A Maryland appeals court rules that the six-month statute of limitations for the state to file a claim against a Medicaid recipient’s estate begins when the last of three notices of appointment of a personal representative is published, not after the first notice is published. Maryland Dept. of Health v. Myers (Md. Ct. Spec. App., No. 3168, Nov. 9, 2020).
Carol Miller received Medicaid benefits before she died. The court appointed Christine Myer as her personal representative and published notice of the appointment in the newspaper on July 26, 2017, August 2, 2017, and August 9, 2017. The state filed a claim against Ms. Miller’s estate for reimbursement of Medicaid expenses on January 25, 2018.
Ms. Myer did not allow the claim, and the state petitioned the court. Maryland law requires the state to file a claim within “6 months after publication of notice of the first appointment of a personal representative.” State law also requires publication of notice of the appointment of a personal representative once a week for three consecutive weeks. The court ruled that the state’s petition was untimely because it was more than six months after the publication of the first notice. The state appealed.
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals reverses, ruling that the department’s claim was timely because the six-month statute of limitations begins when the final notice is published, not when the first notice is published. According to the court, the plain language and the legislative history of the two state laws makes it clear that the “first” in the law refers to the appointment of the personal representative, not the notice.
For the full text of this decision, go to: https://www.courts.state.md.us/sites/default/files/unreported-opinions/3168s18.pdf
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