Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Decisions 2018

Commonwealth v. Ayala  
Date: December 6, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-10776

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation and the denial of Defendant’s motion for a new trial, holding that no reversible error occu...

Patel v. Martin  
Date: November 28, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12500

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held a party in a civil case has no right to an immediate appeal from a discovery order under the doctrine of present execution but nevertheless retains two other avenues to seek immediate appe...

Buffalo-Water 1, LLC v. Fidelity Real Estate Company, LLC  
Date: November 26, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12487

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the superior court allowing Defendant’s motion to dismiss this complaint seeking a judgment declaring that an appraisal was invalid and nonbinding and breach of the covena...

Garcia v. Commonwealth  
Date: November 26, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12579

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice denying, without a hearing, Appellant’s petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the superior court judge properly denied A...

Commonwealth v. Lys  
Date: November 19, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12476

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the district court denial of Defendant’s motion for a new trial after he pleaded guilty to violating multiple controlled substances laws, holding that remand was required for further pr...

Calhoun v. Boyd/Smith, Inc.
Date: November 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12123
Cichocki v. Town of Rehoboth  
Date: November 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12156

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the court denying Petitioners’ petition or relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 and for a writ of mandamus pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch....

Reznik v. Mendes  
Date: November 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12505

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the court denying Petitioner’s petition filed pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 seeking, inter alia, an order requiring the Appeals Court to ac...

Hudson v. Superintendent, Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Concord  
Date: November 13, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12285

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed as moot Petitioner’s appeal from a judgment of a single justice of the court denying his petition for relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the appeal was moot i...

Eresian v. Scheffer  
Date: November 13, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12419

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice denying Petitioners’ petition filed pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 asking the court to address the issue whether a trustee can appear “pro se”...

Commonwealth v. Owens  
Date: November 7, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12494

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the motion judge allowing Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence discovered when police officers “froze” a house while they obtained a warrant, holding that the suppressi...

Commonwealth v. Moore  
Date: October 31, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11652

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of first degree murder on theories of deliberate premeditation, extreme atrocity or cruelty, and felony-murder with armed home invasion and armed robbery as the...

Bishay v. Superior Court Department  
Date: October 31, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12478

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the Court denying, without a hearing, Petitioner’s petition for extraordinary relief in the nature of mandamus, pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211,...

Sena v. Commonwealth
Date: October 31, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12490
Commonwealth v. Martinez  
Date: October 30, 2018
Docket Numbers: SJC-12479, SJC-12480

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reformulated ten reported questions regarding the scope and application of the due process obligations established in Nelson v. Colorado, 137 S. Ct. 1249, 1252 (2017), providing guidance to tri...

Dew v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 30, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12506

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the Court denying, without a hearing, Appellant’s petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 seeking review of the superior court judge’s...

Anderson v. Panagiotopoulos  
Date: October 30, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12567

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed an order of a single justice of this Court dismissing without prejudice Petitioner’s petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 for failure to pay the filing fee or to file a prop...

Commonwealth v. Goitia  
Date: October 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11572

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of murder in the first degree and the superior court’s denial of his motion for a new trial, holding that there was no reversible error in the proceedings below and that...

Costello v. Merrill Lynch Credit Corp.  
Date: October 17, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12522

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the county court denying Petitioners’ petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice correctly denied extraordinary relief. Peti...

Bishay v. Merrill Lynch Credit Corp.  
Date: October 17, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12554

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the county court denying Petitioners’ petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that Petitioners demonstrated no error of law or abuse of discretion...

Stacy v. Superior Court Department  
Date: October 17, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12577

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the county court dismissing as moot Petitioner’s complaint for relief in the nature of mandamus, holding that where Petitioner received the specific relief sought in hi...

Saade v. Price  
Date: October 16, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12513

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the county court denying, without a hearing, Petitioner’s petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, in which Petitioner sought the dissolution of a memorand...

Robin v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 16, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12520

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the county court denying, without a hearing, Petitioner’s petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse her...

Gonsalves v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 16, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12521

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the county court denying, without a hearing, Petitioner’s petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse his...

Quigley v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 16, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12543

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the county court denying, without a hearing, Petitioner’s petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse his...

Santos v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12524

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the Court denying Petitioner’s petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse her discretion...

Panda v. Panda  
Date: October 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12541

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the Court denying Petitioner’s petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse his discretion...

McCants v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12553

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the Court denying Petitioner’s petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse his discretion...

Perez-Acevedo v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12576

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the Court denying Petitioner’s petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse his discretion...

Commonwealth v. Ruiz  
Date: October 11, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12404

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was the correct interpretation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 279, 25(a), which requires that a “habitual criminal” - or an individual who has been convicted of a felony and has two prior convictions resulting in state...

