Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Decisions 2021

Commonwealth v. Curran  
Date: December 30, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13093

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for simple assault and battery, holding that while Defendant's bench trial, conducted partly via Zoom, did not violate Defendant's constitutional rights, this op...

Sacks v. Dissinger  
Date: December 29, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13105

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the superior court granting Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims alleging undue influence in this trusts and estates case, holding that Plaintiffs' claims for intent...

Commonwealth v. Sweeting-Bailey  
Date: December 22, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13086

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions entered upon his conditional guilty plea to the charges of possession of a firearm without a license and possession of a large capacity feeding device, holding...

Meehan v. Medical Information Technology, Inc.  
Date: December 17, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13117

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the decision of the superior court allowing Employer's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint, holding that an employer cannot terminate an at-will employee for exercising the right t...

Nemirovsky v. Daikin North America, LLC  
Date: December 16, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13108

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the superior court judge's directed verdict in favor of DACA Delaware Dissolution Trust (DACA Trust) and Stebbins Duffy, a manufacturer's representative of Daikin Industries' products,...

Isijola v. Board of Appeal on Motor Vehicle Liability Policies & Bonds  
Date: December 16, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13185

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, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse her discr...

Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Salaman  
Date: December 16, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13188

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of a single justice denying Petitioner's petition for extraordinary relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 and under the doctrine of present execution, holding that Pe...

Scott v. WM Oak Grove Village, LLC  
Date: December 15, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13187

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 any...

Jinks v. Credico (USA) LLC  
Date: December 13, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13106

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the superior court allowing summary judgment in favor of Credico (USA), LLC in this labor dispute, holding that the independent contractor statute, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149...

Negron v. Turco  
Date: December 9, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13097

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice of the court denying Petitioner's petition for relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse th...

Commonwealth v. Paige  
Date: December 6, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12806

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of felony-murder in the first degree with aggravated rape as the predicate offense, holding that there was no prejudicial error in the proceedings below and that...

Bostwick v. 44 Chestnut Street, Wakefield, Mass.  
Date: November 23, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13061

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the superior court judge dismissing Plaintiff's civil action against the Appeals Court alleging various claims relating to property situated at 44 Chestnut Street in Wakef...

Foster v. Commissioner of Correction  
Date: November 18, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13125

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court judge denying Plaintiffs' second request for a preliminary injunction, holding that there was no error. Plaintiffs, a class of inmates in Department...

Lieber v. President and Fellows of Harvard College
Date: November 15, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13126
In the Matter of Richard
Date: November 12, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13003
Berry v. Commerce Insurance Co.  
Date: October 25, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13089

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court concluding that the tortfeasor in this case, a police officer, was not acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the accident, holding...

Commonwealth v. Lessieur  
Date: October 21, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13006

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the superior court judge denying Defendant's motion for a new trial, holding that the judge did not err because the motion did not raise any error that suggested a miscarr...

Care and Protection of a Minor
Date: October 21, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13118
Commonwealth v. Jacobs  
Date: October 19, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-10590

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for murder in the first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm and the order denying his motion for a new trial, holding that there was no error. After th...

McGilloway v. Safety Insurance Co.  
Date: October 19, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13053

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court remanded these consolidated actions against two insurance companies to the superior court for further proceedings, holding that inherent diminished value (IDV) damages, if adequately proved, ar...

Commonwealth v. Kozubal  
Date: October 15, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13092

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions with the exception of two counts, which the Court vacated under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, 13B 1/2, holding that Defendant's convictions stemming from incidents t...

Edwards v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 12, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13073

Justia Opinion Summary: In this interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court judge denying the Commonwealth's motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff's complaint alleging wrongful termination und...

Torres v. Commonwealth  
Date: October 8, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13082

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying Petitioner's petition for relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice did not err in denying relief. Peti...

Leslie v. Bodkin
Date: October 8, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13095
Del Gallo v. District Attorney for the Suffolk District  
Date: October 7, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12837

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice denying Plaintiff's complaint seeking a broad range of declaratory and injunctive relief, relief in the nature of mandamus, and the exercise of the Sup...

