Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Decisions 2022

Commonwealth v. Costa
Date: July 1, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13157
Bassichis v. Flores
Date: July 1, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13175
Barbetti v. Stempniewicz  
Date: June 28, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13149

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the superior court judge granting partial summary judgment and separate and final judgment for Plaintiffs in this familial dispute over ass...

Commonwealth v. Garner  
Date: June 24, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13103

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of a judge of the superior court granting Defendant's motion to suppress evidence of a firearm discovered during what Defendant alleged was an unlawful patfrisk, holding that...

Lanier v. President & Fellows of Harvard College  
Date: June 23, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13138

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the superior court dismissing Plaintiff's claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress and affirmed the dismissal of her other claims, holding that the alleged f...

Commonwealth v. Ferreira
Date: June 22, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13065
Anderson v. Attorney General  
Date: June 22, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13257

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court remanded this matter to the county court for entry of a judgment declaring that the Attorney General's summary and the Secretary's one-statement statements regarding a legislative amendment wer...

Sanchez v. Commonwealth
Date: June 22, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13261
Kifor v. Commonwealth
Date: June 22, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13263
Tran v. Liberty Mutual Group, Inc.
Date: June 21, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13259
Tocci v. Tocci  
Date: June 17, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13180

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the jury finding that Defendant violated his fiduciary duties to a corporation and converted the corporation's assets for his own benefit, holding that the judge did no...

Clark v. Attorney General  
Date: June 15, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13238

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the Attorney General's certification of Initiative Petition 21-13 to be placed on the ballot in the 2022 statewide election complied with article 48 of the Amendments to the Massachus...

El Koussa v. Attorney General  
Date: June 14, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13237

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the Attorney General's decision to certify two initiative petitions to be placed on the ballot in the 2022 statewide election was in error and that the petitions may not be placed on...

Colpack v. Attorney General  
Date: June 13, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13273

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the Attorney General's certification of Initiative Petition 21-03, "An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to 21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform," holding that the Attorney General...

In re Care & Protection of Zeb  
Date: June 7, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13178

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the juvenile court terminating Mother's parental rights to her child and granting permanent guardianship to the child's paternal grandmother, holding that the juvenile...

Commonwealth v. Pope  
Date: June 7, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13202

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice of the court granting in part Defendant's gatekeeper petition to appeal from the denial of his motion for a new trial and reversed the motion judge's...

Tracer Lane II Realty, LLC v. City of Waltham  
Date: June 2, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13195

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the land court judge determining that the decision of Waltham officials not to allow a developer to construct an access road to certain property was improper, holding t...

Commonwealth v. Gebo  
Date: June 2, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13203

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Defendant's request for a jury-waived...

Commonwealth v. Moore  
Date: May 31, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-11582

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for four counts of murder in the first degree on the theory of felony-murder and the order denying his motion for a new trial and declined to grant relief under...

Commonwealth v. Exxon Mobil Corp.  
Date: May 24, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13211

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a superior court judge denying the special motion to dismiss under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 231, 59H, the anti-SLAPP statute, filed by Exxon Mobil Corporation in this civil...

FBT Everett Realty, LLC v. Massachusetts Gaming Commission  
Date: May 23, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13196

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the superior court dismissing FBT's claim against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission alleging intentional interference with a contract and...

Pearson v. Sheriff of Bristol County  
Date: May 17, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13110

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the Massachusetts Legislature, through the provisions of St. 2009, ch. 61, 12(a), 12(c), 15, or Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 127, 3, taken separately or together, authorize the Bristol County...

VAS Holdings & Investments LLC v. Commissioner of Revenue  
Date: May 16, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13139

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the decision of the Appellate Tax Board in this case concerning the constitutional restraints on the Commonwealth's ability to tax a nondomiciliary corporation on the capital gain it r...

McNeff v. Cerretani  
Date: May 12, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13246

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the judgments denying Defendant's motion to file an appeal bond late and allowing Plaintiff's motion to dismiss Defendant's appeal from a summary process judgment, holding that the dec...

Commonwealth v. Duke  
Date: May 11, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-12047

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of felony-murder in the first degree and the denial of his motion for a new trial, holding that there was no error that would necessitate a new trial, and there...

In the Matter of the Discipline of an Attorney
Date: May 9, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13183
In re Adoption of Patty  
Date: May 9, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13220

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the decree entered by the superior court terminating Mother's parental rights and remanded this case for a new trial, holding that the conduct of the trial violated Mother's right to du...