Committee for Public Counsel Services v. Attorney General  
Date: October 11, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12471

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the widespread evidence tampering of chemist Sonja Farak at the State Laboratory Institute in Amherst at the campus of the University of Massachusetts compromised the integrity of tho...

Garcia v. Department of Housing & Community Development  
Date: October 11, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12507

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the order of the trial judge granting a class-wide preliminary injunction concerning the Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) operation of a shelter program, holding...

Commonwealth v. Bin  
Date: October 9, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12167

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of murder in the first degree, as a joint venturer, holding that none of the arguments Defendant raised on appeal warranted reversal of his convictions. During...

City of Pittsfield v. Local 447 International Brotherhood of Police Officers  
Date: October 3, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12450

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the superior court judge confirming an arbitration award, holding that the award did not violate public policy under the circumstances of this case. Employee, a police of...

Commonwealth v. Tremblay  
Date: October 3, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12493

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the trial court’s order suppressing statements that Defendant made during custodial interrogations and suppressing the results of the forensic testing of Defendant’s bloodstained cloth...

Merrimack College v. KPMG LLP  
Date: September 27, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12434

Justia Opinion Summary: In this civil case, the Supreme Court held that, for purposes of measuring fault under the doctrine of in pari delicto, only the conduct of senior management is imputed to the plaintiff organization. Plaintiff in this c...

Commonwealth v. Ortega  
Date: September 17, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12145

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant’s conviction of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation, holding that the judge erred by declining to require an explanation for the prosecutor’s...

Sharris v. Commonwealth  
Date: September 17, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12165

Justia Opinion Summary: In this criminal matter, the Supreme Judicial Court held that maintaining pending charges against an incompetent defendant where the defendant will never regain competency and where maintaining the charges does not serve...

Commonwealth v. Lutskov  
Date: September 14, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12411

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the superior court judge’s denial of Defendant’s motion for resentencing, holding that Defendant, a juvenile convicted of armed home invasion, was sentenced to a mandatory minimum term...

Commonwealth v. Rosado  
Date: September 14, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12467

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal centering around the scope of the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing the Supreme Judicial Court held that, on the facts of this case, the Commonwealth failed to meet its burden of proving any of the thre...

Commonwealth v. Gardner  
Date: September 14, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12495

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that “sexually dangerous person” (SDP) commitment extends only to those prisoners who are in Massachusetts custody serving a Massachusetts sentence at the time the Commonwealth files a com...

Commonwealth v. Perez  
Date: September 14, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12498

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that its decision in Commonwealth v. Perez, 477 Mass. 677 (2017) (Perez I), requires sentencing judges to follow an individualized process that allows for the consideration of mitigating c...

Commonwealth v. Dirico  
Date: September 13, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12400

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal from the denial of a motion for reconsideration of the denial of Defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of a speedy trial, the Supreme Judicial Court held that Defendant’s statutory and constitutional righ...

Commonwealth v. Graham  
Date: September 13, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12428

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the trial judge’s grant of the motions to dismiss filed by the two defendants in these companion cases and remanded the cases for trial, holding that Defendants were not entitled to dis...

Holyoke Mutual Insurance Co. in Salem v. Vibram USA, Inc.  
Date: September 12, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12401

Justia Opinion Summary: In this insurance dispute, the Supreme Judicial Court reversed the superior court’s allowance of the insurers’ motion for summary judgment, holding that the allegations in the underlying complaint were sufficient to trig...

Oxford Global Resources, LLC v. Hernandez  
Date: September 7, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12439

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the trial judge did not abuse his discretion by allowing Defendant’s motion to dismiss on the ground of forum non conveniens because a Massachusetts choice of law provision in a confi...

1A Auto, Inc. v. Director of Office of Campaign & Political Finance  
Date: September 6, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12413

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the superior court judge’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the director of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) on Plaintiffs’ claim that Massachusetts’s ban on co...

Commonwealth v. Richards  
Date: September 5, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12466

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the district court’s grant of Defendant’s motion for restoration of his license, holding that the plain language of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, 24(1)(f)(1) and the legislative history prec...

New England Power Generators Ass’n v. Department of Environmental Protection  
Date: September 4, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12477

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court upheld 310 Code Mass. Regs. 7.74 (Cap Regulation), which imposes declining greenhouse gas emissions limits on the in-State electric sector through 2050, holding that none of the arguments raise...

Commonwealth v. Robertson  
Date: August 31, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11933

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant’s convictions of murder in the first degree, armed robbery, and carrying a firearm without a license, holding that Defendant’s right to a fair trial as provided by Batson v. K...

Miramar Park Ass’n. v. Town of Dennis  
Date: August 30, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12449

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether dredging and beach nourishment projects undertaken by the Town of Dennis requiring that materials dredged from the mouth of a tidal river be deposited on a publicly-owned beach rather than a privatel...

