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Commonwealth v. Chamberlin (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-023-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11877   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  PETER CHAMBERLIN.       Bristol.     October 6, 2015. – February 19, 2016.   Present (Sitting at New Bedford):  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Cellular Telephone.  Subpoena.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress, Subpoena, Warrant.  Search and Seizure, Warrant.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on November 21, 2007.   Pretrial motions to suppress evidence were heard by D. Lloyd Macdonald, J., and the cases were tried before Robert J. Kane, J.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Merritt Schnipper for the defendant. Tara L. Blackman, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Chauncey B. Wood, Matthew R. Segal, Jessie J. Rossman, Kevin S. Prussia, & Caitlin W. Monahan for Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers & another, amicus curiae, submitted a brief. Marguerite T. Grant, Assistant District Attorney, for District Attorney for the Norfolk District, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.   LENK, J.  In the aftermath of an attempted robbery in 2007, where the victim was bound, threatened, and shot, the police conducted an investigation seeking three attackers who had fled the scene.  As part of that investigation, a detective obtained from a cellular telephone service provider certain subscriber records for the defendant’s telephone number.  The information thus obtained formed part of a later affidavit offered in support of a search warrant that, in turn, ultimately yielded several items of an incriminatory nature subsequently admitted at trial.  Before trial, the defendant without success moved to suppress the telephone records and the physical evidence obtained pursuant to the warrant.  He was convicted of armed robbery while masked, G. L. c. 265, § 17; kidnapping for purposes of extortion, G. L. c. 265, § 26; and armed assault with intent to murder, G. L. c. 265, § 18.  Following affirmance of his convictions by the Appeals Court, see Commonwealth v. Chamberlin, 86 Mass. App. Ct. 705, 713 (2014), we allowed the defendant’s application for further appellate review, limited to issues related to his cellular telephone records. The basis for the defendant’s challenge is the government’s failure to comply with G. L. c. 271, § 17B, the telephone records demand statute, as then in effect.  That statute in essence authorized the Attorney General or a district attorney on certain conditions to demand of common carriers (like […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 19, 2016 at 6:43 pm

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