Commonwealth v. Andrade  
Date: October 5, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-11529

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of murder in the first degree, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and other offenses, holding that Defendant was not entitled to reversal of hi...

Commonwealth v. Alemany  
Date: October 4, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12180

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation, extreme atrocity or cruelty, felony-murder, and other offenses, holding that there was no...

Commonwealth v. Henry  
Date: October 1, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13048

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying Defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty pleas to indictments charging robbery, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, unlawful...

Commonwealth v. Curran
Date: September 29, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13093
List of Emma v. Massachusetts Parole Board
Date: September 28, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13101
Emma v. Massachusetts Parole Board  
Date: September 28, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13101

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the medical parole scheme set forth in the Medical Parole Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 127, 119A, authorizing the Commissioner of Correction to grant medical parole to terminally ill or p...

Committee for Public Counsel Services v. Barnstable County Sheriff's Office  
Date: September 28, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13116

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the responses of the named sheriff's offices in this complaint and their respective houses of correction to the COVID-19 pandemic did not violate Federal and State constitutional mini...

Commonwealth v. Rintala  
Date: September 27, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12310

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment against Defendant convicting her of the murder the first degree for the murder of her spouse, holding that the admission of certain expert testimony was prejudicial error....

Commonwealth v. Arias  
Date: September 16, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13136

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the trial court denying Defendant's motion for reduction of the verdict or for a new trial, holding that principles of direct estoppel precluded another review in this cas...

Laramie v. Philip Morris USA Inc.  
Date: September 15, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13070

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the trial court entering judgment upon the jury's verdict in this wrongful death case and awarding Plaintiff $11 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in puni...

Commonwealth v. Yusuf  
Date: September 10, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12989

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated and set aside the order of the superior court judge denying Defendant's motion to suppress the fruits of a search of Defendant's home, holding that the warrantless investigatory review...

K.J. v. Superintendent of Bridgewater State Hospital  
Date: September 8, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13081

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the Commissioner of Correction's exercise of the "commissioner's certification" provision in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 18(a) to retain K.J. at Bridgewater State Hospital violated article 30...

Suburban Home Health Care, Inc. v. Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Office of Medicaid  
Date: September 3, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13051

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the six-year statute of limitations for contract actions governed this case and that the efforts of Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Office of Medicaid (MassHealth) to...

Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc. v. Melendez  
Date: September 3, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13054

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the district court denying Defendant's motion to dismiss this personal injury action on statute of limitations grounds, holding that there was no error. Plaintiff brough...

Conservation Commission of Norton v. Pesa  
Date: August 31, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13058

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the order of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants and dismissing a complaint brought by the Conservation Commission of Norton, holding that the Wetlands P...

Commonwealth v. Quiles  
Date: August 30, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12733

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant's conviction of armed assault with intent to rob as duplicative of his felony murder conviction and otherwise affirmed Defendant's convictions, holding that the evidence suppo...

CommCan, Inc. v. Mansfield  
Date: August 30, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13029

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the Land Court determining that, pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 94G, 3(a)(1), the town of Mansfield may not prevent CommCan, Inc. from converting to a retail marijuana...

West Street Associates LLC v. Planning Board of Mansfield  
Date: August 30, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13069

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that a previously enacted municipal bylaw that permits only nonprofit entities to operate medical marijuana dispensaries is preempted by a statutory provision specifically eliminating that...

Mullins v. Corcoran  
Date: August 26, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13049

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court allowing Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings on the ground that the claims in this case were based on issues that had been litigating an...

Osborne-Trussell v. Children's Hospital Corp.  
Date: August 25, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12991

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the order of the trial court dismissing Plaintiff's complaint with respect to all counts in the complaint with the exception of the public policy claim, holding that Plaintiff's compla...

Hovagimian v. Concert Blue Hill, LLC  
Date: August 23, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13039

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the term "service charge" is a defined term in the Tips Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, 152A, that the disputed charge at issue in this case was properly characterized as a "service cha...

In re Care & Protection of Rashida  
Date: August 20, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13072

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court answered three reported questions regarding whether the provision in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, 29C that the court shall determine reasonable efforts not less than annually permits or requires a...

