Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Decisions 2015

Afrasiabi v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 31, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11982

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was the defendant in a criminal case in which he was charged with a single count of criminal harassment. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, alleging that the clerk-magistrate issued the compla...

Commonwealth v. Gonzalez  
Date: December 30, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11411

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation. Defendant appealed, asserting, among other claims, that he was entitled to a new trial because he wa...

Commonwealth v. Kaeppeler  
Date: December 30, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11855

Justia Opinion Summary: After learning that two of the guests from a party at Defendant’s house were ill from ingesting tequila and that Defendant might also be ill, the police entered Defendant’s home to perform a well-being check under the “e...

Commonwealth v. Hernandez  
Date: December 29, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11574

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of armed robbery, two counts of murder in the first degree, and one count each of home invasion, unlawful possession of ammunition, and possessing a firearm witho...

Wing v. Comm’r of Probation  
Date: December 28, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11842

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with malicious destruction of property over $250. The charge was based on the allegation that Defendant caused a security gate at his property to strike and damage the complaining witness’s (CW) veh...

Maling v. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP  
Date: December 23, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11800

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff engaged Defendants, a law firm and three individual attorneys, to represent him in connection with the prosecution of patents for Plaintiff’s inventions for a new screwless eyeglasses. After learning that Defen...

Commonwealth v. St. Louis  
Date: December 23, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11862

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted on four indictments alleging indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, 13F. The crimes were alleged to have occurred between...

Commonwealth v. Cole  
Date: December 18, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11346

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. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictio...

Doe v. Sex Offender Registry Board  
Date: December 11, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11823

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was found guilty of indecent assault and battery on a child under fourteen. While Plaintiff was still incarcerated, the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) recommended that Plaintiff be classified as a level thr...

Carrington v. Commonwealth
Date: December 11, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11889
Souza v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 11, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11941

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of four counts of violating an abuse prevention order. Petitioner’s direct appeal was entered in the Appeals Court and was pending there when he filed a pleading in the county court entitled “Pet...

Chin v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 10, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11860

Justia Opinion Summary: A petition for Defendant’s civil commitment as a sexually dangerous person was pending in the superior court. Defendant assented to a finding of probable cause and was temporarily committed for examination and diagnosis...

Koll v. Edelstein  
Date: December 10, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11868

Justia Opinion Summary: In the course of their divorce proceedings, Husband and Wife signed a stipulation that they would sell the marital home. The parties were unable to agree on the details, and a judge in the Probate and Family Court appoin...

Sliney v. Previte  
Date: December 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11844

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, Plaintiff filed an action alleging that Defendant had sexually abused her between 1968 and 1977, when she was a child. Until June 2014, civil actions alleging sexual abuse of a minor were governed by a three-yea...

Brea v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11845

Justia Opinion Summary: The district court issued a complaint charging Defendant with distribution of heroin and conspiracy to violate the drug laws. Prior to arraignment, Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint. A district court judge denied...

Commonwealth v. Tejeda  
Date: December 2, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11858

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the second degree on the theory of felony-murder, with armed robbery as the underlying felony. The trial judge allowed Defendant’s motion for a required finding of...

In the Matter of Chalupowski
Date: December 1, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11548
Field v. Commonwealth  
Date: December 1, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11817

Justia Opinion Summary: After a trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree. Defendant appealed. Defendant also filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that she was deprived of the effective assistance of trial counsel. Defenda...

Scholz v. Delp  
Date: November 25, 2015
Docket Numbers: SJC-11511, SJC-11621

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, Brad Delp, the lead singer of the rock band “Boston,” committed suicide. The Boston Herald, Inc., published three stories regarding Brad’s suicide. The two authors of the newspaper articles relied on information...

Commonwealth v. Garrett  
Date: November 25, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11852

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted on three indictments charging armed robbery with a firearm while masked. Defendant used a BB gun to perpetrate each of the robberies. Defendant appealed, arguing that the evide...

Commonwealth v. Watkins  
Date: November 24, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-09950

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions and the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion for a new trial and declined to reduce...

Commonwealth v. Chappell  
Date: November 23, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11687

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction and declined to grant relief pursuant to...

Trapp v. Roden  
Date: November 23, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11863

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1995, Randall Trapp and four other inmates, who were adherents of Native American religious practices, filed a complaint asserting that the Department of Correction (DOC) had violated their rights to exercise their re...

Monteiro v. Commonwealth  
Date: November 20, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11782

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1983, Petitioner was convicted of murder in the first degree. In 2013, Petitioner filed in the trial court a motion for appointment of counsel to filed for forensic and scientific analysis pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws...

Commonwealth v. Cadet  
Date: November 18, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-10505

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty. While his appeal was pending, Defendant filed a motion for a new trial. The motion was denied. Defe...

Commonwealth v. Mogelinkski  
Date: November 13, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11856

Justia Opinion Summary: Two weeks before Defendant’s eighteenth birthday, delinquency complaints were filed alleging two counts of rape of a child under sixteen. Defendant appeared in the juvenile court and was duly arraigned. After Defendant t...

Commonwealth v. Foxworth  
Date: November 12, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-10993

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of deliberately premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions and declined to reduce the degree of guilt or order a n...

Commonwealth v. Bell  
Date: November 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11444

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of felony-murder, armed home invasion, arson, and violations of an abuse prevention order. The convictions arose from the death of the...

