Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Decisions 2016

Moronta v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC  
Date: December 22, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12042

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff brought this action against Nationstar Mortgage, LLC and Fremont Investment and Loan (collectively, Defendants) alleging that Defendants violated his rights under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A. The Appeals Court reve...

Retirement Board of Stoneham v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board  
Date: December 22, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12098

Justia Opinion Summary: Christine DeFelice, a part-time employee for the Stoneham school department, sought retroactive membership in the Stoneham retirement system based on a nine-week period during which she worked over thirty hours per week....

Commonwealth v. Holley  
Date: December 19, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11385

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 affirmed and declined to grant extraordinary relief pursuant to Mass. Gen....

Chambers v. RDI Logistics, Inc.  
Date: December 16, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12080

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs contracted with Defendants through small corporations that Plaintiffs apparently formed for this purpose. Plaintiffs, who performed services in Massachusetts as furniture delivery drivers, brought a putative c...

Service Employees International Union, Local 509 v. Auditor of the Commonwealth  
Date: December 9, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12126

Justia Opinion Summary: The Department of Mental Health (DMH) submitted a proposal to the Auditor of the Commonwealth that would privatize certain of its state-run mental health services. The Auditor issued a written decision approving the prop...

Commonwealth v. Hardin  
Date: December 6, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12067

Justia Opinion Summary: In a four-count complaint, Defendant was charged with several criminal offenses. Defendant pleaded guilty as to counts one and four. The municipal court judge dismissed counts two and three for lack of probable cause. Th...

Matter of Greene
Date: December 2, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11935
Commonwealth v. Martin  
Date: November 25, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12056

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011, Defendant pleaded guilty to possession of a class B substance. Defendant was sentenced to a one-year term of probation and the probation supervision fees and the victim-witness assessment. The Commonwealth enter...

Commonwealth v. Dustin  
Date: November 23, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12036

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of assault and battery on a family or household member in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 266, 13M(a). On appellate review, Defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient...

George v. George  
Date: November 23, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12059

Justia Opinion Summary: Clifford George and Jacquelyn George divorced in 2002. In 2013, Clifford filed a complaint seeking to modify his alimony obligation based on Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 208, 49(b), part of the Alimony Reform Act, which became ef...

Service Employees International Union, Local 509 v. Department of Mental Health  
Date: November 22, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12035

Justia Opinion Summary: Service Employees International Union, Local 509 (Union) brought a declaratory judgment action against the Department of Mental Health (DMH) maintaining that certain contracts DMH made with private vendors were “privatiz...

DeGiacomo v. City of Quincy  
Date: November 15, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11940

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1971, the City of Quincy, as trustee of the Adams Temple and School Fund (Adams Fund), sought a decree authorizing it to execute a proposed fifty-year lease of a building and parking lot of the Adams Academy that it h...

Commonwealth v. Bois  
Date: November 10, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-10725

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on theories of extreme atrocity or cruelty and felony-murder. Defendant was also convicted of nine other charges, including home invasion while ar...

Tavares v. Commonwealth  
Date: November 10, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11829

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was charged in three different indictments with three criminal offenses. Each of the cases were pending in the superior court where the court imposed a unified bail. The total bail in the three cases was $3,00...

Commonwealth v. Sylvester  
Date: November 9, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11966

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2002, Defendant pleaded guilty to indecent assault and battery. In 2013, Defendant filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea or for a new trial, arguing that his plea counsel was constitutionally ineffective by advis...

Commonwealth v. Griffin  
Date: November 4, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11524

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 home invasion. Defendant appealed, arguing, inter alia, that th...

Massachusetts Insurers Insolvency Fund v. Berkshire Bank  
Date: November 3, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12019

Justia Opinion Summary: The Massachusetts Insurers Insolvency Fund (Fund) is statutorily authorized to recover from “high net worth insureds” certain amounts paid by the Fund “on behalf of” such insureds. There was no dispute that defendant Ber...

In the Matter of Diviacchi
Date: November 2, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12025
Verizon New England, Inc. v. Board of Assessors of Boston  
Date: November 2, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12034

Justia Opinion Summary: Two telephone companies (collectively, Taxpayers) paid personal property taxes assessed by the board of assessors of Boston for fiscal year 2012 on certain personal property each company owned. Taxpayers subsequently fil...

Commonwealth v. Lawson  
Date: October 28, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11996

Justia Opinion Summary: After a trial, Defendant was found guilty of two counts of assault and battery on a public employee, and one count each of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, and r...

Commonwealth v. LeBlanc  
Date: October 28, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12066

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury-waived trial, Defendant was found guilty of knowingly causing damage to another automobile in a private driveway and leaving without identifying himself to the owner in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, 2...

Commonwealth v. Paquette  
Date: October 27, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12028

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted on two indictments charging violations of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 268, 13B, the witness intimidation statute, which prohibits “willfully…mislead[ing]…[a] police officer.” Defendant...

Commonwealth v. Gomes  
Date: October 26, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11427

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree and related offenses. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and declined to grant relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278...

Cantell v. Commissioner of Correction  
Date: October 21, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12015

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs in this putative class action were inmates serving criminal sentences in various Massachusetts prison facilities who had, for varying lengths of time, been placed in a special management unit (SMU) in nondisci...

