from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. John W.
BY: Pro Se appellant FOR APPELLANT
By: Bradley J. Neitzel (Brian E. Frosh, Attorney General on
the brief) of Baltimore, MD. FOR APPELLEE
BEFORE: Krauser, C.J., Berger, Reed, JJ. Opinion by Reed, J.
Md.App. 648] Reed, J.
Blair Sibley, the appellant, petitioned the Circuit Court for
Montgomery County for a declaratory judgment that he has a
right to appear in person before the Grand Jury to present
evidence that the President of the United States is violating
Maryland criminal law by possessing, displaying, and/or
representing to be his own " a fictitious or
fraudulently altered government identification
document." Md. Code (2002, 2012 Repl. Vol.), Crim. Law
(" CL" ) § 8-303(b). The circuit [227 Md.App.
649] court, however, refused to enter such a declaratory
judgment. Subsequently, the appellant filed this timely
pro se appeal. He presents five questions for our
review, which we have reduced to two and
1. Did the circuit court err where it dismissed the
appellant's Complaint for Declaratory Relief without
making a written declaration of the parties' rights?
2. Did the circuit court commit an abuse of discretion where
it denied the appellant's motions for recusal and
following reasons, we answer the first question in the
affirmative and the second in the negative. Therefore, we
shall vacate the judgment below and remand for further
proceedings consistent with this opinion.
And Procedural Background
September 13, 2014, the appellant wrote the Honorable John W.
Debelius III requesting that he " issue a warrant for
the arrest of [President] Barack Hussein Obama" for
violating CL § 8-303. Shortly
thereafter, on September 22, 2014, the [227 Md.App. 650]
appellant also wrote the Assistant State's Attorney for
Montgomery County requesting permission to appear in person
before the Grand Jury to present evidence of President
Obama's aforementioned alleged violations of Maryland
criminal law. The Assistant State's Attorney responded to
the appellant by letter dated September 25, 2014. He
indicated that " [t]he Grand Jury for Montgomery County,
Maryland has considered your request that an investigation be
opened into whether documents relating to President
Obama's eligibility for office are fraudulent . . . [and]
declines to investigate this matter." The letter was
co-signed by the foreman of the Grand Jury; however, the
foreman's signature was illegible.
October 6, 2014, the appellant filed a Complaint for
Declaratory Relief against John Doe, foreman of the
Montgomery County Grand Jury. Also on October 6, 2014, the
appellant filed a motion to conduct pre-service discovery and
a motion to expedite the hearing. Both of these motions were
denied by Judge Debelius on October 20, 2014. Therefore, on
November 6, 2014, the appellant filed " Verified
Emergency Motions to (I) Disqualify the Honorable John W.
Debelius III, and (II) Reconsider Orders Denying Motions to
Conduct Pre-Service Discovery and to Expedite." The
appellant based his motion to disqualify Judge Debelius on
the fact that he had previously sent him a letter requesting
a warrant for President Obama's arrest, thus making him a
witness to the action. Judge Debelius, by Order dated
November 6, 2014, denied both the motion to disqualify and
the motion for reconsideration.
December 2, 2014, the State's Attorney for Montgomery
County filed a Motion to Intervene and a Motion to Dismiss.
On December 19, 2014, Judge Debelius granted the Motion to
Intervene, ordering that the State's Attorney be added as
a defendant. A hearing on the State's Attorney's
Motion to Dismiss was held before the Honorable Michael D.
Mason on January 22, 2014. At the conclusion of the hearing,
Judge Mason orally granted the Motion to Dismiss subject to
the appellant filing an amended complaint. Judge Mason
followed up his oral ruling with a written Order of Dismissal
dated [227 Md.App. 651] February 3, 2015. Before that, on
January 27, 2015, the appellant filed an Amended Complaint
along with a Motion to Alter or Amend the January 22, 2014,
Order of Dismissal. Judge Mason denied the Motion to Alter or
Amend on May 11, 2015. Four days later, the appellant timely
noted this appeal.
Dismissal of Complaint for Declaratory Relief
The Contentions of the Parties
parties agree that in granting the Motion to Dismiss the
Complaint for Declaratory Relief, the circuit court failed to
discharge its duty to make a written declaration of the
appellant's rights. Therefore, the parties concur that at
the very least a procedural remand for re-entry of judgment
is appropriate. Their agreement, however, ends here.
According to the appellant, the circuit court erred in the
first place where it granted the State's Attorney's
Motion to Dismiss. The appellant advances this argument on a
variety of grounds. First, the appellant asserts that under
Maryland law, the granting of a motion to dismiss is "
rarely appropriate in a declaratory judgment action,"
Broadwater v. State, 303 Md. 461, 465, 494 A.2d 934
(1985), and thus was inappropriate here. Second, the
appellant contends that the circuit court should have
addressed the fundamental question raised in his Complaint
for Declaratory Relief, which was whether the pre-conditions
established by the Court of Appeals in Brack v.
Wells, 184 Md. 86, 40 A.2d 319 (1944), " improperly
impaired [his] Common Law right to directly and in person
petition the Grand Jury." Appellant's Br. at 11.
Third, the appellant argues the circuit court erred by
dismissing the Complaint without addressing issues raised
therein that were left unresolved by Brack. These
include whether, after he has " exhaust[ed] his remedy
before the magistrate and state's attorney,"
id. at 97, he has the right to present to the
foreman in person his request to appear before the
Grand Jury, and whether the foreman would thereafter be
required to present his request to the body over which he
presides. [227 Md.App. 652] Finally, the appellant assigns
error to the fact ...