Commonwealth v. Wampler
Date: August 20, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13111
Commonwealth v. Carter  
Date: August 16, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-11517 & SJC 11518

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendants' convictions for murder in the first degree on a theory of joint venture, holding that it was an abuse of discretion for the judge not to require the Commonwealth to provide...

In re LeSage  
Date: August 10, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13041

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the order of the superior court concluding that the Commonwealth's exercise of its statutory right to demand a jury trial violated Petitioner's substantive due process rights and allow...

Commonwealth v. Brea  
Date: August 6, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12753

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation and declined relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E, holding that there was no rea...

Commonwealth v. McDermott  
Date: August 6, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13091

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the single justice of the appeals court denying Defendant's motion to stay his sentence pending appeal of his motion for a new trial, holding that Defendant presented a se...

Commonwealth v. Henley  
Date: August 5, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12951 & SJC 12952

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions of Josiah Zachery and Donte Henley of murder in the first degree and Zachery's convictions of assault by means of a dangerous weapon and carrying a firearm without a li...

In re P.R.  
Date: August 5, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13068

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court remanded this case for a new hearing held pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123, 7 and 8, holding that the trial judge erred in allowing an expert witness to testify on direct examination about t...

Commonwealth v. Sharma  
Date: August 3, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13035

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the denial of Defendant's Mass. R. Crim. P. 30(a) motion seeking to vacate his remaining sentences after he was paroled from his life sentence for murder and remanded the matter to the...

Hornibrook v. Richard  
Date: August 2, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13030

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the order of the superior court denying Defendant's motion to dismiss the counts of breach of fiduciary duty and conversion, holding that a conservator acting pursuant to judicial appr...

Mederi, Inc. v. Salem  
Date: July 30, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13010

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the superior court denying this action in the nature of mandamus as well as certiorari review of the decision of the city of Salem to reject Mederi, Inc.'s application...

Commonwealth v. Simmons  
Date: July 28, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13114

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the court denying the Commonwealth's petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 seeking review of, and relief from, the judge's discovery order...

Fournier v. Secretary of Executive Office of Health & Human Services  
Date: July 23, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13059

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court reversing the determination of the Massachusetts Office of Medicaid's board of hearings that Plaintiff's home was a countable asset, making her ineli...

Doe, SORB No. 339940 v. Sex Offender Registry Board  
Date: July 20, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12908

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court affirming the decision of the Sex Offender Registry Board classifying Plaintiff as a level three sex offender, holding that the sex offender registra...

Commonwealth v. Vigiani  
Date: July 20, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13087

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 233, 20, Fourth - which applies to the testimony of a parent of minor child against the other in criminal, delinquency, and youthful offender proceedings where the victim is...

Randolph v. Commonwealth  
Date: July 16, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13033

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the superior court requiring Leroy Randolph to submit a saliva sample for DNA testing to establish whether DNA found on a murder weapon belonged to him, holding that there...

Commonwealth v. Lowery  
Date: July 13, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13050

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for trafficking of persons for sexual servitude and unlawful possession of marijuana, holding that the superior court judge did not err denying Defendant's motio...

Moore v. Executive Office of the Trial Court  
Date: July 8, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12966

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice of the court denying Plaintiff's petition for relief after she was suspended without pay from her position as an assistant clerk-magistrate in the su...

Cassouto-Noff & Co. v. Diamond  
Date: July 6, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13026

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court recognizing an Israeli judgment under the Massachusetts Uniform Foreign Money-Judgments Recognition Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 235, 23A, thus allowing...

Commonwealth v. Rand  
Date: July 6, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13047

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of assault and battery and strangulation, holding that admitting the victim's statements did not violate Defendant's right to confrontation under the Sixth Amen...

Commonwealth v. West  
Date: July 2, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12489

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree on a theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty, holding that Defendant's allegations of error were unavailing. Specifically, the Supre...

Commonwealth v. Jenks  
Date: July 2, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13016

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that Defendant did not meet the threshold under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278A, 3 to be entitled to a hearing on his motions for postconviction forensic testing. Defendant was convicted of prem...

