Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Decisions 2014

Commonwealth v. Scott  
Date: December 26, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11303

Justia Opinion Summary: Twenty-three years after a young woman was found dead in a vacant lot, DNA was extracted from samples taken from the victim’s body and clothing. A match was found with Defendant’s DNA. After a jury trial, Defendant was f...

Commonwealth v. Johnson  
Date: December 23, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11660

Justia Opinion Summary: The two defendants in this case were both convicted of criminal harassment for posting information about the victims online along with false statements about items that the victims allegedly had for sale or were giving a...

In the Matter of the Discipline of an Attorney
Date: December 23, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11673
In re Petition of Smallwood  
Date: December 19, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11559

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose from a longtime dispute between Dewoe Smallwood and his former girlfriend concerning ownership of certain real property. In 1997, Smallwood’s former girlfriend commenced a civil action against Smallwood,...

Easthampton Savings Bank v. City of Springfield  
Date: December 19, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11612

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011, in response to an increased number of foreclosures, the City of Springfield enacted two ordinances addressing properties left vacant during or after the foreclosure process. The mediation ordinance established a...

Bledsoe v. Comm’r of Corr.  
Date: December 19, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11647

Justia Opinion Summary: Haywood Bledsoe, an inmate in the custody of the Department of Correction, commenced an action against the Commissioner of Correction and other officials. A judge granted summary judgment as to some of the counts in Bled...

Commonwealth v. Oyewole  
Date: December 18, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11664

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury-waived trial, Defendant was convicted of operating a motor vehicle after his license had been suspended for operating while under the influence of alcohol. The Appeals Court affirmed. At issue on appeal...

In re Adoption of Quan  
Date: December 18, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11748

Justia Opinion Summary: The Department of Children and Families filed a petition for the care and protection of Quan, who was one year old. Mother and Father stipulated to the entry of decrees adjudicating Quan to be in need of care and protect...

Commonwealth v. Bolden  
Date: December 17, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11634

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted on seventeen indictments, including three counts of aggravated burglary. Two of those counts arose from the burglary of a dwelling in Agawam involving two assaults therein, and the third count aro...

Commonwealth v. Crayton  
Date: December 17, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11639

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the Supreme Judicial Court established a new standard for the admission of in-court identifications where the eyewitness had not previously participated in an out-of-court identification procedure. After a...

Commonwealth v. Collins  
Date: December 17, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11710

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the second degree and other crimes. The trial judge denied Defendant’s motion for a new trial. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) Defendant was not d...

Commonwealth v. Cassidy  
Date: December 16, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11342

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions, holding (1) the trial court did not com...

Commonwealth v. Valentin  
Date: December 8, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11581

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of murder in the first degree. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the conviction. Appellant later filed a motion for a new trial, alleging that his trial counsel provided inef...

L.L. v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 5, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11721

Justia Opinion Summary: At a hearing before a Juvenile Court judge, a juvenile admitted to sufficient facts with respect to two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person fourteen or older. The juvenile subsequently filed a motion seeki...

Commonwealth v. Ortiz  
Date: November 26, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11426

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation. On appeal, Defendant conceded that the evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict and did not...

Commonwealth v. Liebenow  
Date: November 25, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11593

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, who was in the business of collecting and selling scrap metal, was convicted of larceny under $250 in connection with his removal of steel pipe from a construction site located on private property. Defendant c...

Commonwealth v. Burgos  
Date: November 21, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11005

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress a surreptitiously recorded oral conversation between him...

Fernandes v. Attleboro Housing Auth.  
Date: November 19, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11580

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed an action against his former employer, the Attleboro Housing Authority (AHA), for alleged violations of the Wage Act, claiming (1) the AHA intentionally misclassified his position, thereby failing to pay...

Commonwealth v. Reade
Date: November 17, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11655
Commonwealth v. Thompson  
Date: November 10, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11623

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of distributing cocaine and doing so in a school zone. Defendant appealed. While the appeal was pending, the school zone statute was amended to reduce the radius of the sch...

Doe v. Sex Offender Registry Bd.  
Date: November 5, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11562

Justia Opinion Summary: John Doe, who was thirty-one years old, pleaded guilty to several sex offenses that he committed when he was a juvenile. Seven years later, Doe was classified as a level one sex offender. The classification was upheld by...

Commonwealth v. Roman  
Date: November 4, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11311

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of deliberately premeditated murder and possession of a class B substance. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions, holding (1) there was no error in the de...

Bellermann v. Fitchburg Gas & Elec. Light Co.  
Date: October 30, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11492

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, twelve residential and business customers of Defendant Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company who lost power during a major ice storm, filed suit on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, assert...

Commonwealth v. Rollins  
Date: October 30, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11583

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of six counts of possessing child pornography. Each count was premised on one or two distinct photographs culled at the same time from a single cache on Defendant’s computer...

Commonwealth v. Garcia  
Date: October 29, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11127

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree on theories of extreme atrocity or cruelty and felony-murder, based on the underlying felonies of home invasion and armed or assaultive burglar...

Commonwealth v. Carriere  
Date: October 28, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11339

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. The Commonwealth’s theory at trial was that Defendant, who was in the...

Bank of Am., N.A. v. Babcock  
Date: October 28, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11651

Justia Opinion Summary: The trustees of the Hollis W. Plimpton, Jr. Family Trust filed a complaint seeking a declaration that the trust as drafted correctly expressed the intent to the settlor that his estate be eligible to obtain the optimal b...