Special Release--Order in Recinos v. Escobar
Date: November 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11986
In re G.P.  
Date: November 5, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11911

Justia Opinion Summary: A district court judge ordered Petitioner committed to the Women’s Addiction Treatment Center pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123, 35, a statute that authorizes the involuntary civil commitment of a person, for care and...

Commonwealth v. Rivera  
Date: October 29, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11700

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted on two indictments charging murder in the first degree and one indictment charging unlawful carrying of a firearm. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions. Defendant subsequently filed...

Commonwealth v. Cameron  
Date: October 28, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11835

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty on two indictments charging rape. During trial, the Commonwealth offered in evidence a laboratory report regarding the presence of seminal residue on the complainant’s under...

Champa v. Weston Public Schools  
Date: October 23, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11838

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether settlement agreements between a public school and the parents of a public school student who requires special education are public records subject to disclosure. Plaintiff requested from...

Commonwealth v. Doe  
Date: October 22, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11861

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, 47, which requires a person placed on probation for a sex offense to wear a global positioning system (GPS) device for the length of his probation. Defendant in this cas...

In re Custody of Victoria  
Date: October 21, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11826

Justia Opinion Summary: Victoria was born in Mexico in 1997 and later moved to Texas. The Office of Refugee Resettlement designated Victoria as an unaccompanied refugee minor and assigned her for placement in Massachusetts. Three weeks after Vi...

Matter of Pansé
Date: October 6, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11846
Commonwealth v. Lavrinenko  
Date: October 5, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11792

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, a noncitizen, admitted into the United States as a refugee. Defendant entered a guilty plea to a complaint charging him with, among other counts, assault by means of a dangerous weapon. Thereafter, Defendant f...

Commonwealth v. Drayton  
Date: October 1, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-10667

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree. The bulk of the evidence at trial derived from the testimony of a single witness, James Jackson. One and one-half years after Defendant’s conviction, another individ...

Commonwealth v. Spinucci  
Date: September 29, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-10018

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree on the theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty and four related offenses. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions and decline...

Skandha v. Clerk of Superior Court for Civil Bus. in Suffolk County  
Date: September 29, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11811

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner and two other plaintiffs filed a complaint against the Committee for Public Counsel Services and several associated attorneys alleging violations of their due process rights. The superior court dismissed the c...

Commonwealth v. Estabrook  
Date: September 28, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11833

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants, Jason Estabrook and Adam Bradley, were indicted for murder and related crimes. At issue in this case was the superior court’s denial of Defendants’ motion to suppress historical cellular site location informa...

Commonwealth v. Scott  
Date: September 24, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11097

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was tried and convicted of murder in the first degree based on a theory of felony-murder, with armed home invasion as the predicate felony. While Defendant’s appeal was pending, he filed a motion for postconvic...

Commonwealth v. Bonnett  
Date: September 24, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11496

Justia Opinion Summary: After a trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation. Defendant filed a motion for a new trial, which the trial judge denied. Defendant appealed from his conviction...

Sherman v. Town of Randolph  
Date: September 24, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11711

Justia Opinion Summary: The town of Randolph bypassed Plaintiff, a police officer with the town, and appointed three candidates with lower scores on the police sergeant’s examination to its three open police sergeant positions. Plaintiff appeal...

Malloch v. Town of Hanover  
Date: September 24, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11713

Justia Opinion Summary: The Town of Hanover decided to bypass Plaintiff, a police officer with the town, and appoint two candidates with lower scores on the police sergeant’s examination to its open police sergeant positions. Plaintiff appealed...

C.E. v. J.E.  
Date: September 23, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11945

Justia Opinion Summary: During the divorce proceedings of Husband and Wife, the trial judge found that Husband’s alleged abuse of one of the parties’ two minor children had not been proved by a preponderance of the evidence. A judgment of divor...

Hickey v. Pathways Ass’n, Inc.  
Date: September 22, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11603

Justia Opinion Summary: The plaintiffs in this case owned beachfront lots in the Town of Dennis, and the defendants owned lots located to the south and west of the plaintiffs’ lots. The parties, who were in the same subdivision, disputed access...

Commonwealth v. Rodriguez  
Date: September 22, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11814

Justia Opinion Summary: A police officer stopped a vehicle based on the officer’s detection of an odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle. During the course of the stop, police discovered sixty Percocet pills. Defendant, a passenger in...

Commonwealth v. Jones  
Date: September 21, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11775

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of rape and furnishing alcohol to a minor. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant’s convictions and remanded for a new trial, holding (1) the trial judge erred in permitt...

Commonwealth v. Walters  
Date: September 18, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11799

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of stalking, criminal harassment, restraining order violations, and perjury charges. At issue on appeal was whether Defendant’s act of posting on his Facebook page a photograph...

Commonwealth v. Niemic  
Date: September 17, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11535

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 Judicial Court vacated the judgment, holding (1) the evidence warranted an instruction on...

Commerce Ins. Co., Inc. v. Gentile  
Date: September 16, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11706

Justia Opinion Summary: Vittorio and Lydia Gentile were policyholders under a Massachusetts automobile insurance policy issued by Commerce Insurance Company. Their grandson, Vittorio Gentile, Jr. (Junior), an “excluded operator” under the polic...

Boyle v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co.  
Date: September 14, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11791

Justia Opinion Summary: Joseph and Janice Boyle sued C&N Corporation. C&N held an insurance policy issued by Zurich American Insurance Company requiring that C&N provide notice to Zurich of any lawsuit brought against it. C&N did not notify Zur...

Kace v. Liang  
Date: September 10, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11827

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, Plaintiff commenced this wrongful death action as the administrator of the decedent’s estate alleging that Defendant’s medical care and treatment of the decedent was negligent and grossly negligent and that Defe...

