Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Decisions 2021

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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