Connell v. Houser  
Date: October 28, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11698

Justia Opinion Summary: George C. Houser established the George C. Houser Trust, which established two trusts for the benefit of Mary R. Houser during her lifetime and gave her a power of appointment over one of the trusts (the marital trust)....

Faulk v. CVS Caremark Corp.  
Date: October 24, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11650

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners, Carolyn Faulk and Stanley Howard, commenced an action against Faulk’s former employer, CVS Caremark Corporation, and two of her former supervisors (collectively, Respondents), alleging that Respondents wrong...

Town of Athol v. Prof’l Firefighters of Athol, Local 1751, I.A.F.F.  
Date: October 23, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11640

Justia Opinion Summary: After the Town of Athol unilaterally increased copayment amounts that members of the Professional Firefighters of Athol, Local 1751, I.A.F.F. (Union) pay for medical services under their health insurance plans, the Union...

Commonwealth v. LaChance  
Date: October 21, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11494

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of aggravated rape, kidnapping, and related crimes. In his third motion for a new trial, Defendant argued that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to a cour...

Commonwealth v. Evans  
Date: October 20, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10873

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree on theories of extreme atrocity or cruelty and felony-murder, with armed robbery as the predicate felony. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed t...

Auto Flat Car Crushers, Inc. v. Hanover Ins. Co.  
Date: October 15, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11477

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff sued its Insurer, alleging breach of contract and seeking declaratory relief, after the Insurer refused to defend or indemnify Plaintiff in connection with an environmental dispute. A superior court allowed Pla...

Barron Chiropractic & Rehab., P.C. v. Norfolk & Dedham Group  
Date: October 15, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11561

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether an unpaid party who has brought an action for breach of contract against an automobile insurer and thereafter refused the insurer’s tender of personal injury protection (PIP) benefits du...

Commonwealth v. Vincent  
Date: October 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11177

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree on a theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress incriminat...

Glovsky v. Roche Bros. Supermarkets, Inc.  
Date: October 10, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11434

Justia Opinion Summary: Steven Glovsky sought to solicit signatures for his nomination to the second district seat on the Governor’s Council on the sidewalk immediately outside the entrance to a supermarket owned by Roche Bros. Supermarkets, In...

Commonwealth v. LeClair  
Date: October 10, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11469

Justia Opinion Summary: Mark Sheehan, a nonimmunized witness in a criminal trial, refused to answer questions posed by the prosecutor concerning his use of illegal drugs by invoking his privilege against self-incrimination. The judge ruled that...

Commonwealth v. Howard  
Date: October 2, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11128

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. Defendant appealed, asserting several allegations of error. The Suprem...

Roe No. 1 v. Children's Hosp. Med. Ctr.  
Date: October 1, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11533

Justia Opinion Summary: Dr. Melvin Levine worked as a pediatric physician at Children’s Hospital Medical Center from 1966 to 1985. After leaving Children’s Hospital, Levine resumed practicing medicine as an employee of the University of North C...

Tyree v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 1, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11633

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1980, Petitioner was convicted of murder in the first degree. The conviction was affirmed on appeal. Thereafter, Petitioner filed several postconviction motions in the trial court. The instant filing was treated by a...

Bower v. Bournay-Bower  
Date: September 15, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11478

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother and Father were the divorced parents of four minor children. Each of the parties filed contempt complaints alleging that the other had violated various terms of the divorce judgment. The judge issued an order requ...

Mass. State Auto. Dealers Ass’n, Inc. v. Tesla Motors MA, Inc.  
Date: September 15, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11545

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, two motor vehicle dealers and an organization that represents the interests of new automobile and truck franchised dealerships in the state, filed this action against Tesla Motors, Inc., an automobile manufac...

Commonwealth v. Holmes  
Date: September 12, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11557

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1997, Defendant pleaded guilty to a drug-related offense. Defendant was released in 1999 after completing his sentence on that conviction. In 2003, Defendant pleaded guilty to firearm-related offenses. In 2005, while...

Commonwealth v. Wall  
Date: September 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-09850

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theories of premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. Defendant’s defense was that a third party killed the victim while Defendant was unconscious due to...

Commonwealth v. Quinn  
Date: September 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11554

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted on one indictment alleging forcible rape of a child under sixteen years of age and two indictments alleging indecent assault and battery of a child under fourteen years of age....

Superintendent-Dir. of Assabet Valley Reg’l Sch. Dist. v. Speicher  
Date: September 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11563

Justia Opinion Summary: A school librarian having professional teacher status was suspended for conduct deemed to be unbecoming a teacher. An arbitrator considered the merits of the suspension. Applying a “just cause” standard, the arbitrator o...

Commonwealth v. Letkowski  
Date: September 9, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11556

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, armed robbery, and related offenses. On appeal, Defendant argued that the prosecutor’s several references to his initial invocation o...

Commonwealth v. Sullivan  
Date: September 9, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11568

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of attempted kidnapping and of accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex. The Appeals Court reversed the judgment on the indictment charging accosting or annoying a pe...

Plumb v. Casey  
Date: September 8, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11519

Justia Opinion Summary: Kenneth Wynne and Allison Wynne owned and operated Wynne Fine Art, which accepted art works from creditor artists. After the Wynnes filed for bankruptcy, the trustee of the bankruptcy estates moved to sell the art works....