LaChance v. Commissioner of Correction  
Date: October 21, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12016

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a Massachusetts prison inmate, brought civil rights action claiming that Defendants violated his constitutional right to due process by holding him in a special management unit (SMU) - or solitary confinement...

Commonwealth v. White  
Date: October 19, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11919

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of one count of rape of a child. The underlying indictment alleged that Defendant raped his daughter on diverse dates between 1979 and 1981. Defendant appealed, raising statute...

Commonwealth v. Williams  
Date: October 17, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11656

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted as a joint venturer of murder in the first degree, armed robbery, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions and discerned to reaso...

Commonwealth v. Laltaprasad  
Date: October 14, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11970

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Defendant pleaded guilty to the subsequent offense portion of each of these...

Taylor v. Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Comm’n  
Date: October 11, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11963

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant owned and managed a nature preserve on Martha’s Vineyard compromised of parcels of land owned by Defendant. In 2010, Defendant created a hiking trail through the preserve that crossed over Plaintiffs’ property...

Brown v. Office of Comm’r of Probation  
Date: October 11, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11987

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff sued her employer for sex discrimination, race discrimination, and retaliation under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151B, 9. The jury found in favor of Plaintiff on her retaliation claim and awarded her both compensatory...

Commonwealth v. Durand  
Date: October 7, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11221

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the convictions and remanded the case for a new trial due to...

In re Green  
Date: October 4, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11999

Justia Opinion Summary: Prior to his scheduled release, the Commonwealth filed a petition to commit James Green as a sexually dangerous predator (SDP). Green was found sexually dangerous after a jury trial. Two months later, Green filed a petit...

Partanen v. Gallagher  
Date: October 4, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12018

Justia Opinion Summary: Karen Partanen and Julie Gallagher were in a committed, nonmarital relationship for twelve years. Using in vitro fertilization and with Partanen’s full participation and consent, Gallagher fave birth the two children. Th...

Chadwick v. Duxbury Public Schools  
Date: October 4, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12054

Justia Opinion Summary: This interlocutory review arose out of a discovery dispute in an action brought by Plaintiff, a union member, alleging claims of employment discrimination and retaliation against Defendants. Plaintiff objected to certain...

Commonwealth v. Campbell  
Date: September 30, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11980

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was stopped for failing to stop at a stop sign. The officer concluded that Defendant was using the vehicle without authority and decided to impound the vehicle. During an inventory search in preparation for imp...

Commonwealth v. Chukwuezi  
Date: September 29, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11579

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 for the shooting death of a fifteen year old boy. Defendant recei...

Commonwealth v. White  
Date: September 28, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11917

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with murder in the first degree. A superior court judge allowed Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence recovered from his cellular telephone, concluding that the seizure of the telephone was not su...

Commonwealth v. Bigelow  
Date: September 27, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11974

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of criminal harassment. The convictions were based on five letters that Defendant wrote and sent to Michael and Susan Costello after a local election in which Mic...

Commonwealth v. Obi  
Date: September 21, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11957

Justia Opinion Summary: A landlord (Defendant) was convicted of assault and battery for pushing a Muslim tenant down a flight of stairs. Defendant was sentenced to a two-year term of incarceration, six months to serve, with the balance suspende...

Commonwealth v. Warren  
Date: September 20, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11956

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury-waived trial, Defendant was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm. Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress a firearm and statements he made after his arrest, arguing that the police l...

Commonwealth v. Carter  
Date: September 19, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11525

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of, among other crimes, murder in the first degree on a theory of felony murder, based on the predicate felony of armed robbery. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant’s...

Commonwealth v. Teixeira  
Date: September 16, 2016
Docket Numbers: SJC-11929, SJC 11944

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants in these two criminal cases were charged in the Boston Municipal Court (BMC) with a number of felonies. The BMC judges scheduled probable cause hearings for Defendants to determine whether there was sufficient...

Commonwealth v. Adonsoto  
Date: September 16, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11978

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the conviction, holding (1) the trial court did not err in ad...

Eresian v. Merrill Lynch Credit Corp.  
Date: September 12, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12006

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was the defendant in a summary process action in the Housing Court. In 1993, the Appeals Court affirmed. In the years since then, Petitioner repeatedly sought to challenge the foreclosure that led to the summa...

Vinnie v. Commonwealth  
Date: September 12, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12011

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1993, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder. Defendant’s convictions were affirmed on appeal. After unsuccessfully filing numerous postconviction petitions, Defendant filed in the county court a petition in t...

Commonwealth v. Baratieri  
Date: September 12, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12065

Justia Opinion Summary: Two individuals (“the Sureties”) acted as sureties for Defendant and posted bail on his behalf. The Sureties filed a motion for return of bail on the basis that Defendant could not appear for a hearing because he was in...

Commonwealth v. Ellis  
Date: September 9, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11993

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree and armed robbery. The Supreme Court affirmed. This appeal concerned Defendant’s second motion for a new trial based on newly discovered eviden...

Commonwealth v. Snyder  
Date: September 8, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-09203

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation. Defendant appealed his conviction and also sought relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E asking that h...

Commonwealth v. DiBenedetto  
Date: September 8, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-10658

Justia Opinion Summary: After a second trial, a jury found Defendant guilty of two counts of murder in the first degree. Defendant later filed a motion for a new trial on the basis of new DNA evidence. The motion judge denied the motion without...