Commonwealth v. Rossetti  
Date: May 5, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13036

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 6, 178H(a)(2) does not permit an individual convicted of failure to register as a sex offender, subsequent offense, to be sentenced to a term of incarceration in p...

Del Gallo v. Commonwealth  
Date: May 2, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13102

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the court denying Petitioner's petition for review pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 and for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to Mass. Gen. Law...

City of Lynn v. Murrell  
Date: May 2, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13193

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed this case challenging two emergency orders issued by Governor Charles D. Baker Jr. pursuant to the Massachusetts Civil Defense Act, holding that the case was moot. During the state o...

Commonwealth v. Herring  
Date: April 28, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13083

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice of the court vacating the order of the superior court judge granting pretrial release to Defendant, holding that the single justice acted pursuant to his broa...

Masonic Temple Ass'n of Quincy, Inc. v. Patel  
Date: April 27, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13109

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgments of the trial court entering summary judgment in favor of Defendants and denying Plaintiffs' motion to amend their complaint, holding that the trial court did not err or a...

Porter v. Board of Bar Examiners
Date: April 22, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13062
Verveine Corp. v. Strathmore Insurance Co.  
Date: April 21, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13172

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court concluding that the insurance policies of three restaurants (Plaintiffs), which suffered reductions in revenues during the COVID-19 pandemic and the...

Ashe v. Shawmut Woodworking & Supply, Inc.  
Date: April 15, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13152

Justia Opinion Summary: In this negligence suit, the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the motion judge allowing a defendant's motion pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P. 35(a) seeking a court order requiring the injured individual to sub...

Devaney v. Zucchini Gold, LLC  
Date: April 14, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13176

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the comprehensive remedial scheme provided by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq., for recovery of damages when an employer violates the federal overtime law, 2...

Baxter v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 12, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13190

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the superior court erred in denying Defendant's motion to dismiss insofar as it concerned the charge of murder in the first degree on a joint venture theory, holding that there was in...

Noah v. Commonwealth  
Date: April 11, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13200

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the order of the motion judge granting a continuance sought by the Commonwealth for the express purpose of delaying resolution of the case past the juvenile's eighteenth birthday, hold...

Battle v. Howard  
Date: April 7, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13177

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the order of the trial judge denying Barbara Howard's motion to dismiss a petition seeking to partition two adjacent parcels of land in Foster that Howard Dunn and Howard owned as joi...

Reuter v. City of Methuen  
Date: April 4, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13121

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the proper measure of damages for the private right of action for Wage Act violations under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, 150 when the employer pays wages after the deadlines provided in t...

Commonwealth v. Perry  
Date: April 1, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13144

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that "tower dumps" are not per se unconstitutional and that investigators may use tower dumps so long as they comply with the warrant requirements of article 14 of the Massachusetts Declar...

Commonwealth v. Kostka  
Date: March 31, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-12381

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree and home invasion, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on his claims of error. On appeal from his conviction and the denial o...

Commonwealth v. Fleury  
Date: March 31, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13148

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the order of the superior court judge allowing the forfeiture in this case, holding that firearms found to be improperly secured according to the requirements of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140...

Kingara v. Secure Home Health Care Inc.  
Date: March 28, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13173

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court answered two questions of law concerning the authority of counsel or the courts to protect the interests of putative class members when the named plaintiff has died, no party has been substitut...

Commonwealth v. Steadman  
Date: March 25, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-11553

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court reversed in part the denial of Defendant's motions for postconviction relief and otherwise affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree based on both deliberate premeditation a...

Commonwealth v. Daveiga  
Date: March 24, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13147

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant's conviction of carrying a firearm without a license, holding that the trial court erred in denying Defendant's motion to suppress. At issue was whether police officers may c...

Patel v. 7-Eleven, Inc.  
Date: March 24, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13166

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that, where a franchisee is an "individual performing any service" for a franchisor, the three-prong test set forth in the independent contractor statute, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, 148B, ap...

In re Sushchyk  
Date: March 23, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13077

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court suspended Respondent, Judge Paul M. Sushchyk, without pay for a reasonable time or until further order of this court for Respondent's non-consensual touching of a trial court employee and misconduct dur...

Lexington Public Schools v. K.S.  
Date: March 18, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13151

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the juvenile court judge denying a child's motion to dismiss a petition filed under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, 39E by an assistant school principal, holding that the assista...

In the Matter of Gannett
Date: March 16, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13038
In the Matter of Kelley
Date: March 16, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13145
Commonwealth v. DeJesus  
Date: March 15, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13171

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of possessing a firearm without a license and possessing a large capacity feeding device, holding that Defendant's arguments on appeal were without merit. On ap...

