Snell v. Superintendent, Massachusetts Correctional Institute, Shirley

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Justia Opinion Summary

The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of a single justice of the court treating Petitioner's requests for declaratory, injunctive, and other relief concerning certain inmate mail regulations as a petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 and denying relief, holding that the single justice neither erred nor abused her discretion.

Specifically, the Supreme Judicial Court held (1) Petitioner's memorandum filed pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 2:21, as amended, did nothing to establish the inadequacy of the ordinary process of trial and appeal; and (2) the single justice acted within her discretion in concluding that there was no reason to exercise the court's extraordinary authority to grant the preliminary injunction or otherwise grant the relief requested by Petitioner in the first instance.

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NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports. If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 5571030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us SJC-12807 EMORY G. SNELL, JR. vs. SUPERINTENDENT, MASSACHUSETTS CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, SHIRLEY. May 26, 2020. Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts. In the county court, Emory G. Snell, Jr. (petitioner), requested declaratory, injunctive, and other relief concerning certain inmate mail regulations. A single justice of this court treated the requests as a petition pursuant to G. L. c. 211, ยง 3, and denied relief. The petitioner appeals. We affirm. The petitioner has filed a memorandum and appendix pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 2:21, as amended, 434 Mass. 1301 (2001). "Even though rule 2:21 does not apply here, because he is not challenging any interlocutory rulings of the trial court, it is clear that he is not entitled to relief. Regardless of how [the petitioner] styles his filing, . . . his avenue for seeking relief is in the Superior Court in the first instance." Vinnie v. Superintendent, Mass. Correctional Inst., Norfolk, 482 Mass. 1028, 1028 (2019). The petitioner's memorandum does nothing to establish the inadequacy of the ordinary process of trial and appeal. See Guzzi v. Secretary of Pub. Safety, 450 Mass. 1016, 1016 (2007). The "single justice acted well within [her] discretion in concluding that the case presented no occasion to exercise the court's extraordinary authority to grant the preliminary injunction," Love v. Commissioner of Correction, 418 Mass. 1003, 1004 (1994), or otherwise to grant the relief requested by the petitioner in the first instance. 2 Judgment affirmed. The case was submitted on the papers filed, accompanied by a memorandum of law. Emory G. Snell, Jr., pro se.
Primary Holding
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the single justice's decision treating Petitioner's requests for declaratory, injunctive, and other relief concerning certain inmate mail regulations as a petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 and denying relief, holding that the single justice neither erred nor abused her discretion.

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