Limoliner, Inc. v. Dattco, Inc.  
Date: September 7, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12033

Justia Opinion Summary: Limoliner Inc., which owned and operated a fleet of luxury motor coaches, hired Dattco, Inc. to perform repair work on one of those vehicles. While Dattco recorded most of those requests in writing, Dattco neglected to w...

Commonwealth v. Gonzalez  
Date: September 6, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11731

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted as a joint venturer of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation. The conviction was based on evidence that Defendant had been the driver of the vehicl...

Parr v. Rosenthal  
Date: September 2, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12014

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case the Supreme Judicial Court recognized the “continuing treatment doctrine” under Massachusetts law, which provides that a medical malpractice cause of action does not accrue while a patient is continuing to r...

Commonwealth v. Vargas  
Date: August 30, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-10075

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of extreme atrocity and cruelty. Defendant appealed. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant’s conviction of murder in the first...

Massachusetts v. Herndon  
Date: August 26, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11702

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury found defendant Frankie Herndon guilty of the first degree murder of Derrick Barnes on the theory of deliberate premeditation and of possession of a firearm without a license. On appeal, defendant challenged: (1)...

Barbosa v. Massachusetts
Date: August 26, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11760
Deal v. Comm'r of Correction  
Date: August 25, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12053

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners, Timothy Deal, Siegfried Golston, and Jeffrey Roberio, were juvenile homicide offenders serving mandatory indeterminate life sentences, and who had a constitutional right to a "meaningful opportunity to obtai...

Gyulakian v. Lexus of Watertown, Inc.  
Date: August 24, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11959

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit against against her employers (Defendants), alleging that she had been subject to a sexually hostile or offensive work environment. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of Plaintiff, finding that Def...

Goodwin v. Lee Public Schools  
Date: August 23, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11977

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a high school student, was suspended from school for conduct that took place outside of school grounds. The suspension - which was mistakenly ordered on the ground that Plaintiff had been charged with a felony...

Commonwealth v. Mayotte  
Date: August 19, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11894

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of rape of a child, incest, and related sex offenses. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant’s conviction for reckless endangerment and otherwise affirmed, holding (1) th...

Commonwealth v. Hernandez  
Date: August 19, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12089

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2013, Defendant delivered his cellular telephone to his attorney for the purpose of seeking legal advice on several matters. In 2014, the Commonwealth filed a second motion for judicial approval of a grand jury subpoe...

MacLaurin v. City of Holyoke  
Date: August 18, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11865

Justia Opinion Summary: Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 148, 26I, the residential sprinkler provision, mandates the installation of automatic sprinklers in certain buildings. Plaintiff, the owner of two vacant apartment buildings that he intended to return...

Commonwealth v. Miller  
Date: August 17, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-10640

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 the unlawful possession of a firearm. Defendant appealed, alleging error in (1) the denial of hi...

Commonwealth v. Valdez  
Date: August 17, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12040

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, who was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident alien, pleaded guilty to an indictment alleging larceny of a motor vehicle. Defendant later moved to withdraw the guilty plea and vacate the...

ENGIE Gas & LNG LLC v. Dep’t of Pub. Utils.  
Date: August 17, 2016
Docket Numbers: SJC-12051, SJC-12052

Justia Opinion Summary: The Department of Public Utilities issued an order determining that the plain language of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 164, 94A provides the Department with the statutory authority to review and approve ratepayer-backed, long-ter...

Commonwealth v. Neary-French  
Date: August 15, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12057

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was arrested for operating while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Defendant was not given an opportunity to consult with counsel before being required to decide whether to submit to a breathalyzer te...

Suffolk Constr. Co., Inc. v. Benchmark Mechanical Sys., Inc.  
Date: August 12, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12020

Justia Opinion Summary: In Suffolk I, the Supreme Judicial Court held that Reading Co-Operative Bank (Bank) was allowed to require Suffolk Construction Company, Inc. (Suffolk) to perform fully Suffolk’s obligations pursuant to a collateral assi...

Clay v. Massachusetts Parole Board  
Date: August 12, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12032

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of murder in the first degree. Petitioner was a juvenile when the crime was committed. Thirty years later, the Supreme Judicial Court determined that any juvenile offender who had been convicted...

Commonwealth v. Brangan  
Date: August 12, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12037

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of armed robbery while masked. The trial judge granted Defendant’s motion for a mistrial, determining that a series of the prosecutor’s statements made during closing argument...

Marchand v. Dep’t of Corr.  
Date: August 11, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11949

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff sustained a knee injury while working for the Department of Correction. Plaintiff initially received workers’ compensation benefits, as well as assault pay, but after Plaintiff was separated from employment due...

Schubert v. Comm. for Pub. Counsel Servs.  
Date: August 9, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12044

Justia Opinion Summary: This matter stemmed between a billing dispute between Petitioner, an attorney, and Respondent, the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Certain administrative proceedings culminated in a hearing, and the hearing office...

Commonwealth v. Ruffin  
Date: August 9, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12079

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of cocaine. The substances were subsequently tested at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute, and Annie Dookhan was one of two assistant analysts who sign...

