Stewart v. State, No. 616

CourtCourt of Special Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtTHOMPSON
Citation21 Md.App. 346,319 A.2d 621
Docket NumberNo. 616
Decision Date22 May 1974
PartiesBrenda STEWART v. STATE of Maryland.

Page 346

21 Md.App. 346
319 A.2d 621
Brenda STEWART
v.
STATE of Maryland.
No. 616.
Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.
May 22, 1974.

Page 347

Arthur D. Condon, Washington, D. C., for appellant.

Arrie W. Davis, Asst. Atty. Gen., with whom were Francis B. Burch, Atty. Gen., Warren B. Duckett, State's Atty. for Anne Arundel County, and John Cantu, Asst. State's Atty. for Anne Arundel County, on the brief, for appellee.

Argued before THOMPSON, MOORE and LOWE, JJ.

[319 A.2d 622] THOMPSON, Judge.

Brenda Stewart, appellant, an inmate in the House of Correction in Anne Arundel County, was sent, in accordance with Md. Code, Art. 27, § 698, to the University Hospital in Baltimore City for treatment. While in the hospital, she escaped. Trial for the statutory crime of escape, Art. 27, § 139, was held in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. The trial court overruled defendant's timely objections to venue claiming that venue was improperly laid in Anne Arundel County and should have been laid in Baltimore City, where the physical escape occurred.

Md.Code, Art. 27, § 139 provides as follows:

Page 348

'If any offender of person legally detained and confined in the penitentiary, or jail, or house of correction, or reformatory, or station house, or any other place of confinement, in this State, shall escape he shall be guilty of a felony and on conviction thereof by the Criminal Court of Baltimore City or by the circuit court of the county in which the escape takes place, be sentenced to confinement in the penitentiary . . .' (Emphasis added.)

The short answer to appellant's contention is the departure from University Hospital constituted the crime of escape from custody in a place of confinement, University Hospital, and from constructive custody in the place of incarceration itself, House of Correction. Art. 27, § 139 by its terms permits trial in the county in which the escape takes place. Thus, venue lies both in Baltimore City, where the departure actually occurred, and in Anne Arundel County, where the crime constructively took place.

At the outset of our discussion it is well to distinguish between venue and jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is defined as power over the subject matter and parties to suit, from which power the court derives authority to hear the case on the merits. Zouck v. Zouck, 204 Md. 285, 302, 104 A.2d 573 (1954). Venue refers to a particular place or county in which a court of appropriate jurisdiction may properly hear and determine the case in the first instance. 4 Wharton, Criminal Law and Procedure § 1508, at 15-16 (Anderson ed. 1957, Supp.1974). Simply defined, venue is 'the place of trial.' W. Blume, The Place of Trial of Criminal Causes, 43 Mich.L.Rev. 59, 60 (1944) (hereinafter cited as Blume).

The Supreme Court of the United States in United States v. Cores,356 U.S. 405, 407, 78 S.Ct. 875, 877, 2 L.Ed.2d 873 (1958), defined venue as that term is constitutionally embraced by art. 3, § 2 cl. 3 and the fourth amendment of the United States Constitution:

'The Constitution makes it clear that determination of proper venue in a criminal case

Page 349

requires determination of where the crime was committed. This principle is reflected in numerous statutory enactments, including Rule 18, Fed. Rules Crim.Proc., which provides that except as otherwise permitted, 'the prosecution shall be had in a district in which the offense was committed * * *.' In ascertaining this locality we are mindful that questions of venue 'raise deep issues of public policy in the light of which legislation must be construed.' United States v. Johnson, 1944, 323 U.S. 273, 276, 65 S.Ct. 249, 251, 89 L.Ed. 236. The provision for trial in the vicinity of the crime is a safeguard against the unfairness and hardship involved when an accused is prosecuted in a remote place.'