Commonwealth v. Penn  
Date: September 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-10503

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation. Defendant was sentenced to the mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Th...

Commonwealth v. Camacho  
Date: September 8, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11138

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree and related charges. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions, holding (1) when assessed through the lens of Commonwealth v....

Commonwealth v. Sallop  
Date: September 3, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11753

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was sentenced to committed time on a conviction. Defendant successfully moved to vacate community parole supervision for life and was resentenced to a term of probation. Defendant moved to vacate the condition...

Reade v. Sec’y of Commonwealth  
Date: September 3, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11776

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff commenced an action alleging various constitutional violations with respect to the presidential ballot. Along with his complaint, Plaintiff filed an affidavit of indigence pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 26...

Commonwealth v. Dorazio  
Date: September 2, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11765

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of rape of a child by force and of assault with intent to rape a second child. The Appeals Court affirmed. Defendant appealed, arguing that the admission of evidence relatin...

Coghlin Elec. Contractors, Inc. v. Gilbane Bldg. Co.  
Date: September 2, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11778

Justia Opinion Summary: The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAM), the owner of a construction project, entered into a contract with a designer to prepare the project’s designs. DCAM contracted with Gilbane Building Compan...

Doe v. City of Lynn  
Date: August 28, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11822

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was an ordinance imposing restrictions on the right of sex offenders to reside in the City of Lynn. Plaintiffs, a class of sex offenders subject to the ordinance, challenged the ordinance's consti...

Commonwealth v. Freeman  
Date: August 27, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11745

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants were indicted on charges of unarmed robbery and assault and battery. Defendants both committed the offenses prior to their eighteenth birthdays. The Governor subsequently signed an “Act expanding juvenile juri...

Commonwealth v. Bruneau  
Date: August 27, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11820

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, Defendant was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder but was found not competent to stand trial until 2013. Thereafter, the Commonwealth filed a nolle prosequi with respect to the portion of the indictment...

Doe, Sex Offender Registry Bd. No. 3839 v. Sex Offender Registry Bd.  
Date: August 21, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11604

Justia Opinion Summary: John Doe was adjudicated a delinquent juvenile by reason of sex offenses and was committed to the Department of Youth Services. Defendant was later found to be a sexually dangerous person and was civilly committed for a...

Doe, Sex Offender Registry Bd. No. 7083 v. Sex Offender Registry Bd.  
Date: August 21, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11806

Justia Opinion Summary: John Doe, Sex Offender Registry Board No. 7083, was serving a criminal sentence and had been civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person when the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) notified him of its recommendation...

Commonwealth v. Monroe  
Date: August 19, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11813

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of several crimes based on three incidents that occurred in October 2010 when Defendant accosted three different teenage victims as they walked to school. On appeal, Defendant...

Commonwealth v. Augustine  
Date: August 18, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11803

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted for murder. Defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence of his cell site location information (CSLI) relating to his cellular telephone. The Commonwealth had obtained Defendant’s CSLI for a fourt...

Commonwealth v. Jones-Pannell  
Date: August 14, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11737

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant fled when two Boston police officers attempted to stop and question him. When the officers apprehended Defendant, a handgun containing ammunition fell from his pants. Defendant was charged with multiple firearm...

Commonwealth v. Douglas  
Date: August 14, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11824

Justia Opinion Summary: Boston police officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic infraction. The officers ordered the two rear seat passengers to get out of the vehicle and pat frisked each for weapons. Defendant, the front seat passenger, got ou...

Commonwealth v. McGhee  
Date: August 13, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11821

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendants - Tyshaun McGhee and Sidney McGhee - were convicted of three counts of trafficking persons for sexual servitude, in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, 50 (the statute), and related charg...

Commonwealth v. Lucas  
Date: August 6, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11830

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with violating Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 56, 42, which criminalizes certain false statements about political candidates or questions submitted to voters, after her political action committee published bro...

Commonwealth v. Lang  
Date: August 4, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-10405

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 the orders denying his motion for a n...

Murray v. Town of Hudson  
Date: August 3, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11816

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff injured his knee while warming up in the bullpen of a public park in the Town of Hudson before a varsity game between two high school teams. Plaintiff, a ballplayer with the visiting team, brought this action a...

Pugsley v. Police Dep’t of Boston  
Date: July 31, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11740

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a male, was a candidate for the December, 2010 police academy class. When Plaintiff was not admitted, he brought a claim of sex discrimination against the Boston Police Department and the Commonwealth’s Human...

Rosencranz v. Commonwealth
Date: July 31, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11783
Commonwealth v. Roberts  
Date: July 30, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11825

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to several sexual offenses, including forcible rape, committed against three children. Neither Defendant’s defense counsel nor the judge who accepted his guilty pleas informed Defendant that his...

Commonwealth v. Fritz  
Date: July 29, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-07763

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 a...

Tirado v. Bd. of Appeal on Motor Vehicle Liability Policies & Bonds  
Date: July 28, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11818

Justia Opinion Summary: Each plaintiff in these consolidated appeals was licensed as a commercial driver and was charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Each plaintiff admitted to sufficient fact...

Commonwealth v. Lessieur  
Date: July 27, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-10784

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation. Defendant’s motion for a new trial was denied. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convicti...

Commonwealth v. Brewer  
Date: July 24, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11819

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the second degree, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a loaded firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition. The Supreme Judicial Court aff...

