EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Explaining the State's Latest Filing in the Adnan Syed Appeal

As reported by Justin Fenton reported yesterday,

Maryland's attorney general intends to fight the ruling that granted a new trial for "Serial" podcast subject Adnan Syed, according to a document filed last week in the case.

The state formally notified the court of its intentions Thursday and asked that any new trial proceedings be halted as that process plays out. An appeal could push the possibility of a retrial back several months or longer, experts have said.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office declined to comment on the new filing, which is not the appeal itself. The office had previously hinted at its intent to appeal and has until next Monday to file it.

So, what does this mean?

Applications for Leave to Appeal are governed by Section 7-109 of Maryland's Uniform Postconviction Procedure Act. Section 7-109 states the following in pertinent part:

§ 7-109. Appeal of final order

(a) Application. -- Within 30 days after the court passes an order in accordance with this subtitle, a person aggrieved by the order, including the Attorney General and a State's Attorney, may apply to the Court of Special Appeals for leave to appeal the order.

(b) Appeal procedure. --

(1) The application for leave to appeal shall be in the form set by the Maryland Rules.

(2) If the Attorney General or a State's Attorney states an intention to file an application for an appeal under this section, the court may:

(i) stay the order; and

(ii) set bail for the petitioner.

So, what the State filed on Thursday was not an Application for Leave to Appeal (ALA) under Section 7-109(a). Instead, it was, pursuant to Section 7-109(b)(2), a notice of an intention to file an ALA. What this means is that the court may "stay the order" by Judge Welch granting Adnan a new trial and "set bail for the petitioner," i.e. Adnan. 

Practically, though, this really doesn't change anything. The State still has to file an ALA by next Monday, August 1st, and I doubt that the court will set (or deny) bail for Adnan until the State files (or doesn't file) its ALA.



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Is there a reason to file an intention other than asking for an extension to file the application? Or did Justin Brown request a bail ruling recently?

Posted by: tim | Jul 26, 2016 12:17:56 PM

Why does the state have until August 1st to file the appeal when Judge Welch's order was issued June 30th? Section 7-109 says "within thirty days", August 1st is outside of thirty days. Shouldn't they have to file by July 30th (or July 29th since July 30th is a Saturday)?

Posted by: adanner | Jul 26, 2016 1:09:55 PM

Who is "the court"?

What is the significance of staying/not staying Judge Welch's order?

Posted by: Michael | Jul 26, 2016 2:02:37 PM

Anyone heard from Seamus lately?

Posted by: FarFarAway | Jul 26, 2016 9:34:06 PM

adanner, when the 30th day is on a weekend or holiday ylu get until the next business day.

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 26, 2016 11:25:52 PM

tim: I’m not sure. I don’t know if the defense has requested bail.

adanner: If the “deadline” falls on a weekend, the deadline is the Monday after that weekend.

Michael: “The court” is the Baltimore City Circuit Court.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jul 27, 2016 5:00:49 AM


Posted by: adanner | Jul 27, 2016 5:14:17 AM

Collin, i'm confused. so am I right in saying that Adnan might get bail on Monday after the state files.

Posted by: Bernice Cruz | Jul 27, 2016 11:42:39 AM

Seamus is still working out his mental gymnastics routine in his basement till he gets it just perfect before he will return guns ablazing with his new "irrefutable legal arguments and facts"

-- dealing with this much cognitive dissonance has gotta be really hard, give the guy a break. He will find a new rationalization, it just might take a bit while he nurses his wounds all this reality inflicted upon him recently.

Posted by: Paul | Jul 29, 2016 2:27:32 AM

Bernice: Yes, that is correct.

Posted by: Colin | Aug 1, 2016 6:38:11 AM

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