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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice of the court denying Petitioner’s petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice correctly denied relief because Petitioner had an adequate alternative remedy. Petitioner pleaded guilty to multiple criminal charges. Petitioner later filed a petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. The single justice denied the petition without a hearing. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that where Petitioner could have raised his claims and sought to withdraw his pleas on the basis of his claims by filing a motion for a new trial and by appealing from any adverse ruling on such a motion, Petitioner’s petition was properly denied. View "Blackwell v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the Court denying Appellant’s petition for extraordinary relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse her discretion in denying the petition. Appellant was convicted of murder in the second degree in 1971 and was retried in 1998. The jury again found Appellant guilty of murder in the first degree. The appellate court affirmed. In his Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 petition, Appellant raised a jurisdictional argument that he previously raised in his second appeal and in subsequent proceedings before the appellate court and Supreme Judicial Court. The claim was rejected each time. The Supreme Judicial Court held that Appellant was not entitled to further review under the current petition of an issue that he had already raised, and which had already been resolved, in the course of his direct appeal and in subsequent proceedings. View "Beauchamp v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of involuntary manslaughter as a youthful offender, holding that the evidence proved that, by her wanton or reckless misconduct, Defendant caused the victim’s death by suicide and that Defendant’s conviction was not legally or constitutionally infirm. The trial judge concluded that Defendant’s act of encouraging the victim with text messages and phone calls to commit suicide and failure to act to overpowered the victim’s will to live and caused the victim’s death. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the evidence at trial was sufficient to establish Defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) Defendant’s verbal conduct was not protected by the First Amendment; and (3) the other legal issues raise by Defendant lacked merit. View "Commonwealth v. Carter" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a municipal court judge civilly committing M.C. for a period of two months, holding that the record contained sufficient evidence to support M.C.’s involuntary commitment and that M.C. was not denied due process of law despite the hearing being conducted at a hospital rather than at a court house and in the absence of a complete, verbatim transcript. Although M.C. sought to have the civil commitment hearing conducted at a court house, the hearing was held at the psychiatric facility where M.C. had been temporarily committed. At the beginning of the proceeding the court-owned recording equipment malfunctioned, and then two different alternate recording devices were used to record the remainder of the hearing. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judge’s decision to civilly commit M.C., holding that the available transcript provided an adequate basis for appellate review and contained sufficient evidence to support M.C.’s involuntary commitment. View "In re M.C." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the trial judge’s issuance of harassment prevention orders against Defendant pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 258E, 3(a), holding that Defendant’s conduct amounted to only one act of harassment, and therefore, Defendant’s conduct failed to satisfy the threshold requirement of the statute that a defendant commit at least three acts of harassment. Plaintiffs sought harassment prevention orders against Defendant after Defendant created a rap song in which he improvised lyrics pertaining to Plaintiffs. A district court judge issued the requested orders, concluding that, in posting the song on two Internet website and making the inflammatory statements within the song, Defendant had committed at least three individual acts of harassment against the plaintiffs. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the order, holding that Defendant engaged only in one continuous act of harassment in this case. View "F.K. v. S.C." on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction and the denial of Defendant’s motion for a new trial and declined to exercise its authority under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E to grant a new trial or to reduce the verdict, holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion in the proceedings below. Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial judge did not abuse her discretion in limiting Defendant’s cross-examination of the Commonwealth’s witnesses; and (2) the procedure suggested by the trial judge, and approved by defense counsel, of using two interpreters did not violate Defendant’s constitutional due process rights. View "Commonwealth v. Chicas" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of money laundering, holding that the evidence was sufficient as a matter of law to establish “concealment” money laundering, in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 267A, 2(2)(ii)(A). Defendant’s conviction stemmed from her act of depositing more than $300,000 in stolen money into her checking account through a series of transactions, each under $10,000, and claiming to have received the money in an inheritance. On appeal, Defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to establish a design to conceal under the statute where Defendant openly deposited the money into her checking account using her own name. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the evidence was sufficient for a rational jury to conclude that Defendant’s deposits were designed, at least in part, to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the stolen funds. View "Commonwealth v. Braune" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the county court denying, without a hearing, Appellant’s petition for relief in the nature of mandamus, holding that Appellant did not demonstrate any entitlement to relief in the nature of mandamus. In his mandamus petition, Appellant sought an order directing the Appeals Court to recall the rescript it issued after affirming a final judgment of the superior court. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the denial of Appellant’s petition, holding that Appellant was not barred from pursuing the ordinary process by applying for further appellate review. View "Myrick v. Appeals Court" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the superior court’s allowance of Defendant’s motion for summary judgment and remanded this discrimination case, holding that the trial judge erred in determining that Plaintiff had failed to meet his burden of showing a prima facie case of discrimination. Plaintiff, a lieutenant in the Massachusetts State police, brought this Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151B, 4 action alleging that he suffered discrimination when he was denied a transfer to a different troop station on the basis of his age, race, or national origin. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of the State police, holding that Plaintiff did not meet his burden of showing that the denial of his request for a lateral transfer was an “adverse employment action.” The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the superior court’s judgment, holding (1) under certain circumstances, the failure to grant a lateral transfer to a preferred position may constitute an adverse employment action under ch. 151B; and (2) because Plaintiff met his burden of showing a prima facie case of discrimination, this case is remanded to the motion judge to decide the issue of whether Plaintiff’s request for a lateral transfer was motivated by discriminatory animus. View "Yee v. Massachusetts State Police" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice of the court treating Petitioner’s paper titled “Respondent’s Petition for Interlocutory Appeal and Stay of Proceedings” as a petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 and denying relief without a hearing, holding that Petitioner failed to meet his burden of establishing why he could not obtain relief on appeal. After the Commonwealth filed a petition in the superior court seeking civil commitment of Petitioner as a sexually dangerous person pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123A, Petitioner moved or an order preventing future dissemination of a Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123, 18(a) report by the district court for the purposes of the Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123A proceeding. Petitioner then filed his petition seeking review of that interlocutory order. The single justice denied relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the single justice properly declined to exercise the court’s extraordinary power of superintendence in light of an adequate alternative remedy. View "Crittenden v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law