Commonwealth v. Melo  
Date: July 23, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11513

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of felony-murder. Defendant appealed, arguing, inter alia, that the trial court erred in its partial denial of his motion to suppres...

Commonwealth v. Traylor  
Date: July 22, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11788

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of seven indictments charging offenses under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, 13J(b), which imposes criminal penalties on a person who wantonly or recklessly permits bodily injury to a...

Rodriguez v. City of Somerville  
Date: July 20, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11767

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, acting on behalf of his minor son, commenced this negligence action against the City of Somerville. The City filed a motion to dismiss under Mass. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), claiming that Plaintiff failed to meet th...

Pinti v. Emigrant Mortgage Co., Inc.  
Date: July 17, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11742

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs granted a mortgage on their property to Emigrant Mortgage Company, Inc. Emigrant later foreclosed on the mortgage by exercise of the power of sale contained in the mortgage. Harold Wilion purchased the propert...

Carrington v. Commonwealth  
Date: July 17, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11834

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of larceny of a motor vehicle. The Commonwealth nol prossed the portion of the indictment that alleged a second or subsequent offense. Defendant filed motions pursuant to Mass....

Wong v. Luu  
Date: July 15, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11789

Justia Opinion Summary: In the underlying case, certain parties moved for sanctions against Attorney on the grounds that he had violated the rules of professional conduct and interfered with the effective administration of justice. The judge or...

Commonwealth v. Scesny  
Date: July 14, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11627

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree and aggravated rape. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the evidence was insufficient to support Defend...

Commonwealth v. Alcide  
Date: July 13, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-10342

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation. Defendant filed a motion for a new trial, asserting that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistanc...

Commonwealth v. Mulgrave  
Date: July 13, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11569

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 the convictions, holding that the trial judge did not err in (1)...

DeMatos v. Commonwealth  
Date: July 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11734

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of trafficking in oxycodone. Defendant’s appeal from his convictions was pending at the time of this opinion. Here, Defendant appealed from two judgments of a sin...

Commonwealth v. Clark  
Date: July 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11815

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of rape, unarmed robbery, and kidnapping. The appeals court affirmed. Defendant was subsequently paroled, but his parole was revoked when he pleaded guilty to larceny over $250...

Commonwealth v. Costa  
Date: July 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11828

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of two counts of murder in the first degree. Defendant was sixteen years old at the time of the crimes. Defendant was sentenced in 1994 to two consecutive sentences of life without the possibility...

Commonwealth v. Gorham  
Date: July 8, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-10587

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of deliberately premeditated murder. On appeal, Defendant filed a motion for a new trial and a motion for funds for an investigator. The trial judge denied the motions without...

Showtime Ent., LLC v. Town of Mendon  
Date: July 8, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11770

Justia Opinion Summary: The Town of Mendon adopted a bylaw prohibiting the sale or presence of alcohol at adult entertainment establishments. Showtime Entertainment, LLC, which sought to operate an adult entertainment establishment within the T...

Shipps v. District Attorney for the Norfolk District
Date: July 6, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11733
Doyle v. Commonwealth
Date: July 6, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11787
Vigiard v. Commonwealth
Date: July 6, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11804
Commonwealth v. Companonio
Date: July 6, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11832
Commonwealth v. Dossantos  
Date: July 1, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11790

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with one count of assault and battery on a family member. Prior to Defendant’s release upon arraignment, the Commonwealth submitted a preliminary written statement pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 27...

Schussel v. Comm’r of Revenue  
Date: July 1, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11807

Justia Opinion Summary: George and Sandra Schussel filed no tax returns between 1989 and 2007. In 2007, George was convicted of federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges. Thereafter, the Commissioner of Revenue issued the Schussels a notice of...

Commonwealth v. Libby  
Date: July 1, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11831

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2002, Defendant was convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen, which qualifies as a “sexual offense” under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123A, 1. In 2013, Defendant was indicted for failure...

Commonwealth v. Wallace  
Date: June 30, 2015
Docket Numbers: SJC-11705, SJC-11707

Justia Opinion Summary: A Massachusetts grand jury issued indictments against Defendants, Nickoyan Wallace and Timi Wallace, accusing them of murder. Defendants were in federal custody from 2000 until 2009. Not until 2009 did prosecutors initia...

Commonwealth v. Libby  
Date: June 26, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11749

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted on four counts of forcible rape of a child and four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen. Defendant filed a motion to suppress statements he made to police of...

Commonwealth v. Dorvil  
Date: June 25, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11738

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of assault and battery for spanking his daughter, who was then almost three years old. Defendant appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction in light of the pare...

Commonwealth v. Bastaldo  
Date: June 25, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11763

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of mayhem and resisting arrest. Defendant appealed, arguing, among other things, that the judge abused her discretion in denying Defendant’s requested cross-racial and cross-ethnic eyewitness iden...

Commonwealth v. Kolenovic  
Date: June 23, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-08047

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty. Defendant appealed. While his appeal was pending, Defendant filed a motion for a new trial, arguing...

Sarkisian v. Concept Restaurants, Inc.  
Date: June 23, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11786

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff broke her leg after slipping and falling on a wet dance floor at a nightclub owned by Defendant. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant, concluding that Plaintiff failed as a matter o...

Commonwealth v. Carney  
Date: June 20, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11092

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of deliberately premeditated murder. Defendant appealed, claiming evidentiary error and prosecutorial misconduct. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the conviction and decline...

Commonwealth v. Figueroa  
Date: June 17, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11755

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of mayhem and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury. The Appeals Court affirmed, concluding that Defendant’s convictions were not dup...