In this connection it is interesting to note that the only witnesses testifying at the trial in the instant case were employees of the House of Correction and the appellant. From our observations, the witnesses at trials of cases involving escape are usually confined to employees of the institution and the accused, although at times the apprehending officer may also be [319 A.2d 623] called. Thus it would appear that trial in the county in which the institution was located would be more convenient in most cases then trial in the county in which the departure physically took place.

Generally at common law, all offenses had to be inquired into as well as tried in the county where the act was committed. This rule was explicated in England, 4 Blackstone, Commentaries 305 (Lewis ed. 1897), and is generally the rule in our country today. 4 Wharton, Criminal Law and Procedure § 1508. In the Maryland Constitution, Art. 5 of the Declaration of Rights grants to the inhabitants of this State the common law as it existed in England, but Kisner v. State, 209 Md. 524, 529, 122 A.2d 102, 105 (1956), recites that the common law rule as to venue has not been followed in Maryland since colonial...

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14 practice notes
  • Stewart v. State, No. 111
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 25 Junio 1975
    ...City, where the departure actually occurred, and in Anne Arundel County, where the crime constructively took place.' Stewart v. State, 21 Md.App. 346, 348, 319 A.2d 621, 622 (1974). Since this Court had not previously dealt directly with the venue question presented, and because of the recu......
  • Hartlove v. Maryland School for the Blind, No. 1706
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 1 Septiembre 1995
    ...has been defined fundamentally as the power of a court to decide a case. See BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY 853 (6th ed. 1990); Stewart v. State, 21 Md.App. 346, 348, 319 A.2d 621 (1974), aff'd, 275 Md. 258, 340 A.2d 290 (1975). Maryland cases have stated, however, that jurisdiction actually refers......
  • State v. Jones, No. 720
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 7 Abril 1982
    ...of the trial, the "county in which a court of appropriate jurisdiction may properly hear and determine the case...." Stewart v. State, 21 Md.App. 346, 348, 319 A.2d 621 Venue presupposes proper jurisdiction, 1 Wharton's Criminal Procedure § 36 at 103 (12th ed. 1974), for without it, a court......
  • Hosain v. Malik, No. 228
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 1 Septiembre 1995
    ...a question--runs counter to accepted rules of procedure. See Zouck v. Zouck, 204 Md. 285, 302, 104 A.2d 573 (1954), and Stewart v. State, 21 Md.App. 346, 348, 319 A.2d 621 (1974), aff'd, 275 Md. 258, 340 A.2d 290 In other words, the legal effect of our decision in Malik was to suspend and r......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Stewart v. State, No. 111
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 25 Junio 1975
    ...City, where the departure actually occurred, and in Anne Arundel County, where the crime constructively took place.' Stewart v. State, 21 Md.App. 346, 348, 319 A.2d 621, 622 (1974). Since this Court had not previously dealt directly with the venue question presented, and because of the recu......
  • Hartlove v. Maryland School for the Blind, No. 1706
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 1 Septiembre 1995
    ...has been defined fundamentally as the power of a court to decide a case. See BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY 853 (6th ed. 1990); Stewart v. State, 21 Md.App. 346, 348, 319 A.2d 621 (1974), aff'd, 275 Md. 258, 340 A.2d 290 (1975). Maryland cases have stated, however, that jurisdiction actually refers......
  • State v. Jones, No. 720
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 7 Abril 1982
    ...of the trial, the "county in which a court of appropriate jurisdiction may properly hear and determine the case...." Stewart v. State, 21 Md.App. 346, 348, 319 A.2d 621 Venue presupposes proper jurisdiction, 1 Wharton's Criminal Procedure § 36 at 103 (12th ed. 1974), for without it, a court......
  • Hosain v. Malik, No. 228
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 1 Septiembre 1995
    ...a question--runs counter to accepted rules of procedure. See Zouck v. Zouck, 204 Md. 285, 302, 104 A.2d 573 (1954), and Stewart v. State, 21 Md.App. 346, 348, 319 A.2d 621 (1974), aff'd, 275 Md. 258, 340 A.2d 290 In other words, the legal effect of our decision in Malik was to suspend and r......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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