Bridgwood v. A.J. Wood Construction, Inc.  
Date: August 29, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12352

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the superior court’s dismissal of this complaint under the statute of repose, holding that a claim alleging that a building contractor committed an unfair or deceptive act under Mass....

Commonwealth v. Alvarez  
Date: August 29, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12414

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute but reversed Defendant’s conviction of criminal trespass, holding that there was insufficient evidence to supp...

Commonwealth v. Fernandez  
Date: August 24, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-09264

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation and possession of a firearm without a license, holding that the trial court did not com...

Commonwealth v. Baez  
Date: August 23, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12394

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that, in light of Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), juvenile delinquency adjudications for violent offenses may serve as predicate offenses for adults under the Armed Career Criminal...

In the Matter of Diviacchi
Date: August 23, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12512
Commonwealth v. Alvarez  
Date: August 22, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12396

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant’s convictions, holding that the prosecutor’s closing argument telling the jury of critical corroborative evidence that was not presented at trial was prejudicial error. After...

Alvarez v. Commonwealth
Date: August 22, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12443
Williams v. Steward Health Care System, LLC  
Date: August 14, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12451

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether Steward Carney Hospital owed Mary Miller, who was fatally stabbed in her home by N, a former patient of the hospital, and her family a duty of care, and if so, whether the hospital breached that duty...

Polanco v. Sandor  
Date: August 13, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12389

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this medical malpractice action was whether a surety bond in the amount of $6,000 satisfied the requirement of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 231, 60B that a plaintiff wishing to proceed after a tribunal has found in fa...

Juvenile v. Commonwealth  
Date: August 13, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12455

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice denying Juvenile’s petition filed pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 challenging the superior court judge’s denial of Juvenile’s petition for bail...

Commonwealth v. Cruzado  
Date: August 10, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11670

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of murder in the first degree and declined to exercise its extraordinary power to set aside or reduce the verdict under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E, holding tha...

Commonwealth v. Deconinck  
Date: August 10, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12198

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for murder in the first degree on a theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty and declined to exercise its authority to grant relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 3...

Commonwealth v. Gomez  
Date: August 10, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12437

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that a conditional guilty plea is permissible if it is entered with the consent of the superior court and the Commonwealth and identifies the specific ruling from which the defendant inten...

Commonwealth v. Woods  
Date: August 7, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12324

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the motion judge’s denial of Defendant’s motion seeking a new trial on the basis that he was the target of a grand jury investigation and that his grand jury testimony was improperly a...

Phone Recovery Services, LLC v. Verizon of New England, Inc.  
Date: August 7, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12410

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that Phone Recovery Services, LLC (PRS), as a corporation, did not have standing to bring this qui tam action on behalf of the Commonwealth against Defendants, Verizon of New England, Inc....

Commonwealth v. Delmore D., a juvenile
Date: August 6, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12426
Noe, Sex Offender Registry Board No. 5340 v. Sex Offender Registry Board  
Date: August 1, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12447

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that reclassification hearings of convicted sex offenders under the sex offender registry law, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 6, 178C-178Q, require the Sex Offender Registry Board (Board) to meet the...

Doe, Sex Offender Registry Board No. 76819 v. Sex Offender Registry Board  
Date: August 1, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12462

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the burden and quantum of proof in cases in which sex offenders seek termination of their duty to register under the State’s sex offender registry law, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 6, 178C-178Q. In thi...

Commonwealth v. Waweru  
Date: July 31, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11784

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of murder in the first degree on the theories of premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty and other crimes and declined to exercise its authority under Mass...

Commonwealth v. Webster  
Date: July 27, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12358

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of murder in the first degree on a theory of felony-murder and other crimes and declined to grant extraordinary relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E,...

Commonwealth v. Robinson  
Date: July 26, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-09265

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that, by failing to raise a timely objection to an improper courtroom closure at trial, a defendant forfeits or procedurally waives his or her entitlement to the standard of review designa...

Commonwealth v. McDonagh  
Date: July 26, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12363

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for aggravated statutory rape and indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen, holding that the trial judge erred in allowing the prosecut...

Commonwealth v. Fragata  
Date: July 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12330

Justia Opinion Summary: After setting forth the factors the Commonwealth must prove to convict a defendant of witness intimidation under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 268, 13B(1)(c)(i), the Supreme Judicial Court held that the evidence was insufficient t...

Commonwealth v. Buth  
Date: July 17, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11126

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions on two indictments charging murder in the first degree and declined to grant extraordinary relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E. A jury convicted De...

Commonwealth v. Eldred  
Date: July 16, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12279

Justia Opinion Summary: Under certain circumstances, a judge may order a defendant who is addicted to drugs to remain drug free as a condition of probation, and a defendant may be found to be in violation of his or her probation by subsequently...