A.J. Props., LLC v. Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.  
Date: September 5, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11424

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was a performance bond issued by Stanley Black and Decker, Inc. to secure the obligation of an environmental consulting company to perform environmental remediation of contaminated property, a porti...

Mass. Elec. Co. v. Dep’t of Pub. Utils.  
Date: September 4, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11526

Justia Opinion Summary: After electrical outages arising from Tropical Storm Irene on August 28, 2011 and a snowstorm two months later, the Department of Public Utilities entered orders against three utility companies - National Grid, NSTAR Ele...

Commonwealth v. Thomas  
Date: September 2, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10826

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation, arson of a dwelling house, and attempted murder of thirteen persons arising from Defendant’s act of set...

Commonwealth v. Taylor  
Date: August 29, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11398

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the second degree. A panels of the Appeals Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the superior court did not er...

Commonwealth v. Selavka  
Date: August 25, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11461

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to eleven counts of possessing child pornography, one of the sex offenses enumerated in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, 47 that requires a defendant convicted of such an offense to be subject to global...

Commonwealth v. Guzman  
Date: August 25, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11483

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to several offenses, including the dissemination of visual material depicting a child in a state of nudity or sexual conduct, one of the sex offenses involving a child enumerated in Mass. Gen. La...

Commonwealth v. Forte  
Date: August 22, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10991

Justia Opinion Summary: A homeless man died after being stabbed in the alcove of a storefront. Two young women identified Defendant as the perpetrator. Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of extreme atrocity or c...

Nautical Tours, Inc. v. Dep’t of Pub. Utils.  
Date: August 20, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11455

Justia Opinion Summary: Nautical Tours, Inc. filed a petition with the Department of Public Utilities concerning its proposed operation of amphibious motor vehicles for sightseeing and charter purposes over certain public ways in Boston. Nautic...

Commonwealth v. Wright  
Date: August 20, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11501

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed. After various proceedings, Defen...

Commonwealth v. Vacher  
Date: August 19, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11220

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation, extreme atrocity or cruelty, and felony murder. Defendant appealed, arguing, among other things, that...

Commonwealth v. Gonzalez  
Date: August 19, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11428

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree of a theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty. Defendant appealed, raising five allegations of error. The Supreme Judicial Court rejected the first f...

Commonwealth v. Torres  
Date: August 18, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10849

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. Defendant filed a motion for a new trial, asserting multiple claims of in...

Garney v. Mass. Teachers' Ret. Sys.  
Date: August 18, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11493

Justia Opinion Summary: For over twenty years, Plaintiff worked as a ninth grade science teacher. In 2004, Plaintiff was arrested for the purchase and possession of child pornography. In 2006, Plaintiff resigned his position. In 2007, Plaintiff...

Figgs v. Boston Housing Auth.  
Date: August 18, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11532

Justia Opinion Summary: Trenea Figgs was a participant in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 8 program, which was administered by the Boston Housing Authority. After the discovery by police officers of m...

City of Springfield v. Civil Serv. Comm’n  
Date: August 18, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11540

Justia Opinion Summary: Soon after beginning work for the City of Springfield, Joseph McDowell achieved the status of a permanent, tenured civil service employee. McDowell was later provisionally promoted. McDowell worked in the second of his p...

Commonwealth v. Sullivan  
Date: August 15, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11504

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree and armed robbery. Defendant’s convictions were affirmed on direct appeal. Defendant subsequently sought postconviction relief in both state and f...

Commonwealth v. Pon  
Date: August 15, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11542

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the Supreme Judicial Court set forth a new standard for determining when substantial justice would best be served by the sealing of certain criminal records under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 276, 100C after conclud...

Serv. Employees Int’l Union, Local 509 v. Dep’t Mental Health  
Date: August 15, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11544

Justia Opinion Summary: The Service Employees International Union, Local 509 (Union) filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment that the Department of Mental Health (DMH) violated the Massachusetts privatization statute by entering into c...

Commonwealth v. Wood  
Date: August 7, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10977

Justia Opinion Summary: After Defendant’s first three trials ended in mistrials, a fourth trial was held, and Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on theories of felony-murder and extreme atrocity or cruelty. Defendant appealed...

Commonwealth v. Richardson  
Date: August 7, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11472

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of armed assault with intent to murder and unlawful possession of a firearm. Because the firearms offense for which Defendant was convicted had two applicable sentencing enhancement statutes, and...

Commonwealth v. Stewart  
Date: August 7, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11475

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was stopped by police officers while walking down the street. An officer asked for permission to search the backpack Defendant was carrying, whereupon Defendant removed the bag and handed it to the officer. The...

Zaleski v. Zaleski  
Date: August 1, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11391

Justia Opinion Summary: In December, 2010, Carolyn Zaleski (wife) filed for divorce from Stephen Zaleski (husband) on the ground that the marriage was irretrievably broken. A judgment was ultimately entered granting a divorce nisi on that groun...

Brockton Power Co. LLC v. Energy Facilities Siting Bd.  
Date: July 31, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11405

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2009, the Energy Facilities Siting Board approved the petition of Brockton Power Company LLC to build and operate a combined-cycle energy generating facility powered by natural gas and ultra-low sulfur distillate in t...

City of Brockton v. Energy Facilities Siting Bd.  
Date: July 31, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11406

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2009, the Energy Facilities Siting Board approved the petition of Brockton Power Company, LLC to build and operate a combined-cycle energy generating facility powered by natural gas and ultra-low sulfur distillate in...