Commonwealth v. Donald  
Date: July 2, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13040

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the order of the superior court judge denying Defendant's eighth motion for postconviction forensic testing of certain evidence from his 1999 trial, holding that Defendant satisfied th...

Commonwealth v. Fernandes  
Date: July 1, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-11586

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for murder in the first degree but remanded for resentencing in accordance with Diatchenko v. District Attorney for the Suffolk District, 466 Mass. 655 (2013),...

Pinney v. Commonwealth  
Date: July 1, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13100

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

Ardaneh v. Commonwealth  
Date: July 1, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13104

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the court denying Petitioner's petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse his discre...

Vilbon v. Commonwealth  
Date: July 1, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13113

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

Commonwealth v. Louis  
Date: June 28, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-11512

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of murder in the first degree on the theory of felony-murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, and attempted armed robbery, holding that there was no error. S...

Sudbury v. Energy Facilities Siting Board  
Date: June 25, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12997

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the Energy Facilities Siting Board that approved a proposal by Eversource Energy under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 264, 69J to construct a new electrical transmission line betw...

Commonwealth v. Trotto  
Date: June 24, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-11930

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of felony murder but vacated Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree and remanded the matter for entry of a verdict of guilty of murder in the secon...

DeCosmo v. Blue Tarp Redevelopment, LLC  
Date: June 23, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13031 & SJC 13060

Justia Opinion Summary: In this proposed class action suit challenging the rules of blackjack at the Encore Boston Harbor Casino the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the superior court judge granting the motion to dismiss brought by...

Commonwealth v. Witkowski  
Date: June 18, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12717

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree, on a theory of felony order, with aggravated rape as the predicate felony, holding that there was no prejudicial error in the proc...

Commonwealth v. Gonzalez  
Date: June 16, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12936

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the superior court allowing Defendant's motion to suppress all of the statements he made after having invoked his right to counsel, holding that the trial judge did not...

Curtatone v. Barstool Sports, Inc.  
Date: June 14, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13027

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the superior court dismissing this complaint alleging a violation of the Massachusetts wiretap act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, 99, holding that Plaintiff failed to allege...

C.M. v. Commissioner of Department of Children & Families  
Date: June 11, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13015

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that social workers, and their approving supervisors, in the Department of Children and Families who attest to facts in sworn affidavits as part of care and protection proceedings commence...

Commonwealth v. Medina  
Date: June 9, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12987

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the sentencing judge denying Defendant's motion to dismiss revocation proceedings and the finding that Defendant violated conditions of his probation, holding that ther...

Mushwaalakbar v. Commonwealth  
Date: June 9, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13098

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal from various orders regarding Defendant's pretrial detention status the Supreme Judicial Court vacated the decision of the single justice concluding that no due process violation occurred regarding one cas...

Commonwealth v. Ortiz  
Date: June 8, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12975

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of unlawful distribution of heroin as a subsequent offender and unlawful possession of heroin with intent to distribute as a subsequent offender, holding that th...

Styller v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Lynnfield  
Date: June 7, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12901

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the Land Court's judgment affirming the decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals of the town of Lynnfield upholding the decision of the building inspector ordering Plaintiff to cease an...

Heath-Latson v. Styller  
Date: June 7, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12917

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the superior court judge granting Defendant's motion to dismiss this wrongful death action, holding that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that the duty Defendant owed to th...

Doe v. Sex Offender Registry Board  
Date: June 3, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13032

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the superior court affirming the decision of the Sex Offender Registry Board denying Doe's motion to vacate her final classification as a level three sex offender, holdi...

Commonwealth v. Delgado-Rivera  
Date: June 1, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12919

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the decision of the superior court judge allowing Defendant's motion to suppress, holding that Defendant enjoyed no reasonable expectation of privacy in the text messages sent by him th...

Boisvert v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 26, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13002

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed in part the judgment of a single justice of the court denying Petitioner's petition filed pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 seeking bail review but remanded the case for the judge...

Commonwealth v. Velez  
Date: May 25, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-11503

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for two counts of murder in the first degree and the denial of his motion for a new trial, holding that Defendant was not deprived of his constitutional right t...