Shiel v. Rowell  
Date: July 16, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12432

Justia Opinion Summary: Here, the Supreme Judicial Court retained the law that an individual whose property is damaged by a neighbor’s healthy tree has no cause of action against a landowner of the property upon which the tree lies. The Suprem...

Commonwealth v. Fredette  
Date: July 13, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11931

Justia Opinion Summary: The omission of a merger instruction in this case - where Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on a theory of felony-murder, with aggravated kidnapping as the predicate felony - was not an error because...

Commonwealth v. O'Leary  
Date: July 12, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12445

Justia Opinion Summary: The Commonwealth did not meet its burden of proving compliance with the citation requirement of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90C, 2, which mandates the issuance of a traffic citation “at the time an place of the violation” where...

Commonwealth v. Combs  
Date: July 5, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11724

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed Defendant’s convictions for murder in the first degree, kidnapping, armed robbery, and assault by means of a dangerous weapon, holding that the location of the crimes - whether they oc...

Commonwealth v. D.M.  
Date: July 2, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12192

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the judgment of a single justice of the court denying the Commonwealth’s petition for relief from an interlocutory order of the juvenile court, holding that the single justice abused h...

Chelsea Collaborative, Inc. v. Secretary of the Commonwealth  
Date: July 2, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12435

Justia Opinion Summary: The twenty-day blackout period for voter registration prior to an election does not violate the Massachusetts Constitution. The trial judge in this case declared Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 51, 1, 1F, 26 and 34 to be unconstitu...

Starks v. Commonwealth  
Date: July 2, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12468

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the county court denying Petitioner’s petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 without holding an evidentiary hearing. Petitioner, who was indicted on ch...

Kurbatzky v. Commonwealth
Date: July 2, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12492
Commonwealth v. Vallejo  
Date: June 29, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12399

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated so much of the trial judge’s order as required payment of restitution after Defendant admitted to facts sufficient for a finding of guilty of operating a motor vehicle while under the i...

Hernandez-Lemus v. Arias-Diaz  
Date: June 29, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12399

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated so much of the judgment granting sole legal and physical custody of Petitioner’s child to Petitioner that declined to enter special findings and remanded the case for further proceeding...

Armata v. Target Corp.  
Date: June 25, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12448

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether Title 940 Code Mass. Regs. 7.04(1)(f) (the regulation), implementing Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 93A, 2, which prohibits creditors from contacting a debtor via telephone, either in person or via text messag...

King v. Town Clerk of Townsend  
Date: June 22, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12509

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that a recall election to remove Plaintiff, a member of the board of selectmen of the town of Townsend, from office pursuant to the town’s recall act may not proceed because the act provid...

Commonwealth v. Wimer  
Date: June 21, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12412

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was not required to register as a sex offender because he did not have a “second and subsequent” conviction as required by Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 6, 178C where his two previous convictions were adjudicated during...

Commonwealth v. Gardner  
Date: June 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11751

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for murder in the first degree on the theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty and other crimes, holding that, although certain of the prosecutor’s questions and c...

Anderson v. Attorney General  
Date: June 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12422

Justia Opinion Summary: Initiative Petition 15-17 should not have been certified by the Attorney General as “in proper form for submission to the people” because the petition did not contain only subjects “which are related or which are mutuall...

Oberlies v. Attorney General  
Date: June 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12472; 12473

Justia Opinion Summary: The Attorney General’s decisions to certify Initiative Petition 17-07 and not to certify the related petition, Initiative Petition 17-08, were correct. Initiative Petition 17-07 would limit the number of patients who ma...

Homeowner's Rehab, Inc. v. Related Corporate V SLP, L.P.  
Date: June 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12441

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was when a right of first refusal may be exercised under the terms of the agreements executed in connection with the project in this case. The parties here were partners in a limited partnership formed for the...

G4S Technology LLC v. Massachusetts Technology Park Corp.  
Date: June 13, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12397

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal arising from a construction contract dispute, the Supreme Court held (1) complete and strict performance is required for all construction contract terms relating to the design and construction itself, but...

In re R.B.  
Date: June 11, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12415

Justia Opinion Summary: Unpreserved arguments on appeals from sexual dangerous proceedings under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123A are to be reviewed for a substantial risk of a miscarriage of justice. In 2011, Petitioner was committed to the Massachus...

Acevedo v. Musterfield Place, LLC  
Date: June 8, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12398

Justia Opinion Summary: Neither a controlled affiliate nor the manager of a controlled affiliate is a “public employer” as defined in the Tort Claims Act (Act), Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 258, 2. Plaintiff allegedly injured himself when he slipped an...

Correa v. Schoeck  
Date: June 7, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12409

Justia Opinion Summary: A pharmacy has a limited legal duty to take reasonable steps to notify a patient and his or her prescribing physician of the need for prior authorization each time the patient tries to fill a prescription. Only the phar...

