanic.  The jury found that this practice was a violation of Maryland consumer protection statutes.   The Court of Appeals affirmed the jury’s verdict in part based on arguments presented in Civil Justice’s amicus brief. 
Civil Justice’s brief is available here.
The opinion is available here.


Representative Past Civil Justice Cases

Impact Class Cases
Proctor v. Metropolitan Money Store Corp.,  645 F.Supp.2d 464 (D.Md.,2009)
Winston v. Regional Title & Escrow, LLC, Case No. 8:08-cv-02633 RWT (D.Md.)
Keneipp v. Fountainhead Title Group Corp., Civil Action No. WMN 03-cv-02813
Johnson v. Fountainhead Title Group Corp., Civil Action No. 03-cv-03106- WMN
Benway v. Resource Real Estate Services, Civil Action No. WMN-05-3250 (U.S. Dist. Ct. Md.) (certified Oct. 16, 2006)
 – Cir. Ct. Balt. City, Case No. 24-C-02-001635 (partial preliminary approved July 2006 and April 2009; final approval April 2010)
Greer v. Crown Title Corp., Cir. Ct. Balt. City, Case No. 24-C-02001227
Naughten v. Millennium Escrow & Title, Civil Action No. 02-cv-2078 (U.S. Dist. Ct. Md.)
Gray v. Fountainhead Title, Civil Action No. 03-cv-01675 (U.S. Dist. Ct. Md.)

Other Impact Cases of Record
Delph v. Allstate Home Mortg., Inc., 478 F. Supp. 2d 852 (D. Md. 2008)
 403 Md. 186 (2008)
Massey v. Lewis, CIV. AMD 08-261, 2009 WL 6885028 (D. Md. Feb. 24, 2009)
 411 Md. 251, 983 A.2d 138 (2009)
 414 Md. 641 (2010). 
Consumer Protection Div. Office of Attorney General v. Buonassissi, 411 Md. 696 (2009)
Geesing v. Matthews, Balt. Cir. Ct. Civ No. 24-O-10001394 (Jan. 2011)
Hollidayoake v. JBL Mortgage Network, LLC, et al, Anne Arundel Cir. Ct. Civ No. 02-C10-155944 (2012)

Amicus Cases
 222 F.3d 151 (C.A.4 2000).
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc. v. Neal, 398 Md. 705 (2007)
Poku v. Friedman, 403 Md. 47 (2008)
 416 Md. 325 (2010);  
Ford Motor Credit Company, LLC v. Maureen Roberson, Misc. No. 15, (Md. Sept. Term, 2010)
Hosea Anderson er ux v. John S. Burson et al, No. 8, (Md. Sept. Term 2010)
Demetrius Nickens v. Mount Vernon Realty, LLC et al, No. 1814 (Md. Sept. Term 2010)