Lightlab Imaging, Inc. v. Axsun Techs., Inc.  
Date: July 28, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11374

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, Lightlab Imaging, Inc., filed this action against Defendants, a competitor of Lightlab’s and a supplier, alleging, among other causes of action, breach of contract and the covenant of good faith and fair deali...

Woodward School for Girls, Inc. v. City of Quincy  
Date: July 23, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11390

Justia Opinion Summary: The City of Quincy (Quincy) served as trustee of the Adams Temple and School Fund and the Charles Francis Adams Fund (together, the Funds) through two boards. The Woodward School for Girls, Inc. (Woodward) has been the s...

Lu v. City of Boston  
Date: July 17, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11611

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed a complaint in federal court against the Trustees of the Boston Public Library and a library employee alleging that he was denied entrance to the Boston Public Library in violation of his civil rights. Th...

Golrick v. U.S. Bank, N.A.
Date: July 17, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11632
Watkins v. Commonwealth
Date: July 17, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11635
Commonwealth v. Jordan  
Date: July 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11440

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants were charged with firearms violations. Defendants filed motions to suppress, which the municipal court allowed. The Commonwealth appealed, but its notice of appeal was filed late in the trial court. The Common...

Sch. Comm. of Lexington v. Zagaeski  
Date: July 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11536

Justia Opinion Summary: The Lexington school district superintendent dismissed Mark Zagaeski, a Lexington high school teacher, from his position for conduct unbecoming a teacher. Zagaeski timely filed an appeal from the school district’s dismis...

Weiler v. PortfolioScope, Inc.  
Date: July 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11476

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, the former president and chief operating officer of PortfolioScope, Inc., brought suit against Portfolio and two individual defendants alleging, among other claims, breach of contract, violation of Mass. Gen....

Commonwealth v. White  
Date: July 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11497

Justia Opinion Summary: Law enforcement officers stopped the vehicle Defendant was driving and placed Defendant under arrest on outstanding arrest warrants. The officers proceeded to pat frisk Defendant’s outer clothing and opened a container f...

J.M. Hollister, LLC v. Architectural Access Bd.  
Date: July 10, 2014
Docket Number: 11473

Justia Opinion Summary: A Massachusetts regulation requires that each “entrance” to a public building or facility be accessible persons with disabilities. J.M. Hollister, LLC (Hollister) operated a retail store in Kingston with three doorways....

Wyman v. Ayer Props., LLC  
Date: July 10, 2014
Docket Number: 11474

Justia Opinion Summary: Ayer Properties, LLC (Ayer) purchased and converted a building into condominiums. Trustees of the Market Gallery Condominium Trust (trustees) filed an action against Ayer seeking damages stemming from Ayer’s negligent co...

Commonwealth v. Craan  
Date: July 9, 2014
Docket Number: 11436

Justia Opinion Summary: This case concerned the effect of the 2008 ballot initiative decriminalizing possession of one ounce or less of marijuana on police authority to conduct warrantless searches of vehicles resulting from the odor of unburnt...

Commonwealth v. Rex  
Date: July 9, 2014
Docket Number: 11480

Justia Opinion Summary: While conducting a search of the cell of Defendant, an inmate, correctional officers found seven photocopies of photographs that depicted naked children. The photographs were excerpted from a National Geographic magazine...

Commonwealth v. Overmyer  
Date: July 9, 2014
Docket Number: 11481

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether the smell of unburnt marijuana suffices to establish probable cause search an automobile. The question arose in the wake of the 2008 ballot initiative decriminalizing possession of one o...

Doe v. Sex Offender Registry Bd.  
Date: July 9, 2014
Docket Number: 11495

Justia Opinion Summary: The Sex Offender Registry Board notified Petitioner that it had preliminarily classified him as a level three sex offender. Petitioner requested a hearing. After the hearing had been completed but before the hearing exam...

Commonwealth v. McGee  
Date: July 1, 2014
Docket Number: 11209

Justia Opinion Summary: A grand jury indicted Defendant for the murder of his wife, who was choked and stabbed to death in the couple’s apartment. The killing was witnessed by the couple’s three and one-half year old son. During trial, Defendan...

Commonwealth v. Santry
Date: July 1, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11595
Commonwealth v. Gelfgatt  
Date: June 25, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11358

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, an attorney, was charged with multiple counts of, inter alia, forgery of a document and uttering a forged instrument. The charges stemmed from allegations that Defendant, through his use of computers, orchestr...

Commonwealth v. Andrade  
Date: June 25, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11388

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation and of unlawful possession of a firearm. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions, ho...

Abdow v. Attorney Gen.  
Date: June 24, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11641

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, ten Massachusetts voters, submitted for certification an initiative petition that sought to prohibit casino and slots gambling that had been made legal under the Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 and to abolish par...

Campatelli v. Chief Justice of the Trial Court  
Date: June 20, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11654

Justia Opinion Summary: Patricia Campatelli, the Register of Probate and Insolvency for Suffolk County, was suspended with pay pending further investigation of allegations of inappropriate conduct and mismanagement in the performance of her dut...

Commonwealth v. Harris  
Date: June 18, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11191

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did...

Commonwealth v. Mitchell  
Date: June 18, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11487

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was a telephone call recorded by the police between Defendant and a cooperating witness where the cooperating witness was instructed by law enforcement to elicit information regarding a “designate...