Williams v. American Honda Finance Corp.  
Date: June 5, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12367

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was how to calculate “fair market value” of a repossessed automobile under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 255B, 20 B and the notices that are required with respect to this calculation. Under section 20B, a creditor who re...

Commonwealth v. Nascimento  
Date: June 5, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12442

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether Defendant, who operated a motor vehicle after his license was administratively suspended pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, 24(1)(f)(2), was properly charged under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90, 23, third...

Commonwealth v. Torres  
Date: June 1, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12374

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant’s conviction of stalking, holding that the superior court judge erred in denying Defendant’s request for access to records held in the victim compensation file maintained by t...

Allison v. Eriksson  
Date: May 30, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12391

Justia Opinion Summary: Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 156C, 60(b) provides the exclusive remedy for dissenting members of a limited liability company that has voted to merge, so long as the merger is undertaken in accordance with Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 156C...

Scott v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 25, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12335

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the Court denying Petitioner relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws 211, 3, holding that Petitioner failed to meet his burden of establishing that his c...

Yahya v. Rocktop Partners I, LP  
Date: May 25, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12453

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the county court denying, without a hearing, Petitioner’s petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, in which Petitioner sought a stay of execution of a defa...

Higgins v. Federal National Mortgage Association
Date: May 25, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12456
Abernathy v. Commonwealth
Date: May 24, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12408
Commonwealth v. Colon
Date: May 24, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12417
Debarros v. Commonwealth
Date: May 24, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12423
Calzado v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 24, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12459

Justia Opinion Summary: The single justice did not err in denying, without a hearing, Petitioner’s petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 on the ground that he had an adequate remedy in the normal appellate process. Petitioner, w...

Commonwealth v. Cawthron  
Date: May 23, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12322

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the superior court judge decision allowing Defendants’ motion to suppress statements made to detectives and pills found in one of the defendant’s vehicles on the grounds that Defendant...

Commonwealth v. Pickering  
Date: May 22, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12312

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the superior court judge’s conclusion that Defendant had violated his probation by committing child enticement, holding that Defendant’s constitutional right to present a defense was n...

Commonwealth v. Brown  
Date: May 22, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12348

Justia Opinion Summary: To sustain a conviction of unlawful possession of a loaded firearm under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 269, 10(n) the Commonwealth must prove that a defendant knew the firearm he or she possessed was loaded. Defendant was convict...

Commonwealth v. Imbert  
Date: May 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-10222

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for murder in the first degree and other offenses, affirmed the trial judge’s order denying Defendant’s motion for a new trial, and declined to reduce or set as...

Care and Protection of Penelope
Date: May 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12215
Commonwealth v. Almeida  
Date: May 17, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12179

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for murder in the first degree on the theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. The Court held that the trial judge did not err by (1...

In re F.C.  
Date: May 17, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12438

Justia Opinion Summary: The Appellate Division erred in summarily dismissing F.C.’s appeal from a terminated commitment and treatment order as moot in reliance on Matter of N.L., 476 Mass. 632, 633 (2017). Following F.C.’s involuntary hospita...

Commonwealth v. Lee  
Date: May 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11447

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of murder in the first degree, holding that the seating of a certain juror did not violate Defendant's right to a fair and impartial jury. On appeal, Defendant...

Ahmed-Kagzi v. Williams  
Date: May 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12372

Justia Opinion Summary: For the same reasons stated in Rental Prop. Mgmt. Servs. v. Hatcher, 479 Mass. __ (2018), also decided today, the Supreme Judicial Court held that Fred Basile, a property manager, had no standing to bring a summary proce...

Rental Property Management Services v. Hatcher  
Date: May 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12373

Justia Opinion Summary: Fred Basile, a property manager, had no standing to bring a summary process action in the name of his sole proprietorship seeking to evict a tenant from a property for which Basile was neither the owner nor the lessor. T...

Commonwealth v. Cassidy  
Date: May 14, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12350

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of possession of a large capacity firearm and large capacity feeding devices. On appeal, Defendant argued that his convictions should be overturned because th...

Commonwealth v. Velez  
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11503

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated Defendant’s motion for a new trial and remanded this case for an evidentiary hearing, holding that an evidentiary hearing was necessary under the circumstances of this case. Defendant was convi...

In re Guardianship of D.C.  
Date: May 11, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12390

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was the lawfulness of allowing a hospital to transfer a patient involuntarily to a skilled nursing facility in the absence of a guardianship. The Supreme Court held that the appointment of a guardian over an inc...

Camargo's Case  
Date: May 10, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12368

Justia Opinion Summary: The independent contractor statute, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, 148B, does not determine whether a claimant is an employee for the purpose of workers’ compensation benefits under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 152. Claimant sought re...

Commonwealth v. Drayton  
Date: May 9, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-10667

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the trial judge granting Defendant’s motion for a new trial, holding that the judge did not err in concluding that an affidavit by a deceased affiant was admissible and...