Commonwealth v. Lopez
Date: August 9, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12116
Felton v. Commonwealth  
Date: August 9, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12127

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of criminal offenses in 2008. The Appeals Court affirmed. In 2012, the trial judge granted Defendant’s second motion for a new trial. The Appeals Court reversed, effectively reinstating Defendant’...

Commonwealth v. Henry  
Date: August 8, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11965

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant admitted to facts sufficient to warrant a finding of guilty to stealing the property of Walmart having a value of more than $250 pursuant to a single larcenous scheme. At a restitution hearing, the judge declar...

Murray v. Dep’t of Conservation & Recreation  
Date: August 4, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12002

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs filed an action to quiet title, alleging that a railroad easement formerly owned by the Pennsylvania Central Transportation Co. across portions of their lands was abandoned by the United States Railway Associa...

Pfannenstiehl v. Pfannenstiehl  
Date: August 4, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12031

Justia Opinion Summary: As part of a judgment of divorce, the probate and family court judge awarded Wife sixty percent of Husband’s interest in the present value of a discretionary spendthrift trust. Husband appealed, arguing that the judge ab...

Commonwealth v. Vargas  
Date: August 3, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11895

Justia Opinion Summary: In a probation surrender proceeding based on the use of marijuana, purportedly for medical purposes, the judge found Defendant in violation of probation for the use of marijuana, terminated his probation, and imposed a p...

Commonwealth v. Wade  
Date: July 29, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11913

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial in 1997, Petitioner was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of felony murder. Petitioner later filed a motion in the superior court seeking postconviction testing of biological material...

Bellermann v. Fitchburg Gas & Elec. Light Co.  
Date: July 29, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11979

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs lost electric power during a major winter ice storm in 2008. Plaintiffs sued Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company (FG&E) and sought class certification for themselves and other residential and business cus...

Commonwealth v. Diggs  
Date: July 29, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12009

Justia Opinion Summary: District court judges ordered the two defendants in these consolidated cases to pretrial detention under the dangerousness statute, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 276, 58A, under which a person “held under arrest” on charges of one...

Commonwealth v. Philbrook  
Date: July 28, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11615

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation in the shooting death of his former wife. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions, holding (1) the trial judge did...

Bowers v. P. Wile's, Inc.  
Date: July 28, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11923

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was injured after slipping and falling on a walkway leading into a garden store owned by Defendant. Plaintiff filed a complaint asserting that she tripped on a stone that had traveled from a gravel area near th...

Commonwealth v. Abdallah  
Date: July 28, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12001

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted on several drug-related charges. Defendant filed a motion to suppress items found during a search of his bag following his arrest on an outstanding warrant. The superior court allowed Defendant’s m...

Martinez v. Commonwealth  
Date: July 26, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12071

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted for several drug offenses. Defendant filed a motion for issuance of a subpoena seeking certain data he claimed would be relevant to support his claim that he was subjected to selective enforcement...

Commonwealth v. Resende  
Date: July 25, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11981

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, Defendant pleaded guilty on indictments charging several drug-related offenses. In 2012, Defendant filed a motion to withdraw his guilty pleas based on the misconduct of Annie Dookhan, a chemist who was employed...

Commonwealth v. Weaver  
Date: July 20, 2016
Citations: 54 N.E.3d 495, 474 Mass. 787
Docket Number: SJC-10932

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was sixteen years old at the time he admitted to committing murder. Defendant made his confession after prolonged questioning by the police and by his mother. Defendant filed a motion to suppress his statements...

Commonwealth v. Francis  
Date: July 20, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11988

Justia Opinion Summary: After a trial, Defendant was found guilty of the trafficking and distribution of cocaine. During trial, drug certificates were admitted into evidence that were signed by Annie Dookhan declaring that the substances in que...

Commonwealth v. Alleyne  
Date: July 15, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11614

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree and assault and battery. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions and discerned no basis to exercise its authority pursuant to...

Commonwealth v. Epps  
Date: July 14, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11921

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury. The prosecution argued that Defendant violently shook a toddler in his care based on medical testimony that...

Commonwealth v. Gibson  
Date: July 13, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11990

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under fourteen. Defendant was later found to be in violation of his probation. The judge revoked the probation and imposed a term of impris...

Commonwealth v. Almele  
Date: July 12, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11915

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of possession of a class B controlled substance and possession of class B and C controlled substances with intent to distribute. On appeal, Defendant argued that the prosecutio...

Commonwealth v. Grady  
Date: July 12, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11968

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor (OUI), possession with intent to distribute a class B substance, and possession with intent to distribute a...

Bank of America, N.A. v. Comm’r of Revenue  
Date: July 11, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11995

Justia Opinion Summary: Bank of America, N.A., in its capacity as a corporate trustee of several inter vivos trusts, applied for abatement of fiduciary income taxes paid by thirty-four inter vivos trusts. The Commissioner of Revenue denied the...

Commonwealth v. Lopez  
Date: July 8, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11551

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the conviction and declined to exercise its powers under...

Hensley v. Attorney General  
Date: July 6, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12106; 12117

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in these two consolidated appeals was an initiative petition that proposed to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana and products that contain marijuana concentrate. In the first case (Hensley case) Plaintiffs cl...

