Notes and Forms: Defending School Truancy Cases in the District Court of Maryland

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Notes and Forms article by Paul J. Notarianni.

ABSTRACT: This article is a collection of notes and draft forms regarding criminal defense of charges brought against parents for compulsory school attendance violations (Maryland Education Article 7-­301) Some of the more unique topics covered include a Motion to Dismiss for Territorial Equal Protection; Motion for Tangible Evidence Prior to Trial in District Court; and argument for a right to trial by jury, despite the maximum sentence being less than ninety days of incarceration.

UPDATE:  On 5/15/2018 Governor Hogan signed into law SB 160.  (See: https://legiscan.com/MD/bill/SB160/2018 ). This drastically amends Maryland Education Article 7-301.  Parents are now only criminally liable under the statute if the child is under sixteen. It had previously been under eighteen. Second, the maximum period of incarceration has been reduced from ten days to three days for a first offense and from thirty days to five days for a subsequent offense.  Lastly, it is now an affirmative defense, in all Maryland courts, that a charged parent made reasonable and substantial efforts to see that the child attended school as required by law but was unable to cause the child to attended school.  This last changes renders the Motion to Dismiss for Violation of Territorial Equal Protection from the article moot.

Notes and Forms Defending School Truancy Cases in the District Court of Maryland 02.21.16

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