Morris v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 25, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13084

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...

Wright v. Department of Correction  
Date: May 25, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13085

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, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse his discr...

Fitzpatrick v. Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers of New York, Inc.  
Date: May 21, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12937

Justia Opinion Summary: In this personal injury suit, the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the trial judge allowing Defendants' motion for a mistrial after Plaintiff's counsel purportedly made improper comments during his closing...

Oracle USA, Inc. v. Commissioner of Revenue  
Date: May 21, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13013

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the Appellate Tax Board granting certain vendors' applications for refunds through the general abatement process for the portion of sales tax they had paid to the Commo...

Harmon v. Commissioner of Correction  
Date: May 19, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12876 & SJC 12895

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court answered three reported questions regarding judicial proceedings stemming from the denial of a petition for medical parole. Plaintiffs - Raymon Harmon and Brian Racine - were prisoners who app...

Malloy v. Department of Correction  
Date: May 19, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12961

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed as moot Plaintiffs' appeal arguing that the Department of Correction (DOC) illegally kept them in custody after a final decision on their petitions for medical parole had been made by...

Knight v. Board of Registration in Medicine  
Date: May 19, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12994

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice of the court affirming the decision of the Board of Registration in Medicine revoking Joseph Knight's inchoate right to renew his medical license, ho...

Commonwealth v. Davis  
Date: May 17, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13014

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed Defendant's convictions of armed assault with intent to murder and related charges, holding that the trial judge erred in admitting evidence obtained from a global positioning system (...

Commonwealth v. Welch  
Date: May 14, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-11839

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree on theories of both deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty, holding that there was no reversible error either in...

Rosenberg v. JPMorgan Chase & Co.  
Date: May 11, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12973

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a judge of the superior court dismissing Relator's claims alleging that Defendants collectively engaged in and conspired to engage in fraud, holding that this suit was...

In re Hamm  
Date: May 10, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13011

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a judge of the probate court denying Appellant's special motion to dismiss the amended objection of William Charles Hamm, a protected person, to a conservator's final a...

Commonwealth v. Caldwell  
Date: May 6, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12907

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the superior court denying Defendant's motion for a new trial and vacated Defendant's conviction of aggravated rape, holding that Defendant was entitled to a new trial. Defendant...

Commonwealth v. Tinsley  
Date: May 6, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13052

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the allowance of Defendant's motion for a new trial, holding that the evidence supporting the charge of armed home invasion was insufficient to allow a finding beyond a reasonable doub...

Diaz v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 5, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13009

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the order of the trial judge denying Defendant's motion to continue his evidentiary hearing on his motion to suppress until it could be held in person, holding that the trial judge abu...

Commonwealth v. Gumkowski  
Date: May 4, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12670

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree on a theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty, holding that there was no error that would require reversal of Defendant's convictions....

Pope v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 29, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12977

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed in part and affirmed in part the judgment of the single justice of the court denying Petitioners' petition filed under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 seeking a stay of execution of their...

Mandeville v. Gaffney  
Date: April 29, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12980

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals answered a question certified to it by the Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts by holding that the thirty-day time limitation established in Mains v. Commonwealth, 433 Mass. 30 (...

Commonwealth v. Harris  
Date: April 29, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13046

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the Appeals Court affirming the denial of a single justice of the Appeals Court denying Defendant's motion to stay execution of his sentence, holding that the Appeals C...

Town of Brookline v. Alston  
Date: April 27, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12974

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court affirming the decision of the Civil Service Commission ordering Plaintiff's reinstatement to his position as a tenured civil service employee, holdin...

Commonwealth v. Martinez  
Date: April 23, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12393

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree on the theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on his allegations of error. Speci...

Cobble Hill Center LLC v. Somerville Redevelopment Authority  
Date: April 22, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13028

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the broad eminent domain powers granted to redevelopment authorities by Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 12B, 11(d) include demonstration projects under Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 121B, 46(f). The Some...

Massachusetts Port Authority v. Turo Inc.  
Date: April 21, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13012

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the superior court allowing Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction but amended the first numbered paragraph of the order to affirmatively restrain only Turo Inc.'...