Dunn v. Attorney General
Date: July 6, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12107
Commonwealth v. Carter  
Date: July 1, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12043

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted as a youthful offender on a charge of involuntary manslaughter. Defendant moved in the juvenile court to dismiss the youthful offender indictment, asserting that the evidence was insufficient to wa...

Gray v. Attorney General  
Date: July 1, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12064

Justia Opinion Summary: On August 5, 2015, sixteen voters submitted Initiative Petition 15-12 to the Attorney General. The petition (1) sought to end the use of the Common Core State Standards in defining the educational curriculum of publicly...

Bogertman v. Attorney General  
Date: June 28, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12063

Justia Opinion Summary: Eugene McCain filed an initiative petition that sought to amend Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 23K to authorize the Gaming Commission to award one additional license for a slot machine parlor. The Attorney General certified the pet...

Commonwealth v. Magadini  
Date: June 23, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11874

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of seven counts of criminal trespass. Before trial, Defendant requested a jury instruction on the defense of necessity, arguing that his conduct of being present in privately-o...

Commonwealth v. Dirgo  
Date: June 21, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11992

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of aggravated rape and abuse of a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under fourteen years of age. The Appeals Court affirmed on appeal. Defendant appealed, argui...

Commonwealth v. Teixeira-Furtado  
Date: June 20, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12010

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was a passenger in a vehicle that was pursued and stopped for traveling at a "speed greater than is reasonable," G. L. c. 90, 17.1 While the vehicle was still in motion, the defendant got out, looked uncertain...

Commonwealth v. Brown  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11671

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and declined to exercise its powers under Mass. Ge...

Picard v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Westminster  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11991

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was the owner and occupant of certain property. Defendant, the owner of a parcel of land abutting Plaintiff’s property, planned to build a residence on the property and applied for a building permit. The town b...

Massachusetts v. Moore  
Date: June 16, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11582

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was tried for first degree murder, home invasion, armed robbery, aggravated assault and battery (by means of a dangerous weapon), carrying an unlicensed firearm and trafficking in cocaine. The jury deadlocked o...

Bank of America, N.A. v. Casey  
Date: June 16, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11943

Justia Opinion Summary: The United States Court of Appeal for the First Circuit certified two questions of state law to the Massachusetts Supreme Court. The questions arose in the context of a bankruptcy proceeding, and concerned the power and...

Duff-Kareores v. Kareores  
Date: June 15, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11975

Justia Opinion Summary: Ellen Duff-Kareores and Christopher Kareores were married in 1995 and divorced in 2004. The divorce judgment obligated Christopher to pay Ellen alimony every month. In 2004, Christopher resumed living with Ellen and the...

Bryan Corp. v. Abrano  
Date: June 14, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12003

Justia Opinion Summary: Bryan Corporation (the company) commenced an action against Bryan Abrano (Bryan), who was a shareholder of the company, for breach of fiduciary duty. The company moved to disqualify Bryan’s attorneys, members of the firm...

Commonwealth v. Winquist  
Date: June 14, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12005

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of murder in the second degree. The Appeals Court affirmed the judgment. The Supreme Judicial Court granted Defendant’s application for further review to address...

Commonwealth v. Broom  
Date: June 13, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11729

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on theories of extreme atrocity or cruelty and felony-murder with aggravated rape as the predicate felony. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed on appeal, holding (1)...

Commonwealth v. Resende  
Date: June 9, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11849

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of several firearms offenses, each of which had associated with it an armed criminal sentence enhancement charge under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 269, 10G, which provides sentence enhancements for design...

Commonwealth v. Hartfield  
Date: June 9, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11948

Justia Opinion Summary: Probationer was placed on probation supervision after pleading guilty to one count of possession of a class D substance with intent to distribute. A notice of probation violation later issued alleging that Probationer vi...

Peterborough Oil Co., LLC v. Dep't of Envtl. Prot.  
Date: June 6, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11851

Justia Opinion Summary: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations require that those deemed to be liable after a spill of hazardous materials within a specified radius of a public water supply undertake cleanup and monitoring to...

Commonwealth v. Millien  
Date: June 3, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11928

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant's six-month-old daughter, Jahanna, was rushed to the emergency room, unconscious and unresponsive. She was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. Brain scans showed retinal hemorrhages, subdural hematoma, and b...

Verdrager v. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, P.C.  
Date: May 31, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11901

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, an attorney who worked for the defendant Boston law firm, 2004-2008, complained to her superiors and, later, to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, that she was being subjected to discriminato...

Opinion of the Justices to the Senate
Date: May 26, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12092
Commonwealth v. Neves  
Date: May 25, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11173

Justia Opinion Summary: The defendant was convicted on a theory of felony-murder in the 2008 shooting death of a Brockton taxicab driver. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, agreeing that the defendant voluntarily waived his Mira...

Commonwealth v. Stevenson  
Date: May 25, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11962

Justia Opinion Summary: Stevenson moved to dismiss indictments charging aggravated rape of a child with force, G. L. 265, 22B; and five counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, G. L. 265, 13B.1, arguing that the Co...

Fed. Nat'l Mortgage Ass'n v. Rego  
Date: May 24, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11927

Justia Opinion Summary: The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) filed a complaint for summary process in the Housing Court to establish its right to possession of the Rego house, which Fannie Mae purchased at a foreclosure sale....