Commonwealth v. Copney  
Date: June 17, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11077

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of felony-murder, the predicate felony being attempted robbery, and of carrying a firearm without a license. The Supreme Judicial Cour...

Commonwealth v. Tassone  
Date: June 16, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11446

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of unarmed robbery and assault and battery. On appeal, Defendant challenged the trial court’s admission of expert opinion that the DNA profile generated from a known saliva sam...

Anthony RAFFAELE vs. COMMONWEALTH
Date: June 16, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11606
Commonwealth v. Morse  
Date: June 13, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11433

Justia Opinion Summary: A ten-year-old boy was in a kayak fishing with his father when Defendant, who was piloting a motorboat, struck the kayak, killing the boy and seriously injuring the father. After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of...

Polay v. McMahon  
Date: June 13, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11460

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs and Defendant were neighbors. Because of false police reports filed by Defendant, Defendant was granted a harassment prevention order against Plaintiffs, which was later vacated. Defendant also filed several c...

Randall v. Haddad  
Date: June 12, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11402

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs were granted relief an action filed against Marion Haddad and the Holy Annunciation Monastery Church of the Golden Hills. Plaintiffs sought to satisfy the judgment, which represented the proceeds from a sale o...

Commonwealth v. Cole  
Date: June 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11316

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was classified as a level two sex offender and was required to register as a sex offender. Defendant later pleaded guilty to failing to provide notice of a change of address. The district court sentenced him to...

Commonwealth v. Parrillo  
Date: June 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11414

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of fourteen and was sentenced to a period of imprisonment, probation, and community parole supervision for life (CPSL). Defendant filed a m...

Ferreira v. Chrysler Group LLC  
Date: June 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11450

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff purchased a new vehicle from Dealer that was subject to Manufacturer’s limited warranty. Plaintiff later filed a complaint against Manufacturer and Dealer (together, Defendants), alleging that the vehicle was d...

Singh v. Capuano  
Date: June 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11491,

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was granted a temporary abuse prevention order against Defendant and later sought to have the abuse prevention order extended for one year. The district court extended certain portions of the abuse prevention o...

Gangi v. Mass. Parole Bd.  
Date: June 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11505

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of a crime and sentenced to a period of imprisonment followed by community parole supervision for life (CPSL). While serving his CPSL sentence, Petitioner tested positive for opiates. During the...

Commonwealth v. Torres  
Date: June 10, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11498

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of committing assault and battery on a person protected by an abuse and prevention order and of violating an abuse preventing order. The Appeals Court affirmed. Defendant filed...

Commonwealth v. Powell  
Date: June 6, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11362

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was arrested in connection with the shooting death of Jonathan Nieves. While awaiting his initial appearance in the district court and after being held for approximately nine hours in the police station, Defend...

Robert ALDRICH, petitioner
Date: June 4, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11515
Twomey v. Town of Middleborough  
Date: June 2, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11435

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs were retired public employees who received a retirement allowances from the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System (MTRS) and the Plymouth County Retirement System pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 32. Plaint...

Nathan Marquis LeBARON vs. COMMONWEALTH
Date: June 2, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11599
K.G.M. Custom Homes, Inc. v. Prosky  
Date: May 29, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11449

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants and Plaintiff executed a purchase and sale agreement under which Defendants agreed to sell real property to Plaintiff. Later, Defendants’ attorney (“Attorney”) falsely told Plaintiffs that Defendants had recei...

Commonwealth v. Jackson  
Date: May 21, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11308

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree, armed robbery, and burglary arising out of events that occurred in 1990. Defendant filed two motions for a new trial, which were denied. Defendant subsequently obtai...

Commonwealth v. Rosa  
Date: May 20, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11377

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation and of possession of a firearm without a license. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions a...

Commonwealth v. Figueroa  
Date: May 19, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11189

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation. Defendant appealed, raising five claims of error. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed Defendant’s convict...

Commonwealth v. Sepheus  
Date: May 19, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11380

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury-waived trial, Defendant was convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. On appeal, Defendant argued, among other things, that his counsel provided ineffective assistance for failing to stri...

Commonwealth v. DeJesus  
Date: May 19, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11392

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, a noncitizen of the United States, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and received a sentence of probation. Defendant was subsequently arrested for driving without a license and tak...

Sorenti Bros., Inc. v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 19, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11420

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff brought this eminent domain action seeking damages from the Commonwealth on account of land takings that the Commonwealth made in connection with the Sagamore Bridge Flyover Project in Bourne that eliminated a...

In the Matter of Glenn H. HAESE
Date: May 16, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11510
Estate of Gavin v. Tewksbury State Hosp.  
Date: May 15, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11422

Justia Opinion Summary: The Estate of Steven Gavin filed a wrongful death action against the Commonwealth and Tewksbury State Hospital under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act, alleging that Gavin’s death was caused by the negligence of hospital...

New England Forestry Found., Inc. v. Bd. of Assessors of Hawley  
Date: May 15, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11432

Justia Opinion Summary: New England Forestry Foundation, Inc. (NEFF) was a nonprofit corporation organized under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 180 and the record owner of a parcel of forest land in the town of Hawley. The Board of Assessors for Hawley de...

Am Int’l Ins. Co. v. Robert Seuffer GmbH & Co. KG  
Date: May 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11418

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff-insurance company filed suit against Defendant-manufacturer, alleging various theories of products liability. Defendant raised the defense of a lack of personal jurisdiction in its answer but did not file a mot...

