Posts tagged "1010913"

Sheriff of Suffolk County v. Jail Officers and Employees of Suffolk County (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-109-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑11229   SHERIFF OF SUFFOLK COUNTY  vs.  JAIL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF SUFFOLK COUNTY.[1]     Suffolk.     February 4, 2013.  ‑  June 14, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.   Sheriff.  Public Employment, Collective bargaining, Termination.  Labor, Public employment, Collective bargaining.  Arbitration, Collective bargaining, Award.  Damages, Back pay, Mitigation, Interest.  Interest.  Governmental Immunity.  Waiver.  Judgment, Enforcement, Interest.  Practice, Civil, Interest, Waiver.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 24, 2001.   Following review by this court, 451 Mass. 698 (2008), a complaint for contempt, filed on August 24, 2009, was heard by John C. Cratsley, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Timothy J. Casey, Assistant Attorney General, for the plaintiff.   John M. Becker for the defendant.   CORDY, J.  This appeal arises from an action in the Superior Court to enforce an arbitrator’s award of back pay to a jail officer employed and wrongfully discharged by the sheriff of Suffolk County (sheriff).  The sheriff appeals from the judge’s ruling that the jail officer, Joseph Upton, had no duty to mitigate his damages by seeking comparable employment.  The Jail Officers and Employees of Suffolk County (union), on behalf of Upton, cross appeals from the judge’s decision not to assess statutory postjudgment interest on the arbitrator’s award.  Although we conclude that Upton did have a duty to mitigate his damages, we affirm the judgment on the grounds that the sheriff waived this issue by failing to raise it earlier in the proceedings, and that, regardless, she failed to meet her burden of proof on the issue.[2]  We also affirm the judge’s decision not to assess postjudgment interest on sovereign immunity grounds.   1.  Background.  This appeal represents the putative final chapter in a case that, at the time of an earlier decision in 2008, already had a “long and tortuous procedural history.”  Sheriff of Suffolk County v. Jail Officers & Employees of Suffolk County, 451 Mass. 698, 699 (2008) (Sheriff of Suffolk County I).  On December 29, 1999, Upton was discharged from his position as a jail officer at the Nashua Street jail in Boston (jail) following an incident in which Upton allegedly “filed untimely and then false reports” concerning an assault of an inmate that he […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm

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