Posts tagged "1004415"

Fitzgerald v. District Court Department of the Trial Court (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-044-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-11648   STEVEN FITZGERALD  vs.  DISTRICT COURT DEPARTMENT OF THE TRIAL COURT.[1] March 13, 2015       Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.  Practice, Criminal, Plea.       Steven Fitzgerald appeals from a judgment of a single justice of this court denying his petition for relief under G. L. c. 211, § 3.  Because we agree with the single justice that Fitzgerald is not entitled to extraordinary relief under G. L. c. 211, § 3, we affirm.   Fitzgerald pleaded guilty to certain criminal offenses in the District Court in 2013.  In his petition before the single justice, he argued that he was forcibly medicated when he tendered his pleas.  He also complained that he has not been able to obtain a copy of the court file of the earlier, related proceedings conducted under G. L. c. 123, §§ 8B and 16 (b), which resulted in orders that he be involuntarily committed and treated with antipsychotic medications.   On appeal, Fitzgerald primarily presses his claim that he was improperly ordered to take antipsychotic medications before he pleaded guilty.[2]  It appears that at some point before the plea hearing, a District Court judge had granted a petition of the medical director of Bridgewater State Hospital to involuntarily commit Fitzgerald pursuant to G. L. c. 123, § 16 (b), and also granted the medical director’s separate petition seeking authority to treat him with antipsychotic medications pursuant to G. L. c. 123, § 8B.  Then, in March, 2013, a second judge held the plea hearing at which Fitzgerald was represented by counsel.  After finding him competent to stand trial,[3] and conducting a plea colloquy, the judge accepted his guilty pleas and sentenced him.  To the extent that Fitzgerald now seeks through his G. L. c. 211, § 3, petition to have his pleas vacated, on the ground that he was improperly forced to take antipsychotic medications, and was under the influence of those medications when he tendered his guilty pleas, his request is misplaced.  Such a request should be made in a motion for a new trial pursuant to Mass. R. Crim. P. 30, as appearing in 435 Mass. 1501 (2001), which, if denied, is subject to review in the normal appellate process.  A motion for a new trial filed in the trial court, and not a petition for general superintendence relief in this court, is the appropriate remedy.  See Commonwealth v. Colon, 439 Mass. 519, 524 (2003), quoting Commonwealth v. Huot, […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 13, 2015 at 6:12 pm

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