Commonwealth v. Kostka  
Date: June 17, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11766

Justia Opinion Summary: Christopher Kostka’s twin brother, Timothy Kostka, was indicted on charges of murder in the first degree and armed home invasion. The Commonwealth filed a motion to compel Christopher to provide a saliva sample from whic...

Opinion of the Justices to the House of Representatives
Date: June 15, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11883
Commonwealth v. Camblin  
Date: June 12, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11774

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor (OUI). Before trial, Defendant, along with sixty-one other defendants in other OUI cases, moved to exclude admission of breath test...

Commonwealth v. Silva  
Date: June 11, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11096

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on theories of extreme atrocity or cruelty, felony murder, and armed robbery. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions, holding (1) the trial judge did not...

Commonwealth v. Jewett  
Date: June 11, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11796

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of liquor (OUI), third offense, resisting arrest, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, and a marked lanes violation....

Hays v. Ellrich  
Date: June 10, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11743

Justia Opinion Summary: In reliance on the advice of her investment advisor, Morgan Financial Advisors, Inc. (MFA), Plaintiff invested three-quarters of her retirement savings in a hedge fund that became insolvent, resulting in the loss of her...

Commonwealth v. Asher  
Date: June 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11663

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, a police officer, was charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery for beating an unarmed civilian after responding to another officer’s request for assistance with a...

Monell v. Boston Pads, LLC  
Date: June 3, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11661

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants in this case were licensed Massachusetts real estate brokerage firms and some of their members and shareholders. Defendants classified Plaintiffs, licensed real estate salespersons, as independent contractors....

Commonwealth v. Alcantara  
Date: June 1, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11468

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree, assault with intent to kill, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. Defendant appealed, assigning error to several evidentiary r...

Commonwealth v. Pagan  
Date: June 1, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11714

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation. Defendant was sixteen years old at the time of the murder. Defendant subsequently filed a motion to red...

Walter E. Fernald Corp. v. The Governor  
Date: May 29, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11801

Justia Opinion Summary: The Walter E. Fernald Corporation, a charitable organization, brought this action in the Land Court seeking a declaration that it was the owner of certain parcels of unrecorded land. The Commonwealth had asserted ownersh...

Felix F. v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 26, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11644

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, a juvenile, was indicted as a youthful offender for possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Under the youthful offender statute, a juvenile may be prosecuted as an adult if the charge involves the “inf...

Kimbroughtillery v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 26, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11699

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was charged with unarmed robbery and assault and battery. Notices were sent to Petitioner from three different courts alleging that Petitioner had violated the terms of his probation by committing the new offe...

Commonwealth v. Magdalenski  
Date: May 22, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11701

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of one count of assault and battery against his sister. During trial, Defendant’s principal contention was that his sister and her boyfriend fabricated their allegations agains...

Vale v. Valchuis  
Date: May 22, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11744

Justia Opinion Summary: A stock transfer restriction required a selling shareholder first to offer his stock to the company at his desired price and then, if the company rejected it, to offer it at a price to be determined by arbitrators. Plain...

Bridgeman v. Dist. Attorney for Suffolk Dist.  
Date: May 18, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11764

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners were three individuals who pleaded guilty to various drug offenses in cases where Annie Dookhan, a chemist employed in the forensic drug laboratory of the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute who comm...

DaRosa v. City of New Bedford  
Date: May 15, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11759

Justia Opinion Summary: Property owners sued the City of New Bedford seeking damages arising from soil contamination around a site that the City had operated as an unrestricted ash dump. The City retained a consultant at TRC Environmental Corpo...

Commonwealth v. Tavares  
Date: May 14, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11508

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree based on deliberate premeditation. Defendant was convicted on a theory of joint venture with the shooter, who took the gun from Defendant’s hand a...

Maryland Cas. Co. v. NSTAR Elec. Co.  
Date: May 14, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11741

Justia Opinion Summary: When a fire caused by NSTAR Electric and Gas Company employees damaged a building owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), two insurers paid the claims of the building’s tenants. The insurers then brough...

Commonwealth v. Vaughn  
Date: May 12, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-08400

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree. Defendant filed a direct appeal and also appealed the denial of his motion for a new trial. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the conviction an...

Commonwealth v. Brescia  
Date: May 8, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-10686

Justia Opinion Summary: At Defendant’s trial for murder and conspiracy, the prosecution’s theory was that Defendant had hired an assassin to kill the victim. Defendant testified on his own behalf, refuting the allegations. After the jury was ch...

Adoption of a Minor  
Date: May 7, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11797

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners, J.S. and V.K., a married same-sex couple, filed a joint petition for adoption seeking to adopt their son Nicholas. Nicholas was conceived through in vitro fertilization using a known sperm donor and was born...

Christakis v. Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union  
Date: May 6, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11758

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants were creditors of Plaintiff who obtained final judgments against Plaintiff. A levy of execution was made on Plaintiff’s real property. Plaintiff subsequently received a discharge under Chapter 7 of the Bankrup...

Commonwealth v. Amran  
Date: April 30, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11686

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of killing his wife with deliberate premeditation. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the conviction and declined to exercise its powers under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E, ho...

Britton v. Board of Bar Examiners
Date: April 30, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11703
Starks v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 29, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11735

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of two counts of assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct. More than twenty months after he was sentenced, Petitioner filed a motion...

In re Simkin  
Date: April 29, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11750

Justia Opinion Summary: Jay Simkin filed complaints with the Board of Bar Overseers (Board) alleging that certain attorneys committed breaches of the rules of professional conduct in connection with proceedings involving the revocation and rein...

