Posts tagged "1007714"

Commonwealth v. Lewis (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-077-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑11500   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  KERRON RANDELL LEWIS.[1] May 6, 2014. Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts. Practice, Criminal, Discovery.  Evidence, Certificate of drug analysis.  Controlled Substances.       The Commonwealth appeals from the judgment of a single justice of this court denying its petition pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3.  We affirm.   Kerron Randell Lewis has been charged with distribution of a class B substance, in violation of G. L. c. 94C, § 32A; and possession with intent to distribute a class B substance, in violation of G. L. c. 94C, § 32A.  He filed a motion in the Boston Municipal Court seeking pretrial discovery, pursuant to Mass. R. Crim. P. 14.  After multiple hearings, the Commonwealth was ordered to provide certain discovery to Lewis, including copies of maintenance and calibration records for the machines used for weighing and analyzing the substance seized from him.  The Commonwealth’s G. L. c. 211, § 3, petition sought relief from that order.     The single justice exercised her discretion to consider the merits.  “A single justice, in his or her discretion, may also properly decline to employ the court’s extraordinary power of general superintendence where exceptional circumstances are not present . . . .”  Commonwealth v. Elias, 463 Mass. 1015, 1016 n.2 (2012), quoting Commonwealth v. Narea, 454 Mass. 1003, 1004 n.1 (2009) (“[n]o party, including the Commonwealth, should expect that the court will exercise its extraordinary power of general superintendence lightly”).  See Commonwealth v. Snow, 456 Mass. 1019, 1019-1020 (2010); Commonwealth v. Maldonado, 456 Mass. 1012, 1012 n.1 (2010).  We conclude that the single justice did not err or abuse her discretion in denying relief.   The Commonwealth has not demonstrated an entitlement to relief on the substantive merits of its petition.  On appeal, the Commonwealth contends that the information requested is not properly the subject of automatic discovery under Mass. R. Crim. P. 14 because it is not a “report of a scientific test or experiment.”  Mass. R. Crim. P. 14 (a) (1) (A) (vii), as amended, 444 Mass. 1501 (2005).  Alternatively, it argues, it satisfied its automatic discovery obligations by making the information available to the defendant for inspection and copying.  Regardless of whether any of the requested information properly was the subject of automatic discovery under rule 14 (a) (1), “[d]iscovery of items not included in the automatic discovery regime remains subject to the court’s discretion, and […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 6, 2014 at 10:32 pm

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