Commonwealth v. Seino  
Date: May 8, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-10726

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for murder in the first degree on a theory of felony-murder and armed robbery and declined to grant extraordinary relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33...

Nguyen v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology  
Date: May 7, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12329

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the motion judge allowing summary judgment for Defendants, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and individuals associated with MIT, in this wrongful death actio...

A.L. Prime Energy Consultant, Inc. v. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority  
Date: May 2, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12370

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was the proper construction of the termination for convenience clause in a contract between the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and A.L. Prime Energy Consultant, Inc. (Prime). The Supreme Ju...

Commonwealth v. Wilbur W.  
Date: April 25, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12351

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the adjudication of delinquency as to a juvenile offender under the age of sixteen, holding that, as applied in these circumstances where the juvenile maintained that he was involved i...

Doe No. 1 v. Secretary of Education  
Date: April 24, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12275

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, five students who attend public schools in the city of Boston, failed to state a claim for relief in their complaint alleging that the charter school cap under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 71, 89(i) violates the educa...

White v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 23, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12233

Justia Opinion Summary: Because forty-five years had passed since Petitioner’s trial, it had not been definitively adjudicated that Petitioner’s loss of his direct appeal was due to any ineffective assistance of counsel, and Petitioner had not...

In the Matter of Moran
Date: April 20, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12356
Carey v. Commissioner of Correction  
Date: April 19, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12369

Justia Opinion Summary: The Department of Correction’s policy announced in 2013 that visitors to correctional facilities would be subject to search by drug-detecting dogs was not inconsistent with the Department’s existing regulations but was n...

Myrick v. Superior Court Department
Date: April 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12190
Commonwealth v. Tahlil  
Date: April 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12338

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the judgment of a single justice of the county court denying the Commonwealth’s petition for relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 from an interlocutory ruling of the Boston Mu...

Vilbon v. Board of Registration in Nursing
Date: April 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12359
A.F. v. D.F.
Date: April 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12425
Commonwealth v. Escobar  
Date: April 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12430

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the orders of the superior court on Appellant’s motions to vacate his conviction and dismiss the underlying charge, for a so-called “Cotto order” pursuant to Commonwealth v. Cotto, 471...

Ramirez v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 17, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12340

Justia Opinion Summary: The absolute prohibition against civilian possession of stun guns under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, 131J violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Defendant was charged with possession of a stun gun...

Commonwealth v. Richardson  
Date: April 17, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12375

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and reversed his conviction of unlawful cultivation of marijuana, holding that the jury instructions on unlawfu...

Dental Service of Massachusetts, Inc. v. Commissioner of Revenue  
Date: April 13, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12346

Justia Opinion Summary: “Covered persons” as used in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 176I, 11 refers solely to natural persons who, as employees, receive insurance coverage for health care services under a group insurance plan, rather than employer entitie...

Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Attorney General  
Date: April 13, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12376

Justia Opinion Summary: There was personal jurisdiction over Exxon Mobil Corporation with respect to the Attorney General’s investigation into whether Exxon knew, long before the general public, that emissions from fossil fuels contributed to c...

In the Matter of Strauss
Date: April 12, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12148
Commonwealth v. Walters  
Date: April 12, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12364

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the resentencing judge, holding that Defendant’s resentencing scheme was neither illegal nor unconstitutional. Defendant was convicted of stalking, harassment, two counts of re...

J.H. v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 12, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12395

Justia Opinion Summary: Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, 72A permits a juvenile court judge to transfer lesser included offenses when supported by probable cause even where lesser included offenses are not expressly charged. In 2014, juvenile delinqu...

Care and Protection of M.C.  
Date: April 9, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12339

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was the appropriate standards and procedures for requests by the Commonwealth and parties to a care and protection proceeding in the juvenile court for the release of impounded records of the proceeding. Here,...

Dorrian v. LVNV Funding, LLC  
Date: April 9, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12355

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was the definition of “debt collector” under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93, 24, specifically its application to the statute’s licensing requirement. Plaintiffs individually filed suit against Defendant, alleging unlic...

Boelter v. Board of Selectmen of Wayland  
Date: April 5, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12353

Justia Opinion Summary: The procedure the board of selectmen of Wayland followed in conducting the 2012 performance review of the town administrator violated the Massachusetts open meeting law, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 30A, 18 and 20(a). In advanc...

In re Children  
Date: April 2, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12386

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the single justice of the Court did not err or abuse her discretion in denying Father’s petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3. In his petition, Father sought custody of his...

Commonwealth v. Escobar  
Date: March 29, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12371

Justia Opinion Summary: The phrase “anything of value” as it appears in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 266, 37E(b), the statute criminalizing identity fraud, does not include avoiding criminal prosecution. Defendant pleaded guilty to identity fraud in co...