Forlizzi v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 28, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11746

Justia Opinion Summary: David Forlizzi and Fred Battista (together, Petitioners) were indicted on similar charges arising out of Petitioners’ alleged misconduct in connection with a prior trial involving alleged insurance fraud. Petitioners mov...

Commonwealth v. Canning  
Date: April 27, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11773

Justia Opinion Summary: In November 2012, voters approved the Commonwealth’s new medical marijuana law. In May 2013, Defendant was charged with possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, distribution of marijuana, and conspiracy to vio...

Sebago v. Boston Cab Dispatch, Inc.  
Date: April 21, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11757

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs in these consolidated cases leased taxicabs and licenses, called “medallions,” for each taxicab. Plaintiffs claimed that they were employees of certain taxicab owners, radio associations, and a taxicab garage...

Reckis v. Johnson & Johnson  
Date: April 17, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11677

Justia Opinion Summary: When Samantha Reckis was seven years old, she developed toxic epidermal necrolysis, a life-threatening skin disorder, after receiving multiple doses of Children’s Motrin, an over-the-counter medication with ibuprofen as...

Renaud v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 17, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11762

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury-waived trial, Plaintiff was found guilty of malicious destruction of property, breaking and entering in daytime, and larceny over $250. The Appeals Court reversed Plaintiff’s convictions, concluding that the...

Galenski v. Town of Erving  
Date: April 17, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11772

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a former school principal of six years in the Town of Erving, sought contribution by the Town to the cost of her group health insurance premiums. The Town had adopted Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 32B, 9E (“the statute”...

Commonwealth v. Jackson  
Date: April 16, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-10398

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree, the unlawful possession of a firearm, and the unlawful possession of ammunition. Defendant was sentenced to a mandatory sentence of life imprison...

Commonwealth v. Foster  
Date: April 15, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11596

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree, on theories of deliberate premeditation and felony-murder, and armed robbery. The motion judge dismissed the armed robbery conviction as dupli...

Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. Fitchburg Capital, LLC  
Date: April 15, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11756

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was a 2006 amendment to the “obsolete mortgage” statute, under which a mortgage becomes unenforceable after a certain number of years. A mortgage in which the term or maturity date is stated becomes...

Commonwealth v. Newson  
Date: April 14, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11471

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 and possessing a firearm without a license. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions, hol...

Machado v. System4 LLC  
Date: April 13, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11681

Justia Opinion Summary: A franchisee janitorial worker, on behalf of himself and other similarly situated individuals, filed a complaint against System4 LLC, a master franchisor, and NECCS, Inc., a regional subfranchisor, alleging, among other...

Commonwealth v. Colondres  
Date: April 13, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11725

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury-waived trial, Defendant was convicted of trafficking in heroin and cocaine and of unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress evidence...

Commonwealth v. The Ngoc Tran  
Date: April 10, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11571

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on a person sixty years of age or older. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s...

Meshna v. Scrivanos  
Date: April 10, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11618

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, current and former employees at Dunkin’ Donuts stores, brought suit against Defendants, a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee and the entity that performed management functions for those stores, alleging that Defendant...

Commonwealth v. Smith  
Date: April 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11624

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the second degree for the shooting of a fourteen-year-old. Defendant was seventeen years and five months old at the time of his arrest for the shooting. Defendant appealed the distric...

Walden Behavioral Care v. K.I.  
Date: April 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11704

Justia Opinion Summary: K.I. was committed to Walden Behavioral Care (Walden), a facility for the treatment of mentally ill patients, for a three-day period, during which a psychiatrist provided diagnosis of and treatment to K.I. Walden then br...

Commonwealth v. Jones  
Date: April 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11717

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted on two indictments charging indecent assault and battery on a child under fourteen, in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, 13B, and one indictment charging dissemination of m...

Commonwealth v. Jessup  
Date: April 8, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11376

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of felony-murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of a loaded firearm. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed...

Commonwealth v. Ware  
Date: April 8, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11709

Justia Opinion Summary: Between 2004 and 2013, Defendant was indicted on drug charges in three separate cases. Also during that time, Sonja Farak was a chemist at the Department of Public Health’s State Laboratory Institute in Amherst. Farak la...

Commonwealth v. Cotto  
Date: April 8, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11761

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to trafficking in cocaine and unlawful possession of ammunition. Two years later, Sonja Farak, a chemist at the Department of Public Health’s State Laboratory Institute in Amherst during the time...

McCarthy v. The Governor  
Date: April 7, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11625

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, the Governor nominated Michael McCarthy for a Massachusetts judgeship. The nomination failed to garner the necessary votes for confirmation. Nearly one month later, Mary-Ellen Manning, a former member of the Exe...

Commonwealth v. DaSilva  
Date: March 26, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11458

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was a participant in a drive-by shooting against a group of young men that killed one member of the group and wounded two others. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions and declined Defendant’s req...

Commonwealth v. Hernandez  
Date: March 26, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11840

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was on trial on indictments charging murder in the first degree and various firearm offenses. Before trial, the Commonwealth filed a motion in limine seeking to establish the admissibility of testimony from a c...

Commonwealth v. Okoro  
Date: March 23, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11659

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the second degree and received a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment with eligibility for parole after fifteen years. Defendant was fifteen years old at the time of the offense. D...