Commonwealth v. Buswell  
Date: May 13, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11378

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of enticement of a child and four counts of attempting to commit certain offenses, including rape of a child, indecent assault and battery on a child, and disseminating matt...

Doe v. Acton-Boxborough Reg’l Sch. Dist.  
Date: May 9, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11317

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs filed an action alleging that the practice by which the Nation’s pledge of allegiance is recited each morning in Defendants’ public schools violated (1) Plaintiffs’ equal protection rights under the Massachuse...

Wilkins v. City of Haverhill  
Date: May 9, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11417

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was injured when she slipped and fell on ice on the walkway of a public school. The walkway was owned and operated by the City of Haverhill, and Plaintiff was on the premises to attend a scheduled parent-teache...

Commonwealth v. Donald  
Date: May 6, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11348

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of aggravated rape, unarmed robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. During trial, the State presented evidence indicating that...

COMMONWEALTH vs. Kerron Randell LEWIS.
Date: May 6, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11500
Watts v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 6, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11613

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners Ronald Watts and Kevin Aguirre were charged by way of complaints issued in district court with criminal offenses that Petitioners allegedly committed when they were each seventeen years old. The Governor subs...

Commonwealth v. Webb  
Date: April 29, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11291

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty and of unlawful possession of a firearm. The Supreme Judicial Court af...

Silva v. Carmel  
Date: April 18, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11438

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant and the victim in this case were intellectually disabled adults who lived together in a State-licensed residential facility. After Defendant pushed the victim into a bathroom, causing injuries to the victim, Pl...

Commonwealth v. Nelson  
Date: April 17, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11337

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction and discerned no basis to exercise its au...

Commonwealth v. Riley  
Date: April 15, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10974

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty for the murder of his four-year-old daughter, who died from intoxication due to sedating drugs found i...

Fitchburg Gas & Elec. Light Co. v. Dep’t of Pub. Utils.  
Date: April 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11397

Justia Opinion Summary: The Department of Public Utilities imposed on Petitioners, electric companies, monetary assessments for the Storm Trust Fund (“assessment”) pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 25, 12P, 18, which specifically prohibited Petit...

Commonwealth v. Shea  
Date: April 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11412

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of violating a protection order issued by a judge in New Hampshire in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, 7. On appeal, Defendant argued, among other things, that the trial...

May v. Suntrust Mortgage, Inc.  
Date: April 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11439

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs refinanced their home in a mortgage loan transaction with Summit Mortgage. The mortgage was later assigned to Defendant, SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. Facing foreclosure, Plaintiffs filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy....

Commonwealth v. Duncan  
Date: April 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11373

Justia Opinion Summary: After receiving a telephone call from Defendant’s neighbor, police entered Defendant’s front yard without a warrant and seized three dogs, two of which appeared to be dead, that had been left outside in severely inclemen...

Sheehan v. Weaver  
Date: April 10, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11395

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff rented an apartment from Defendants, the owner and manager of the property. While ascending an exterior staircase leading to an outer door on the second floor landing, Plaintiff leaned against the staircase gua...

Harrington v. Costello  
Date: April 9, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11383

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff and the two defendants in this case were Roman Catholic priests. In 2010, Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that Defendants published, in the parish where Defendant was serving, a false and defamatory stalki...

Commonwealth v. Johnston  
Date: April 8, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-09919

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation, extreme atrocity or cruelty, and felony-murder, and related crimes. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed t...

Commonwealth v. Hearns  
Date: April 8, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11419

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, Defendant, who was known to be associated with a gang, was indicted for the murder of a fourteen-year-old and the wounding of a fifteen-year-old. The Commonwealth, which believed the murder was committed in conn...

Bakwin v. Mardirosian  
Date: April 2, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11393

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of possessing or concealing stolen paintings. The victim of the theft (Plaintiff) filed a civil suit against Defendant for, among other claims, violations of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (U...

Ret. Bd. of Somerville v. Buonomo  
Date: April 2, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11413

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2000, John Buonomo retired from his position as a Somerville alderman and began receiving pension benefits from the retirement board of Somerville (“Board”). Buonomo was subsequently elected register of probate of Mid...

Holmes v. Holmes  
Date: April 2, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11538

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2006, Wife filed a complaint for divorce against Husband. The judge ordered Husband to pay temporary alimony pending final adjudication of the divorce, which entered in 2008. In 2011, Wife filed a complaint for modifi...

Commonwealth v. Sealy  
Date: April 1, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11416

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of rape. Defendant’s appeal centered on his argument that the victim, an undocumented immigrant, characterized her consensual sex with Defendant as rape in her report to police...

Moe v. Sex Offender Registry Bd.  
Date: March 26, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11520

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case were amendments to the Sex Offender Registry Law that the Governor signed into law on July 12, 2013, including amendments that would require the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) to publish on the...

Town of Hanover v. New England Reg’l Council of Carpenters  
Date: March 25, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11396

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, the town of Hanover, filed suit against Defendant, the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, alleging that Defendant engaged in abuse of process in prior legal proceedings by maintaining the litigation,...

Doherty v. Planning Bd. of Scituate  
Date: March 21, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11401

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was the owner of two adjacent unimproved lots in the town of Scituate. The lots were located in a flood plain and watershed protection district (FPWP district). Plaintiff applied for special permits from the To...

Commonwealth v. Walker  
Date: March 21, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11445

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury-waived trial, a superior court judge determined that Defendant was a sexually dangerous person and ordered him civilly committed. Defendant’s past sexual offenses included a noncontact offense and at lea...