Commonwealth v. Hinds  
Date: April 20, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12953

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed Defendant's conviction of two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon resulting in serious injury, holding that the trial court judge erred in excluding one of Def...

Commonwealth v. Brown  
Date: April 14, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12928

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice of the court summarily denying the Commonwealth's petition under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 seeking relief from an evidentiary order of the superior...

Jahm v. Mall at Liberty Tree, LLC  
Date: April 14, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13020

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice of the court denying Petitioner's petition brought under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse her discret...

Torres v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 14, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13056

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

Bishay v. Superior Court Department of the Trial Court  
Date: April 14, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13076

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the court denying Petitioner's petition filed under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that Petitioner's petition failed because of adequate altern...

Commonwealth v. Ulani U.  
Date: April 12, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12986

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the juvenile court finding Juvenile in criminal contempt, holding that the juvenile court judge abused her discretion. Juvenile, who was sixteen years old, was before t...

Commonwealth v. Rodriguez-Nieves  
Date: April 9, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12307

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court set aside the verdict in this case, vacated Defendant's conviction, and remanded the matter for a new trial, holding that the prosecutor's failure to disclose certain statements and newly disco...

Governo Law Firm LLC v. Bergeron  
Date: April 9, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12948

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the portion of the trial court's judgment denying Plaintiff's claim under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A, 11 and affirmed the remainder of the judgment, holding that the judge erred in instruc...

Commonwealth v. Watson  
Date: April 6, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12616

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree and vacated his conviction of accessory after the fact to murder, holding that, under the circumstances, Defendant could not convic...

In the Matter of Zankowski
Date: March 25, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12850
Attorney General v. Facebook, Inc.  
Date: March 24, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12946

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving the Attorney General's investigation into Facebook, Inc. under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A focusing on whether Facebook misrepresented the extent to which it protected or misused user data the Supreme...

Garcia v. Commonwealth  
Date: March 22, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12863

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court remanded this matter to the county court for entry of a judgment allowing Defendant's petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 and ordering that the superior court judge's order hospital...

Commonwealth v. Concepcion  
Date: March 16, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12382

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court exercised its authority under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E to reduce the jury's verdict of murder in the first degree to murder in the second degree, holding that, in light of the circumstances...

Sullivan v. Five Acres Realty Trust  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12934

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment to Defendants on some of Plaintiffs' claims and granting judgment for Plaintiffs on their impli...

Concord v. Water Department of Littleton  
Date: March 11, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12947

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that should Littleton, Acton, or both towns choose to exercise their rights to take the waters of Nagog Pond and apply for a permit under the Water Management Act (WMA), Mass. Gen. Laws ch...

Oquendo v. Commonwealth  
Date: March 10, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12944 & SJC 12963

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the two judgments of a single justice of the court denying Petitioner's petitions for extraordinary relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, by which Petitioner sought pretrial r...

Linardon v. Boston Housing Authority  
Date: March 10, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13037

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 an order keeping her approved federal rental voucher un...

DeWeese-Boyd v. Gordon College  
Date: March 5, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12988

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the ministerial exception did not apply to Plaintiff, an associate professor of social work at a private Christian liberal arts college, and therefore, the superior court judge did no...

Saipe v. Sullivan & Co., Inc.  
Date: March 1, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12853

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the underlying judgment of the Housing Court in this summary process eviction action awarding possession to Landlord, holding that Tenant's appeals regarding his requests for disabilit...

Doull v. Foster  
Date: February 26, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12921

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the traditional but-for factual causation standard is the appropriate standard to be employed in medical malpractice cases, including those involving multiple alleged causes, and disc...

Commonwealth v. Chalue  
Date: February 23, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12457

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions three counts of murder in the first degree and concluded that Defendant was not entitled to relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E, holding that there was n...

Commonwealth v. Caliz  
Date: February 23, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12932

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the superior court denying Defendant's motion for credit for time he served on a drug conviction that was vacated after the scandal at the State Laboratory Institute in Am...