Commonwealth v. Beal  
Date: May 24, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11938

Justia Opinion Summary: The defendant was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm, G. L. c. 269, sect. 10(a); unlawful possession of ammunition, G. L. c. 269, sect. 10(h); carrying a loaded firearm, G. L. c. 269, sect. 10(n); assault and...

Guardianship of B.V.G.  
Date: May 23, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11925

Justia Opinion Summary: B.V.G., a young woman with intellectual disabilities, has been in the sole custody of her father for many years. He was named her temporary guardian when B.V.G. reached age 18. Her maternal grandfather sought to interven...

Commonwealth v. Valentin  
Date: May 20, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11448

Justia Opinion Summary: The defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree in two shooting deaths on theories of premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, rejecting challenges to in...

Kain v. Dep’t of Envtl. Prot.  
Date: May 17, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11961

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 21N, 3(d), the Department of Environmental Protection was required to promulgate regulations “establishing a desired level of declining annual aggregate emission limits for sources or cate...

Commonwealth v. Mattier  
Date: May 13, 2016
Docket Numbers: SJC-11924, SJC-11960

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendants Branden Mattier and Domunique Grice were convicted on indictments charging one count each of conspiracy to commit larceny and attempted larceny. Mattier was also convicted on an indictment...

Commonwealth v. Miranda  
Date: May 12, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12058

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was convicted of murder in the second degree and other offenses. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed on appeal. Thereafter, Appellant filed a motion for relief from unlawful restraint pursuant to Mass. R. Crim....

Ainooson v. Dep’t of Corr.  
Date: May 5, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11780

Justia Opinion Summary: Justice Ainooson commenced an action in the superior court against several individual defendants. After an extension of time to effect service was allowed, Ainooson moved to waive service or to deem the defendants served...

Commonwealth v. Navarro  
Date: May 5, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11878

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted on thirty indictments, ten each charging armed robbery while masked, home invasion, and kidnapping. The Appeals Court affirmed. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial judge...

Guardianship of J.T.
Date: May 4, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11882
L.B. v. Chief Justice of Probate & Family Court Dep’t  
Date: May 4, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11892

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether a parent whose minor child is the subject of a guardianship petition has a right to counsel when and if the parent petitions to have the guardian removed or to have the terms of the guar...

Commonwealth v. Mattier  
Date: May 2, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11946

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted on three indictments charging conspiracy, attempted larceny, and identity fraud. Defendant appealed his convictions and filed a motion for stay of the execution of his sentence...

Bayless v. TTS Trio Corp.  
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11958

Justia Opinion Summary: The decedent in this case was killed in a one-car accident when he drove in an intoxicated state after leaving a restaurant owned by Defendants. Plaintiff filed a complaint under the Commonwealth’s wrongful death statute...

Meikle v. Nurse  
Date: April 27, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11859

Justia Opinion Summary: Landlord brought a summary process action against Tenant for possession of the premises. Tenant counterclaimed, alleging violations of the security deposit statute and other causes of action. The Housing Court found in f...

Robert & Ardis James Found. v. Meyers  
Date: April 21, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11898

Justia Opinion Summary: In the late 1990s, Robert James, acting on behalf of the Robert and Ardis James Foundation, agreed to advance more than $650,000 to Daniel Meyers to purchase shares of stock in a fledgling, privately held company that Me...

DiMasi v. State Bd. of Retirement  
Date: April 21, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11971

Justia Opinion Summary: DiMasi, a former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, resigned from his position in 2009 and began receiving retirement benefits from the State Board of Retirement (board). A federal grand jury subseque...

Commonwealth v. Allen  
Date: April 20, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11850

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the second degree and multiple firearms-related offenses. Defendant appealed, raising several claims. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed Defendant’s conviction of...

Kitras v. Town of Aquinnah  
Date: April 19, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11885

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was a 1878 partition of Native American common land in the town of Gay Head, which is located on the western coast of Martha’s Vineyard and is connected to the rest of the island by an isthmus. Two...

Commonwealth v. Amado  
Date: April 19, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11914

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of trafficking in fourteen grams or more of cocaine. Defendant sought further review, arguing that the search of his genital area during a patfrisk for weapons was an unlawful...

Burbank Apartments Tenant Ass’n v. Kargman  
Date: April 13, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11872

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants, the principals and owners of Burbank Apartments (Burbank), decided not to renew Burbank’s project-based Section 8 housing assistance payments contract (HAP) with the United States Department of Housing and Ur...

Commonwealth v. Cassino  
Date: April 8, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11684

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. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions and discerned...

Commonwealth v. Boyd  
Date: April 8, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11998

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted on counts of an indictment charging two sentencing enhancements - one as a second-time offender and one under the Massachusetts armed career criminal (ACC) statute. Both enhancements were premised...

Pub. Employee Ret. Admin. Comm’n v. Bettencourt  
Date: April 6, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11906

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was found guilty of twenty-one counts of unauthorized access to a computer system. That same day Appellant filed an application for voluntary superannuation retirement. The public employment retirement administ...

Commonwealth v. Mercado  
Date: April 6, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11964

Justia Opinion Summary: In Commonwealth v. Sylvain, the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed its decision in Commonwealth v. Clarke that defense counsel’s duty to provide noncitizen defendants with accurate advice regarding the deportation consequen...