Spencer v. Civil Service Commission  
Date: March 27, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12326

Justia Opinion Summary: Under the circumstances of this case, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 30, 46D did not provide Luis Spencer, who resigned under pressure as Commissioner of Correction, a right to revert to a tenured civil service correction officer p...

Commonwealth v. Grundman  
Date: March 22, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12264

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether the sentencing judge erred in resentencing Defendant, who was convicted of certain sex offenses, to include, approximately ten months after he was originally sentenced, the condition that he be subje...

Commonwealth v. G.F.  
Date: March 20, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12388

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case where the Commonwealth filed a petition seeking to commit Petitioner as a sexually dangerous person in 2010 but, after three mistrials, Petitioner remained confined without a finding that he was sexually dan...

Commonwealth v. Brown  
Date: March 16, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12313

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of assault and battery and witness intimidation and imposing a sentence of a one-year commitment to a house of correction, suspe...

Rafferty v. Merck & Co., Inc.  
Date: March 16, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12347

Justia Opinion Summary: A plaintiff who alleges that he was injured from his use of a generic drug because of a failure to warn of the drug’s side effects cannot bring a common-law general negligence claim against the brand-name manufacturer th...

Commonwealth v. Wright  
Date: March 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11950

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s two convictions of murder in the first degree, holding that none of Defendant’s allegations of error warranted reversal. Specifically, the Court held (1) the pretrial motio...

In re E.C.  
Date: March 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12230

Justia Opinion Summary: The dismissal of the criminal charge pending against Respondent, an incompetent defendant, did not require his release from commitment to Bridgewater State Hospital, where the charge was dismissed after the period of com...

Caplan v. Town of Acton  
Date: March 9, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12274

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether two grants of public funds to renovate an active church that had been identified as a “historic resource” under the Community Preservation Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 44B, are categorically barred by th...

Commonwealth v. Howard  
Date: March 5, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12199

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation and declined to allow relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E. The Court held (1) the...

Sabree v. Commonwealth  
Date: March 5, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12300

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the court, pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, denying Appellant relief from prison sentences that Appellant claimed were illegal, holding that...

Commonwealth v. Padua  
Date: March 2, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12321

Justia Opinion Summary: While an appellate court generally may remand a case for resentencing while affirming the underlying conviction, it was nevertheless improper to do so under the particular circumstances of this case. Defendant pleaded...

Commonwealth v. Manha  
Date: February 28, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12342

Justia Opinion Summary: The police in this case had the authority to stop and perform a Terry-type search of a motor vehicle after an anonymous 911 caller reported that the driver of the vehicle threatened the caller, a fellow motorist, with a...

Cormier v. City of Lynn  
Date: February 27, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12323

Justia Opinion Summary: The Massachusetts Tort Claims Act protected a school district and its employees from liability for negligence in failing to act reasonably to prevent the bullying that led to a public elementary school student’s injuries...

WorldWide TechServices, LLC v. Commissioner of Revenue  
Date: February 22, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12328

Justia Opinion Summary: This litigation began when purchasers of computer service contracts filed a putative class action against the sellers. The sellers successfully moved to compel arbitration pursuant to the terms of the computer services c...

Commonwealth v. Jones  
Date: February 20, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-10944

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty, holding that the judge who conducted Defendant’s third co...

Pinney v. Commonwealth  
Date: February 15, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12197

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the county court denying Appellant’s petition filed pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that retrying Appellant after his first trial en...

Commonwealth v. Buckley  
Date: February 14, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12344

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court declined, in this case, to depart from the tenet that a traffic stop constitutes a reasonable seizure for purposes of article 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights where a police office...

Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board  
Date: February 13, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12331

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the superior court affirming a determination by the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board (CRAB) that sick or vacation payments, when used to supplement workers’ compens...

Commonwealth v. Dabney  
Date: February 13, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12349

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of human trafficking, deriving support from prostitution, and assault and battery, thus rejecting Defendant’s claims of error. The court held (1) the trial judg...

Commonwealth v. Ortiz  
Date: February 12, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12273

Justia Opinion Summary: A driver’s consent to allow law enforcement officers to search for narcotics or firearms “in the vehicle” does not authorize the officer to search under the hood of the vehicle and, as part of that search, to remove the...

Commonwealth v. Kennedy  
Date: February 9, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12345

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for indecent assault and battery on a person over fourteen, assault and battery, and indecent exposure. The court held (1) the trial judge did not err in declin...

Casseus v. Eastern Bus Company, Inc.  
Date: February 8, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12315

Justia Opinion Summary: The bus drivers in this case were not entitled to overtime payment because their employer was licensed and regulated pursuant to the common carrier statute. Plaintiff-bus drivers worked for Eastern Bus Company. Eastern...

Millis Public Schools v. M.P.  
Date: February 6, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12384

Justia Opinion Summary: Under the children requiring assistance (CRA) statute, a child “willfully fails to attend school” if the child’s repeated failure to attend school arises from reasons portending delinquent behavior. In this case, the Mi...