Sharma v. County Mortgage, LLC  
Date: March 10, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13135

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the county count summarily denying Appellant's request to transfer to the Supreme Court a civil action currently pending in the superior court, holding that there was n...

Streeter v. Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court
Date: March 8, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13186
Commonwealth v. Bonner  
Date: March 7, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-12721

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty and a firearm offense, holdin...

Commonwealth v. Ng  
Date: March 3, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-10476

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court allowing Defendant's second motion for a new trial based on constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel at trial, holding that Defendant's trial counsel d...

Commonwealth v. Robertson  
Date: February 28, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-12677

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction, entered after a second trial, of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty, holding that Defendant was...

Commonwealth v. Santana  
Date: February 25, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13146

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the trial court denying Defendant's motion to revoke and revoke his sentence, holding that there was no abuse of discretion in the motion judge's denial. Defendant pleade...

Commonwealth v. Dufresne  
Date: February 24, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13123

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for violating an abuse prevention order, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on any of his allegations of error. On appeal, Defendant argued (1) M...

City Council of Springfield v. Mayor of Springfield  
Date: February 22, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13154

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the ruling of the superior court entering declaratory judgment in favor of the city council of Springfield and held that the city council may reorganize the Springfield police departme...

Commonwealth v. Huang  
Date: February 16, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-11575

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 for the killing of his wife, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on his al...

Commonwealth v. Comenzo  
Date: February 11, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13119

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the denying Defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained after surveillance was conducted at Defendant's apartment building via a hidden video camera placed on a nearb...

Commonwealth v. Denson  
Date: February 10, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-11251

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 assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon,...

In re Care & Protection of Rashida  
Date: February 7, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13072

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the appropriate standard of proof by which the Department would have to prove that it had made "reasonable efforts to make it possible for the child to return safely to his [or her] p...

Commonwealth v. Carrasquillo  
Date: February 7, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13122

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the superior court judge denying Defendant's motion to suppress a video recording Defendant published to his social media account that showed an individual seen from the chest down hol...

Worcester Regional Retirement Board v. Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission  
Date: February 4, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13137

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed in part and remanded in part the judgment of the superior court declaring that the construction of "regular compensation" set out in Public Employee Retirement Administration Comm'n v....

Galarza v. Barroso
Date: February 4, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13205
Commonwealth v. Roman  
Date: February 3, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13140

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for two counts of armed assault with intent to murder and other crimes, holding that denying superior court defendants the statutory right to a defendant-capped...

Commonwealth v. Carson C.  
Date: January 31, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13107

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the juvenile court judge denying Juvenile's motion to continue his arraignment for a competency evaluation and denying Juvenile's petition for expungement pursuant to M...

In re Expungement  
Date: January 31, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13120

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated and set aside the order of expungement in this case, holding that a judge ordering expungement under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 276, 100K must employ a two-part procedure. At issue was whether a judge...

Commonwealth v. Gibson  
Date: January 27, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-12159

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 and the denial of his motion for a new trial, holding that...

David v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 26, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13096

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...

Perrier v. Commonwealth  
Date: January 25, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-12925

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice denying Defendant's petition for relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the decision in Donavan v. Commonwealth, 426 Mass. 13 (1997),...

H1 Lincoln, Inc. v. South Washington Street, LLC  
Date: January 24, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13088

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgments of the superior court in this dispute over a commercial lease, holding that contractual provisions limiting liability for violations of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A, 11 will n...

Commonwealth v. Gibson  
Date: January 19, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13150

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of two counts of rape and one count of photographing an unsuspecting nude person, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below. On appeal, Defendant...

CP 200 State, LLC v. CIEE, Inc.  
Date: January 18, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13124

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court held that the doctrine of present execution does not permit an interlocutory appeal from a superior court judge's order denying a motion to enforce an alleged settlement agreement. Plaintiff f...

Commonwealth v. Gonsalves  
Date: January 13, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-12565

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree based on extreme atrocity or cruelty and the denial of Defendant's motion for a new trial, holding that there was no reversible err...

American Family Life Assurance Co. of Columbus v. Parker  
Date: January 10, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13090

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court entering summary judgment in favor of Joann Parker and dismissing this interpleader action, holding that summary judgment was properly allowed. When...

Lieber v. President & Fellows of Harvard College  
Date: January 10, 2022
Docket Number: SJC-13141

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the superior court's judge's denial of Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction, holding that the judge did not commit an abuse of discretion in denying Plaintiff's motion. Pl...

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