Diatchenko v. District Attorney  
Date: March 23, 2015
Docket Numbers: SJC-11688, SJC-11689

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2013, Gregory Diatchenko filed the present action seeking a declaration that, because he was seventeen at the time he committed the offense leading to his conviction of murder in the first degree, his mandatory senten...

Commonwealth v. Dagraca-Teixeira  
Date: March 16, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11754

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants were convicted of possession of heroin and possession of firearms and ammunition. Defendants appealed, arguing, inter alia, that there was insufficient evidence to support their convictions. The Supreme Judici...

Fitzgerald v. Dist. Court Dep’t of the Trial Court  
Date: March 13, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11648

Justia Opinion Summary: Steven Fitzgerald pleaded guilty to certain criminal offenses. Fitzgerald subsequently filed a petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 seeking to vacate his pleas, arguing that he was forcibly medicated when...

Commonwealth v. Didas  
Date: March 13, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11712

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011, Defendant was indicted on a charge of violating Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 94C, 32E(b)(2) for trafficking in cocaine with a total weight of 28.14 grams. In 2012, St. 2012, ch. 192 (Crime Bill) was enacted, which amende...

Commonwealth v. Augustine  
Date: March 11, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11482

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted for murder. Defendant moved to suppress certain evidence that the Commonwealth had obtained without a warrant. The superior court allowed Defendant’s motion. The Commonwealth appealed. The Supreme...

Chief of Police v. Holden  
Date: March 11, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11682

Justia Opinion Summary: The chief of police of the city of Worcester determined that Appellant was not a “suitable person” under Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 140, 131(d) and (f) to hold a license to carry firearms. The chief first suspended Appellant’s...

Abate v. Fremont Inv. & Loan  
Date: March 9, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11638

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was whether a respondent in a try title action may test the substantive merits of a petition’s claims in the first step of such an action, where the first step requires that the petition satisfy t...

Soucy v. Commonwealth
Date: March 6, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11779
Commonwealth v. Arzola  
Date: March 4, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11679

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery. Defendant appealed, arguing that the motion judge erred in denying a motion to suppress the victi...

Ortiz v. Examworks, Inc.  
Date: March 3, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11584

Justia Opinion Summary: The personal injury protection (PIP) statute provides that an injured person claiming PIP benefits shall submit to physical examinations by “physicians” selected by the insurer as required to assist in determining amount...

Palitz v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals  
Date: March 3, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11678

Justia Opinion Summary: The owner of a tract of land divided the land into three lots, such that a single dwelling would stand on each lot, in conformance with the the subdivision control law’s existing structures exemption, Mass. Gen. Laws ch....

Commonwealth v. Evelyn  
Date: March 2, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11643

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the second degree and of possession of a firearm without a license. Defendant appealed, arguing that his attorney’s concession in opening statement and closing arg...

Commonwealth v. Ridge  
Date: March 2, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11676

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, Defendant pleaded guilty to certain offenses in the superior court in Norfolk County. In 2008, Defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of unarmed robbery in the superior court in Plymouth County. Defendant was sent...

Commonwealth v. Caetano  
Date: March 2, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11718

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with possession of a stun gun in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, 131J, which bans the possession of an electrical weapon with some exceptions. Defendant filed a pretrial motion to dismiss the...

Commonwealth v. Sheridan  
Date: February 27, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11543

Justia Opinion Summary: Police officers stopped Defendant for driving with an unilluminated headlight. During the stop, the officers saw in the vehicle a one-ounce bag of marijuana. The officers ordered Defendant out of the vehicle and conducte...

Commonwealth v. DiCicco  
Date: February 26, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11672

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial in 1984, Defendant was convicted of aggravated rape. In 2006, Defendant filed a series of motions to test the victim’s clothing for DNA. The motions were granted. The State police crime laboratory and...

Commonwealth v. Ramos  
Date: February 26, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11680

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted on a charge of receiving a stolen motor vehicle. Defendant moved to suppress evidence seized as a result of a warrantless search of his garage. A superior court judge denied the motion. After a joi...

Commonwealth v. Cullity  
Date: February 24, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11728

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury-waived trial, Defendant was convicted of possession of a class B substance. The Appeals Court reversed and directed the entry of judgment for Defendant, concluding that the evidence on the record was ins...

Cohen v. Cohen  
Date: February 23, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11594

Justia Opinion Summary: After the parties in this case separated, a California court entered a judgment establishing monthly child and spousal support payments payable by Father to Mother. Father subsequently moved to Massachusetts, and the Cal...

Commonwealth v. Torres  
Date: February 23, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11771

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, Defendant pleaded guilty to distribution of a class B substance and was sentenced to serve one year in a house of correction. In 2013, because of the problems that arose at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory...

Commonwealth v. Kelly  
Date: February 20, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11616

Justia Opinion Summary: During a house party in 2008, multiple guests, who were Caucasion, committed acts of physical violence against an African-American. Amanda Kelly was convicted of a violation of civil rights with bodily injury. Christophe...

Commonwealth v. Housewright  
Date: February 19, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11617

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of intimidating a witness, carrying a firearm without a license, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, and assault by means of a dangerous weapon. The Supreme Ju...

DIRECTV, LLC v. Dep’t of Revenue  
Date: February 18, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11658

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs in this case were two companies subject to the five percent excise tax on video programming delivered by direct broadcast satellite. Plaintiffs brought a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief allegin...

Commonwealth v. Ilya I.  
Date: February 13, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11637

Justia Opinion Summary: A juvenile was charged with possession of a class D substance with the intent to distribute marijuana after a street encounter during which a police officer arrested the juvenile. A judge in the juvenile court allowed th...