Tavares v. Commonwealth
Date: February 5, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12211
Commonwealth v. Gomes  
Date: February 5, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12290

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the trial judge’s denial of Defendant’s motion for a new trial on the grounds that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel during his criminal trial. Specifically, Defendant...

Commonwealth v. Orbin O.  
Date: February 5, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12314

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether the holding in Commonwealth v. Newton N., also decided today, that where a prosecutor wishes to proceed to arraignment on a delinquency complaint supported by probable cause, a juvenile may not dismi...

Commonwealth v. Newton N.  
Date: February 5, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12354

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal from the Juvenile Court’s grant of a prearrangement motion to dismiss a delinquency complaint, the Supreme Judicial Court held (1) a judge, in weighing whether the information contained within the...

Commonwealth v. Fernandes  
Date: February 2, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-10610

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditated and armed assault with intent to murder, affirmed the denial of Defendant’s motion for p...

Josh J. v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 31, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12286

Justia Opinion Summary: Where an individual has been released on bail pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 276, 58 and there is probable cause to believe the individual committed a crime while released on bail, the Commonwealth may seek to revoke ba...

Mui v. Massachusetts Port Authority  
Date: January 29, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12296

Justia Opinion Summary: Payment for accrued, unused sick time (sick pay) does not count as “wages” under the Wage Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, sections 148, 150. The superior court allowed Plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in...

Grand Manor Condominium Ass’n v. City of Lowell  
Date: January 19, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12294

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the trial court rendering judgment on a jury’s verdict finding that Plaintiffs’ claim for damages to Plaintiffs’ property under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 21E, 5(a)(iii) was ba...

Trustees of Cambridge Point Condominium Trust v. Cambridge Point, LLC  
Date: January 19, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12327

Justia Opinion Summary: A condominium bylaw providing that the condominium trust’s board of trustees cannot bring any litigation involving the common areas and facilities against anyone other than a unit owner unless they first obtain the conse...

Commonwealth v. McGonagle  
Date: January 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12292

Justia Opinion Summary: A sentencing judge’s consideration of victim impact statements “as to a recommended sentence” is constitutional under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and article 26 of the Massachusetts Declaration...

James B. Nutter & Co. v. Estate of Murphy  
Date: January 18, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12325

Justia Opinion Summary: The language in the reverse mortgages at issue in this case incorporated the statutory power of sale as set forth in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 183, 21 and allowed the Mortgagee to foreclose on the mortgaged property in accorda...

Wallace v. PNC Bank, N.A.  
Date: January 16, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12261

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the court denying Petitioner’s petition seeking relief from the district court’s judgment in a summary process proceeding. Petitioner filed the peti...

Minkina v. Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz, LLP  
Date: January 16, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12407

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the court denying Petitioner’s petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3. In her petition, Petitioner sought review of several interlocutory t...

G.G. v. L.R.  
Date: January 16, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12418

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner obtained a civil harassment prevention order against L.R. While L.R.’s appeal was pending, a series of events occurred in the superior court and Appeals Court. Here, the Supreme Judicial Court (1) affirmed the...

Elliot v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 12, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11947

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the court denying Petitioner’s petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 arguing that because he had been “lawfully committed to the Departmen...

Commonwealth v. Curran  
Date: January 12, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12293

Justia Opinion Summary: The right of an incompetent defendant to raise defenses in a proceeding pursuant to Conn. Gen. Laws ch. 123A, 15, which allows incompetent persons who are unable to stand trial for qualifying sex offenses to be deemed se...

Miller v. Miller  
Date: January 12, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12298

Justia Opinion Summary: In child custody cases where one parent seeks to remove and relocate a child to another country and no prior custody order exists to guide the trial judge as to whether the “real advantage” standard of Yannas v. Frondist...

Cepeda v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 12, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12387

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice denying Petitioner’s petition filed under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 arguing that when the Commonwealth seeks to indict a juvenile, the grand jury mu...

Commonwealth v. Cousin  
Date: January 11, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12252

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the trial court’s allowance of Defendant’s motion for a new trial on the basis that trial counsel was ineffective because he was burdened by an actual conflict of interest. At issue on...

Commonwealth v. Lopes  
Date: January 10, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-11587

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

Roma, III, Ltd. v. Board of Appeals of Rockport  
Date: January 8, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12278

Justia Opinion Summary: Cities and towns may exercise their zoning authority to determine whether land in their communities may be used as a noncommercial private restricted landing area (in this case, a private heliport). Here, the Land Court...

Commonwealth v. Lastowski  
Date: January 4, 2018
Docket Number: SJC-12280

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the district court judge denying Defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty pleas, holding that the motion judge correctly determined that Defendant did not satisfy the...

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