Commonwealth v. Almeida  
Date: March 21, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11486

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a trial, a judge of the superior court civilly committed Defendant based on the judge’s finding that Defendant was a sexually dangerous person. The judge noted that Defendant’s sexual offenses were noncontact o...

Commonwealth v. Fay  
Date: March 21, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11534

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury-waived trial, Defendant was found to be a sexually dangerous person and ordered civilly committed. While the judge found that although Defendant was only likely to commit noncontact sexual offenses in the fu...

Gianareles v. Zegarowski  
Date: March 19, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11531

Justia Opinion Summary: When Mother’s child was one year old, Mother’s grandmother (Grandmother) sought to have herself appointed as the child’s guardian. After Mother purportedly consented to Grandmother’s appointment as the permanent guardian...

Commonwealth v. Muniur M.  
Date: March 18, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11552

Justia Opinion Summary: When Muniur M. was fourteen years old, he was charged with delinquency by reason of rape of a child with force. Muniur later admitted to sufficient facts to warrant an adjudication of delinquency on the charge of statuto...

Commonwealth v. Dalton  
Date: March 17, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11429

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury-waived trial, Defendant was found guilty of statutory rape. Defendant filed a motion for relief from the obligation to register as a sex offender. After a hearing, the judge (1) concluded that Mass. Gen. Law...

Commonwealth v. Pike  
Date: March 17, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11499

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to several charges, including indecent assault and battery. As a condition of his probation, Defendant was required to register as a sex offender. Defendant was subsequently convicted of failing...

John F. ZULLO vs. CULIK LAW P.C. & another.
Date: March 17, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11576
Commonwealth v. Bukin  
Date: March 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11306

Justia Opinion Summary: After a probation revocation hearing, a district court judge found that Defendant had violated the conditions of his probation and revoked Defendant's probation. On appeal, Defendant argued, among other things, that the...

Selmark Assocs., Inc. v. Ehrlich  
Date: March 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11333

Justia Opinion Summary: Selmark Associates, Inc. and Marathon Sales, Ltd. were closely held Massachusetts corporations that operated manufacturer’s representative companies. In 2001, Evan Ehrlich entered into a series of written agreements prov...

Estate of Moulton v. Puopolo  
Date: March 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11357

Justia Opinion Summary: Stephanie Moulton was employed as a residential treatment counselor at North Suffolk Mental Health Association, Inc. when she was assaulted by DeShawn Chappell, one of the facility’s residents, causing her death. Moulton...

Commonwealth v. Wade  
Date: March 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11506

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder on a theory of felony-murder and aggravated rape. The conviction of murder was affirmed on appeal and the conviction of aggravated rape was vacated as du...

Commonwealth v. Spray  
Date: March 13, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10095

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, his brother, his sister-in-law, and his cousin worked together in a tiling business in Oklahoma. All four individuals were hired to install tile in a fast-food restaurant under construction in Clinton. While w...

Commonwealth v. Meas  
Date: March 12, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11043

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation and of unlawful possession of a firearm. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order denying Defendant’s...

U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Schumacher  
Date: March 12, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11490

Justia Opinion Summary: On April 12, 2010, U.S. Bank National Association initiated a summary process action against Defendant, seeking to evict him from property he owned following the property’s sale to the Bank at a foreclosure auction. On M...

Commonwealth v. Hoose  
Date: March 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10872

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of murder in the first degree. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions, holding that the trial judge (1) did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to...

MacDonald v. Caruso  
Date: March 11, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11381

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed an application for an ex parte temporary restraining order under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, 4 against Defendant. A probate and family court judge issued a permanent abuse prevention order directing Defenda...

Commonwealth v. Robertson  
Date: March 5, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11353

Justia Opinion Summary: While Defendant was a passenger on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) trolley on two occasions, Defendant aimed the camera on his cellular telephone at the crotch areas of seated female passengers and...

Commonwealth v. Rodriguez  
Date: March 5, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11462

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with several drug-related offenses. The substances in plastic bags seized from Defendant were sent to the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute for testing and were determined to contain 5.19...

COMMONWEALTH vs. Adam DAVILA
Date: March 5, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11463
COMMONWEALTH vs. Corey BJORK
Date: March 5, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11464
Commonwealth v. Scott  
Date: March 5, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11465

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant admitted to sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilty for possessing a class B controlled substance. The substance was tested at the forensic drug lab at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute....

COMMONWEALTH vs. Rene TORRES
Date: March 5, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11466
Commonwealth v. Gardner  
Date: March 5, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11470

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011, allegations surfaced that Annie Dookhan, a chemist who had been employed at the forensic drug laboratory at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute, had engaged in egregious misconduct regarding her han...

Commonwealth v. Arce  
Date: February 27, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11451

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2006, Defendant pleaded guilty to sex-related charges and was required to register as a level three sex offender. In 2010, Defendant was arrested and charged with violating Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 6, 178H(a)(1). Specifica...

Commonwealth v. Martin  
Date: February 26, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10836

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of felony-murder, with armed robbery as the predicate felony. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the conviction of murder in the fi...

Commonwealth v. Hart  
Date: February 26, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11344

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to complaints charging him with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Defendant subsequently filed a motion for a new trial seeking to vacate his guilty plea to the charge of resisting arrest....