Commonwealth v. Ilya I., a juvenile
Date: February 13, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11637
Commonwealth v. McGhee  
Date: February 13, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11716

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted on two counts of confining or putting any person in fear for the purpose of stealing from a building, bank, safe, vault or other depository of money in violation of Mass. Gen....

Commonwealth v. McGhee
Date: February 13, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11716
Commonwealth v. Cowels  
Date: February 12, 2015
Docket Numbers: SJC-11631, SJC-11630

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial in 1994, Defendants were convicted of murder in the first degree. At trial, the Commonwealth presented evidence of two bloody towels that testimony suggested Defendants had used to clean themselves aft...

Commonwealth v. Brown  
Date: February 11, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11570

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants were indicted on charges of murder, among other charges. The jury foreman initially announced not guilty verdicts as to each of the murder indictments but later amended the previously announced not guilty verd...

In re Guardianship of V.V.  
Date: February 10, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11739

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, the probate and family court appointed Mother’s grandmother (“Great-Grandmother”) as the permanent guardian of Mother’s minor child. Mother subsequently filed a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Mass....

In re Dwyer-Jones  
Date: February 5, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11516

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent, an attorney licensed to practice in both Maine and Massachusetts, was suspended from the practice of law in Maine based on a finding of incapacity by reason of mental infirmity or addiction to drugs or intoxi...

Commonwealth v. Santiago  
Date: February 4, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11619

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was stopped and arrested by law enforcement officers at the same time and in the same location as another man, Edwin Ramos, from whose person the officers recovered a packet of cocaine. Ramos was charged with p...

City of Somerville v. Commonwealth Employment Relations Bd.  
Date: February 3, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11620

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2009, the City of Somerville unilaterally reduced its percentage contribution to retired employees’ health insurance premiums. Neither the city nor the school committee of Somerville, the collective bargaining agent o...

Doe v. Sex Offender Registry Bd.  
Date: February 2, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11607

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was convicted by general court martial of three specifications in violation of art. 134, 10 U.S.C. 934, the “general” provision of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Plaintiff pleaded guilty to the article 1...

Chin v. Merriot  
Date: January 30, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11715

Justia Opinion Summary: Chester Chin and Edith Merriot were divorced in 2011. Pursuant to a merged provision of the parties’ separation agreement, Chin was obligated to pay alimony until the death of either party or Edith’s remarriage. In 2013,...

Rodman v. Rodman  
Date: January 30, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11726

Justia Opinion Summary: George Rodman and Roberta Rodman were divorced in 2008. The parties entered into a separation agreement that was incorporated into and merged with a judgment of divorce nisi. The separation agreement obligated George to...

Doktor v. Doktor  
Date: January 30, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11727

Justia Opinion Summary: Joseph Doktor and Dorothy Doktor were divorced by a judgment nisi entered in January 1992. The judgment incorporated a separation agreement that obligated Joseph to pay alimony to Dorothy until the death or remarriage of...

Bay Colony R.R. Corp. v. Town of Yarmouth  
Date: January 29, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11608

Justia Opinion Summary: The town of Yarmouth entered into a transportation contract with the Bay Colony Railroad Corporation whereby Bay Colony was to transport solid waste from the town’s waste transfer station to a facility in Rochester. The...

First Marblehead Corp. v. Comm’r of Revenue  
Date: January 28, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11609

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the financial institution excise tax (FIET) liability of GATE Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of The First Marblehead Corporation (FMC). The Appellate Tax Board concluded (1) Gate qual...

Commonwealth v. Fujita  
Date: January 27, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11578

Justia Opinion Summary: A Newspaper sought postverdict access to the list containing the names and addresses of the jurors who served at the criminal trial of a defendant on charges of murder in the first degree and assault and battery. The tri...

Commonwealth v. Russell  
Date: January 26, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11602

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was acquitted on eighteen counts of statutory rape but convicted on seven counts of the lesser-included offense of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen. On appeal, Defendant argued,...

Commonwealth v. Simpkins  
Date: January 21, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11601

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted on charges of murder, armed assault with intent to murder, accessory after the fact to murder, and unlawful possession of firearms. After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of accessory after...

Commonwealth v. Corliss  
Date: January 20, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11523

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theories of deliberate premeditation and felony-murder, among other crimes. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions and decline...

Commonwealth v. Bresilla  
Date: January 16, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-10837

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted on charges of murder in the first degree under theories of premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. Defendant moved to suppress the eyewitness identifications of him as the shooter and the id...

Commonwealth v. Gomes  
Date: January 12, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11537

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of mayhem and breaking and entering. Before trial, Defendant moved to suppress certain pretrial identifications. The trial judge denied the motion. Defendant appealed, argui...

Commonwealth v. Johnson  
Date: January 12, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11567

Justia Opinion Summary: After a retrial before a jury, Defendant was convicted of assault by means of a dangerous weapon and other offenses. Before trial, two eyewitnesses described Defendant’s gender and race and the color of his clothing. How...

In re a Grand Jury Investigation  
Date: January 12, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11697

Justia Opinion Summary: The Commonwealth moved for judicial approval of a grand jury subpoena compelling a law firm representing John Doe, who was the target of a grand jury investigation, to produce a telephone Doe transferred to the law firm...

Commonwealth v. St. Hilaire  
Date: January 2, 2015
Docket Number: SJC-11566

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury-waived trial, Defendant was found guilty of larceny from a person sixty years of age or older. The victim in this case was an eighty-six-year-old nursing home resident who sold her property to Defendant. The...

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