ROBIN ALTSTATT SCARBOROUGH, ET AL.
LESLIE B. ALTSTATT
Krauser, C.J., Meredith, Berger, JJ.
case involves an appeal of an order of the Circuit Court for
Montgomery County granting a motion to dismiss filed by
appellee Leslie Altstatt ("Altstatt"). Robin
Altstatt Scarborough, Alice L. Altstatt, and Carol E.
Altstatt, appellants (collectively, "the
Appellants"),  filed the complaint giving rise to the
present appeal, raising various claims relating to injuries
allegedly suffered due to childhood sexual abuse perpetrated
by their father, Altstatt. Altstatt filed a motion to
dismiss, arguing that the Appellants' claims were barred
by the applicable statute of limitations. The circuit court
agreed with Altstatt and dismissed the Appellants'
complaint with prejudice.
appeal, the Appellants present a single question for our
review, which we have rephrased as follows:
Whether the circuit court erred by ruling that the
Appellants' complaint was barred by the statute of
has moved to dismiss this appeal, arguing that the Appellants
failed to file a timely notice of appeal. For the reasons
explained herein, we shall deny Altstatt's motion to
dismiss this appeal and hold that the circuit court did not
err by ruling that Appellants' claims were barred by the
statute of limitations.
December 4, 2014, the Appellants filed a complaint in the
Circuit Court for Montgomery County alleging one count each
of intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and
battery, and negligence as a result of sexual abuse by
Altstatt while the Appellants were minor children. The
alleged abuse occurred between 1964 and 1984.
January 20, 2015, Altstatt filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint, arguing that the Appellants' claims were
barred by the statute of limitations. The Appellants opposed
the motion to dismiss. The Appellants argued that they
suffered from dissociative amnesia which, they alleged,
should toll the statute of limitations until the time they
began to remember the abuse in early 2014. The circuit court
held a hearing on the motion to dismiss on April 22, 2015. At
the conclusion of the hearing, the circuit court granted
Altstatt's motion to dismiss because the claims were
barred by the statute of limitations. The court reduced its
judgment to a written order which was docketed on April 24,
4, 2015, the Appellants filed a motion to alter or amend the
order granting Altstatt's motion to dismiss. Altstatt
filed an opposition on May 21, 2015. On June 9, 2015, the
circuit court issued the order that forms the basis for
Altstatt's motion to dismiss the extant appeal. The June
9, 2015 order provides:
UPON CONSIDERATION of Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter
or Amend This Court's Order Granting Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss Complaint, it is this 9th Day of
June 2015, by the Circuit Court of Maryland for Montgomery
County, it is hereby
ORDERED: That Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
Complaint is DENIED.
June 9 order was docketed on June 12, 2015. The docket entry
ORDER OF COURT (SALANT, J.) THAT PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO
ALTER OR AMEND THIS COURT'S ORDER GRANTING
DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS COMPLAINT IS DENIED,
ENTERED. (COPIES MAILED)
16, 2015, the circuit court issued a subsequent order titled
"AMENDED ORDER." The order provided:
Upon consideration of Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter or
Amend, filed May 4, 2015 (docket entry #28), and
Defendant's Opposition thereto, filed May 21, 2015
(docket entry #29), and pursuant to Maryland Rule 2-535(d),
it is . . .
ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter
or Amend (docket entry #28) shall be, and hereby is, DENIED.
August 6, 2015, Appellants filed a notice of appeal. On
August 17, 2015, Altstatt filed a motion to strike the
Appellants' notice of appeal, which was denied by the
circuit court on September 16, 2015.
November 2, 2015, Altstatt filed a motion to dismiss the
appeal in this Court, arguing that the Appellants' notice
of appeal was untimely. The Appellants filed an opposition on
November 16, 2015. On November 30, 2015, this Court denied
Altstatt's motion to dismiss the appeal with leave to
raise the issues in the briefs. In his brief, Altstatt
subsequently moved to dismiss the Appellants' appeal as
untimely. We, therefore, address the motion to dismiss the
Motion to Dismiss Appeal
asserts that the Appellants' appeal must be dismissed as
untimely. Altstatt argues that the Appellants' notice of
appeal was due within thirty days of the circuit court's
June 12, 2015 order. Because the Appellants' notice of
appeal was not filed until August 6, 2015, Altstatt asserts