In re Jamison  
Date: February 20, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11452

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, nine-year-old Jamison and three of his siblings became the wards of their maternal aunt and her spouse (together, “guardians”). Two years later, the guardians voluntarily terminated their guardianship of Jamison...

Pepin v. Div. of Fisheries & Wildlife  
Date: February 18, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11332

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners owned thirty-six acres of land in Hampden. The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (Division), a unit of the Department of Environmental Protection, restricted Petitioners’ ability to construct a home on their...

Commonwealth v. Augustine  
Date: February 18, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11482

Justia Opinion Summary: After Defendant was indicted on murder charges, Defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence of cell site location information (CSLI) associated with the cellular phone he was using because the CSLI was obtained without...

Commonwealth v. Wadlington  
Date: February 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10863

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theories of deliberate premeditation, extreme atrocity or cruelty, and felony-murder. The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions, h...

Commonwealth v. Joyner  
Date: February 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11349

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of armed robbery. Defendant appealed from his conviction and from the revocation of his probation that resulted from the conviction, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence...

Galiastro v. Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., Inc.  
Date: February 13, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11299

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was Eaton v. Fed. Nat’l Mortgage Ass’n, which held that a foreclosure by power of sale is invalid unless a foreclosing party holds the mortgage and also holds either the underlying mortgage note o...

Commonwealth v. McGee  
Date: February 12, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-09715

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and felony-murder. The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions, holding (1) the motion judge correc...

Commonwealth v. Ray  
Date: February 12, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10535

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of deliberately premeditated murder in the first degree and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Defendant was sixteen years old at the time of...

Commonwealth v. Morganti  
Date: February 12, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11281

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree. During jury empanelment, the court room was closed to all members of the public, including Defendant’s family. After the Supreme Court’s ruling i...

Commonwealth v. Alebord  
Date: February 12, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11354

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2004, after a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the second degree. During jury empanelment, the court officers closed the court room to all members of the public, including Defendant’s family and friend...

Commonwealth v. Labadie  
Date: February 5, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11321,

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, George Labadie and Susan Carcieri, the latter of whom was employed by a federal credit union, were convicted of violating Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 266, 52 for embezzling a “bank.” At issue on appeal was w...

Pedro CLAUDIO, Jr. vs. COMMONWEALTH
Date: February 5, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11489
Commonwealth v. Molina  
Date: January 29, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11329

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder and related firearm charges. The appeals court affirmed. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress statements he made t...

Smith v. Mastalerz  
Date: January 28, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11039

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff applied for harassment prevention orders against Defendant because, apparently, several months after Defendant moved out of the apartment he and Plaintiff shared, Defendant drove past Plaintiff as she stood out...

Seney v. Morhy  
Date: January 28, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11399

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was an assistant coach of a little league baseball team for which Defendant’s son played. Plaintiff applied for a harassment prevention order against Defendant, stating that he was fearful for himself and his f...

Commonwealth v. Keo  
Date: January 21, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10949

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant, who was a juvenile at the time of the offense for which he was found guilty, was convicted of murder in the first degree for his knowing participation along with three other young men in th...

Martin v. Simmons Props., LLC  
Date: January 16, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11325

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was the owner of a parcel of land that was subject to and had the benefit of several easements, including Way A, which was created so the easement holder could access his lot, which otherwise had no direct acce...

Commonwealth v. Gentile  
Date: January 14, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11372

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of two indictments alleging receipt of stolen property. Defendant appealed, arguing that the judge erred in denying his motion to suppress because the arrest warrants leading to the search of an a...

Commonwealth v. Pariseau  
Date: January 13, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11302

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was incarcerated for rape of a child when the Commonwealth filed a petition to have him declared a sexually dangerous person (SDP). Several months after the conclusion of a jury-waived trial, a superior court j...

Johnson v. Kindred Healthcare, Inc.  
Date: January 13, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11335

Justia Opinion Summary: Barbara Johnson, in her capacity as her husband Dalton’s health care agent, signed an agreement with a nursing facility to arbitrate disputes arising from Dalton’s stay at the facility. While a resident of the facility,...

Licata v. GGNSC Malden Dexter LLC  
Date: January 13, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11336

Justia Opinion Summary: When Rita Licata was transferred to a nursing facility operated by Defendant Rita’s son Salvatore signed an agreement with the facility to arbitrate disputes arising from Rita’s stay at the facility. Salvatore signed the...

Commonwealth v. Labroad  
Date: January 13, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11421

Justia Opinion Summary: After a second jury trial, Defendant was convicted of rape of a child. Prior to trial, Defendant moved to compel the production of psychological records of the complainant in the custody of the complainant’s psychologist...

COMMONWEALTH vs. Joseph DEMERS, JR
Date: January 13, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11588
Robert SILVA vs. Heather SILVA
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11560
Commonwealth v. Berry  
Date: January 9, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11190

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded for a new trial. Defendant was tried again and was again convi...

Commonwealth v. Maldonado  
Date: January 8, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10769

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions and the denial of...

Commonwealth v. Denehy  
Date: January 8, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-11296

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury trial nearly three years after his initial arraignment, Defendant was convicted of disorderly conduct and assault by means of a dangerous weapon. The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s convictions and di...

Commonwealth v. Woods  
Date: January 2, 2014
Docket Number: SJC-10793

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of first degree murder on a theory of joint venture and sentenced to life in prison. Defendant appealed, arguing, among other things, that the trial judge erred in finding that he was not a target...

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