Cooper v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-12024

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of forcible rape of a child and other offenses. Petitioner’s convictions were affirmed on appeal. Petitioner later filed a motion for a new trial, which a motion judge denied. Petitioner later fi...

Commonwealth v. Mazariego  
Date: March 31, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11719

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of felony-murder, based on the predicate felony of aggravated rape, and aggravated rape. Defendant was sentenced to concurrent terms of life in prison. Th...

Van Liew v. Stansfield  
Date: March 30, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11905

Justia Opinion Summary: Stansfield sought a harassment prevention order against Van Liew alleging four incidents of harassment. The alleged harassment concerned a local municipal election and general issues of local public concern. The District...

Drummer Boy Homes Ass’n v. Britton  
Date: March 29, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11969

Justia Opinion Summary: The Drummer Boy Homes Association, Inc. filed suit against Carolyn and Randy Britton, who owned a unit in the Drummer Boy Condomininum II, seeking to recover unpaid common expenses and to enforce a priority lien. When th...

Commonwealth v. Oliveira  
Date: March 28, 2016
Docket Numbers: SJC-11972, SJC-11973

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants were charged with shoplifting by concealing merchandise and unlawfully carrying a firearm. Defendants moved to suppress the firearm discovered during the inventory search of the vehicle that they used to trave...

Commonwealth v. Boucher  
Date: March 23, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11605

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty and other crimes. Defendant appealed, arguing that the judge’s instruction on diminished capacity impro...

Lasher v. Leslie-Lasher  
Date: March 22, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11954

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was divorced from Respondent pursuant to a judgment of divorce nidi in 2014. In 2015, Petitioner filed a motion for relief from judgment. A judge of the probate and family court denied the motion. Petitioner p...

In the Matter of Weiss
Date: March 17, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11890
Commonwealth v. Chatman  
Date: March 16, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-08921

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of murder in the first degree. During the pendency of his appeal, Defendant filed a motion for a new trial, alleging that he had not been competent to stand trial. The motio...

Myrick v. Harvard University  
Date: March 15, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11976

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant filed a complaint against Harvard University alleging employment discrimination. The superior court granted Harvard’s motion to dismiss the complaint and denied Appellant’s subsequent attempts to reinstate the...

Goe v. Comm’r of Probation  
Date: March 14, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11841

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner pleaded guilty in a Connecticut court to a sex crime. As conditions of his probation, Petitioner was ordered not to leave Connecticut and to submit to electronic monitoring. Petitioner’s supervision was later...

Commonwealth v. Sylvain  
Date: March 14, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11896

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, who is not a citizen of the United States, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of cocaine. Defendant was subsequently placed in a removal proceeding. Defendant filed a motion to vacate his guilty plea, c...

Commonwealth v. Smith  
Date: March 11, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11723

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of attempted armed robbery and murder in the first degree on theories of extreme atrocity or cruelty and felony murder. Defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment on the m...

Commonwealth v. LaBrie  
Date: March 9, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11836

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with attempted murder and related assault and battery and child endangerment crimes for not giving prescribed chemotherapy and other medications designed to treat the cancer from which her son ultim...

Esler v. Sylvia-Reardon  
Date: March 9, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11899

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed an eight-count complaint against her former employer (Hospital) and former supervisor (collectively, Defendants). One count of Plaintiff’s complaint survived for purposes of trial. The jury returned a ver...

Katz, Nannis & Solomon, P.C. v. Levine  
Date: March 9, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11902

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs and Defendant, members of an accounting firm (Firm), were parties to a stockholder agreement (Agreement) that contained an arbitration clause. The parties’ agreement to arbitrate was governed by the Massachuse...

Ins. Co. of State of Penn. v. Great N. Ins. Co.  
Date: March 7, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11897

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee was severely injured while traveling abroad on a business trip. Employer had purchased two workers’ compensation policies from two different insurers, the Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (ISOP) an...

Frawley v. Police Comm’r of Cambridge  
Date: March 4, 2016
Docket Numbers: SJC-11903, SJC-11903

Justia Opinion Summary: When Plaintiff retired in 2004 from his position as a sergeant with the Cambridge police department, he was issued a retired officer identification card that had no expiration date. In 2011, Plaintiff applied for the iss...

Commonwealth v. Lally  
Date: March 3, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-09926

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 subsequently filed a motion for a new trial based on alleged tr...

Kim v. Rosenthal  
Date: March 2, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11752

Justia Opinion Summary: After Petitioner’s condominium unit was foreclosed upon, Respondent became the new owner. Respondent commenced a summary process action against Petitioner, and the court ruled in Respondent’s favor. The Appellate Divisio...

Bulwer v. Mount Auburn Hospital  
Date: February 29, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11875

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a black male of African descent who had a medical degree from the University of the West Indies, was terminated from his employment with Mount Auburn Hospital while completing the first year of his residency....

Commonwealth v. Coggeshall  
Date: February 24, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11904

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with reckless endangerment of a child by walking on railroad tracks with a child. The trial judge dismissed the count of reckless endangerment, concluding (1) the Commonwealth was required to establ...

Commonwealth v. Chamberlin  
Date: February 19, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11877

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of armed robbery while masked, kidnapping for purposes of extortion, and armed assault with intent to murder. The Appeals Court affirmed the convictions. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial...