Commonwealth v. Colas  
Date: February 22, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12701

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant's convictions of murder in the first degree and armed assault with intent to murder and affirmed Defendant's conviction of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon,...

Abuzahra v. City of Cambridge  
Date: February 17, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12920

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 79, the so-called "quick take" statute, permits a property owner to both accept a pro tanto payment for an eminent domain taking and simultaneously challenge the v...

Commonwealth v. Pearson  
Date: February 12, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12930

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated some of Defendant's convictions, holding that the case must be remanded for an evidentiary hearing as to Defendant's motion to suppress and a determination as to whether the first prong...

Commonwealth v. Watkins (No. 1)  
Date: February 11, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12799

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the decision of the superior court granting a new trial in this criminal case after concluding that the evidence was insufficient to support Defendant's murder conviction on a theory o...

Commonwealth v. Watkins (No. 2)
Date: February 11, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12969
Guilfoil v. Secretary of Executive Office of Health & Human Services  
Date: February 9, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12922

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the judgment of the superior court judge affirming the decision of a hearing officer upholding MassHealth's denial of Plaintiff's application for Medicaid benefits on the grounds that...

Commonwealth v. Jackson  
Date: February 4, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-11341

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for murder in the first degree with deliberate premeditation, holding that there was no reversible error in the proceedings below and no reason for this Court to...

Quinones v. Commonwealth  
Date: February 4, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13042

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, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse his discr...

In the Matter of Ablitt
Date: February 3, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12929
Doe v. Sex Offender Registry Board  
Date: February 2, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12933

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the Sex Offender Registry Board ordering John Doe to register as a level three offender, holding that the Board's decision was not arbitrary or capricious and was suppo...

Psychemedics Corp. v. City of Boston  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12903

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the superior court's judgment allowing Psychemedics Corporation's motion for summary judgment on its claim for declaratory relief against the City of Boston on the ground that it had no...

Dunn v. Genzyme Corp.  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12904

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving claims of personal injury and product liability against the manufacturer of a medical device the Supreme Judicial Court reversed the decision of the superior court judge denying the manufacturer's...

Commonwealth v. Nick N.  
Date: January 26, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12964

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court answered three questions reported by the juvenile court judge regarding waiver, evidentiary rules, and discovery procedures for hearings conducted under the procedures set forth in Wallace W. v...

Commonwealth v. Manolo M.  
Date: January 26, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12967

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that "a first offense of a [minor] misdemeanor" in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, 52 refers to a first episode of minor misdemeanor level misconduct. Four juveniles with no prior offenses were...

Commonwealth v. Tate  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12133

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for murder in the first degree on the theory of felony murder and other crimes, holding that there was no prejudicial error in the proceedings below. Specifica...

Malary v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-13034

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 relief from a superior court judge's order denying his...

Commonwealth v. Teixeira  
Date: January 20, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-11279

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for murder in the first degree by deliberate premeditation and of unlawful possession of a firearm, holding that a new trial was not required because there was...

Commonwealth v. Williams  
Date: January 20, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12378

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgments entered against Defendant in this criminal case, holding that the trial judge abused his discretion in excusing a juror who claimed to be unable to begin deliberations ane...

Dinkins v. Massachusetts Parole Board  
Date: January 19, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12882

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that 120 Code Mass. Regs. 200.08(3)(c) (regulation), which concerns parole eligibility for inmates sentenced to a prison term that runs consecutive to a life sentence, is contrary to the p...

Commonwealth v. Terrell  
Date: January 19, 2021
Docket Numbers: SJC-12915, SJC-12916

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the orders of the juvenile court judge requiring the Department of Youth Services (DYS) to credit the time that two youthful offenders spent detained in DYS custody prior to being adjud...

Commonwealth v. Snow  
Date: January 11, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12938

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the trial judge's order allowing Defendant's motion to suppress evidence found on Defendant's cell phone and remanded the case to the superior court for further rulings regarding partia...

Kauders v. Uber Technologies, Inc.  
Date: January 4, 2021
Docket Number: SJC-12883

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that this action against Uber Technologies, Inc. and Easier, LLC (collectively, Uber) was not arbitrable because there was no enforceable agreement between Uber and Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs...

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