Commonwealth v. RosaAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the order of the trial judge granting Defendant's motion to dismiss his criminal case for lack of prosecution and requiring the Commonwealth to file a motion to vacate it if decided to proceed with the prosecution of the case, holding that the judge's decision to require the Commonwealth to seek court approval before refiling charges was an abuse of discretion.
Defendant was charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, among other charges. After Defendant's trial was continued three times, he filed his motion to dismiss. The judge granted the motion and required the Commonwealth to file a motion to vacate if it chose to refile the case. The Commonwealth sought extraordinary relief under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, arguing that the underlying order violated the district attorney's authority to choose which cases to prosecute. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated so much of the order granting Defendant's motion to dismiss that required the Commonwealth to file a motion to vacate the dismissal, holding that the ruling constituted an unwarranted intrusion upon the powers granted exclusively to the executive branch under Article 30 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.