Commonwealth v. Dykens  
Date: February 17, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11879

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant pleaded guilty to several crimes in connection with an arrest for attempted burglary and other offenses. Appellant moved to vacate two of his convictions of attempted armed burglary and his conviction of posses...

In re Adoption of Douglas  
Date: February 17, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11918

Justia Opinion Summary: These cases were appeals of consolidated care and protection petitions concerning six children. The biological mother of the six children, the biological father of the two oldest children, and four of the children appeal...

DiCarlo v. Suffolk Constr. Co., Inc. v. Angelini Plastering, Inc.  
Date: February 12, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11853

Justia Opinion Summary: Two employees were injured in the course of their employment, collected workers’ compensation benefits and then reached settlement agreements with third parties including damages for their pain and suffering. The same in...

Commonwealth v. Johnson  
Date: February 12, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11876

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted on seven charges, including armed assault in a dwelling and breaking and entering in the daytime. Defendant moved to suppress the victim’s out-of-court and in-court identifications of Defendant as...

Commonwealth v. McWilliams  
Date: February 12, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11900

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of robbery while armed and masked and attempted robbery. On appeal, Defendant argued, inter alia, that the judge erred in denying his motion for a new trial, which alleged that trial counsel had p...

Skawski v. Greenfield Investors Prop. Dev. LLC  
Date: February 11, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11926

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, who owned property abutting a proposed development, filed an appeal in the Housing Court from the decision of the planning board of Greenfield granting a special permit in favor of the developer to construct...

Commonwealth v. Celester  
Date: February 10, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-07874

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 and of armed assault with intent to murder. The Supreme Judicial court aff...

EventMonitor, Inc. v. Leness  
Date: February 4, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11920

Justia Opinion Summary: EventMonitor, Inc. terminated the employment of Anthony Leness, characterizing the termination as “without cause.” After discovering that Leness had copies the data on a company laptop computer EventMonitor retroactively...

Zenon v. Commonwealth  
Date: February 4, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11953

Justia Opinion Summary: Abinel Zenon was charged with assault and battery, among other offenses. Zenon sought certain third-party records to support his claim that the alleged victim was, in fact, the first aggressor. A judge of the district co...

Commonwealth v. Dame  
Date: February 3, 2016
Docket Numbers: SJC-11683, SJC-11937

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was investigated for, but not indicted for, a 1974 murder. More than twenty-five years later, DNA analysis of tissue taken from under the fingernails of the victim led to Defendant’s indictment for the murder....

Commonwealth v. Morales  
Date: February 3, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11867

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was arraigned in the municipal court on a larceny charge. The court gave defendant the bail revocation warning pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 276, 58 and released him on personal recognizance. Defendant failed...

Commonwealth v. Fontanez  
Date: February 3, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11887

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was arraigned in the district court on criminal charges in four separate matters. The court gave defendant the bail revocation warning pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 276, 58 and released him on personal recogn...

Commonwealth v. Jaiman  
Date: February 3, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11888

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was arraigned in the municipal court on drug-related and firearm-related charges. The court gave Defendant the bail revocation warning pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 276, 58 and released him on personal recogn...

Charbonneau v. Holyoke Div. of Dist. Court Dep’t  
Date: January 22, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11908

Justia Opinion Summary: Joshua Charbonneau was charged with larceny over $250. The Holyoke District Court issued an amended standing order on March 31, 2015 providing that a defendant was to tender a defendant-capped plea no later than 2 p.m. t...

Commonwealth v. Dorelas  
Date: January 14, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11793

Justia Opinion Summary: Police officers applied for and obtained a warrant to search Defendant’s iPhone. The warrant authorized a search of Defendant’s iPhone for evidence of communications that would link him and another suspect to a shooting....

Rintala v. Commonwealth
Date: January 14, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11886
Commonwealth v. Moore  
Date: January 11, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11857

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was on parole when his parole officer and others searched his apartment without a warrant and seized cocaine from his bedroom door. Defendant was indicted for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. De...

Beacon Towers Condo. Trust v. Alex  
Date: January 7, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11880

Justia Opinion Summary: After a fire broke out at the Beacon Towers Condominium, the board of trustees for the Beacon Towers Condominium Trust, the unit owners’ organization for the condominium, assessed George Alex $62,995 for the two units th...

Regency Transp., Inc. v. Comm’r of Revenue  
Date: January 6, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11873

Justia Opinion Summary: Regency Transportation, Inc. is a Massachusetts S corporation that carries and delivers goods throughout the eastern United States. In 2010, the Commissioner of Revenue imposed a use tax on the full purchase price of eac...

Commonwealth v. Forlizzi  
Date: January 5, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11747

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant sought an order requiring the Commonwealth to disclose whether a witness cooperating against him had previously served as a confidential informant or cooperating witness. The superior court judge granted Defend...

Magazu v. Dep't of Children and Families  
Date: January 4, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11864

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, a married couple, filed an application with the Department of Children and Families for a license that would enable them to become foster and preadoptive parents. The Department denied the application because...

Commonwealth v. Depiero  
Date: January 4, 2016
Docket Number: SJC-11893

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was stopped by a state police trooper, who was prompted by the receipt of an anonymous 911 call concerning an apparent drunk driver. After a bench trial, Defendant was convicted of operating a motor vehicle whi...

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