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Campatelli v. Chief Justice of the Trial Court, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-110-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑11654 PATRICIA CAMPATELLI  vs.  CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE TRIAL COURT  & others.[1] Suffolk.     May 8, 2014.  ‑  June 20, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.   Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.  Register of Probate.  Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court Department.  Chief Justice of the Trial Court.  Court Administrator.  Statute, Construction.  Practice, Civil, Waiver.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on March 14, 2014.   The case was reserved and reported by Duffly, J.     Philip R. Boncore (Jeffrey Rosario Turco with him) for the plaintiff. Peter Haley for Association of Magistrates and Assistant Clerks of the Trial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, amicus curiae. Daniel P. Sullivan, Special Assistant Attorney General, for the defendants.       BOTSFORD, J.  The Register of Probate and Insolvency for Suffolk County, Patricia Campatelli, was placed on paid administrative leave — suspended with pay — by the Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court Department, the Chief Justice of the Trial Court, and the Court Administrator, pending further investigation of allegations of inappropriate conduct and mismanagement in the performance of her duties.  Campatelli commenced this action in the county court to challenge her suspension by the three named court officials; her claim is that only the justices of this court possess the authority to suspend her, pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 4.  We do not interpret c. 211, § 4, to vest sole authority in this court or its justices to suspend with pay a register of probate, and conclude that the Chief Justice of the Trial Court, the Court Administrator, and the Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court Department possess the authority to do so pursuant to G. L. c. 211B, §§ 9, 9A, and 10, respectively. Background.  Campatelli disputes the allegations and findings contained in the record regarding her conduct in office, but the facts relating to the legal issues before us are undisputed.  In November, 2012, Campatelli was elected as the Register of Probate and Insolvency for Suffolk County (register of probate, or register); she took office on January 3, 2013.  See G. L. c. 217, § 4.  As register, Campatelli served in the Suffolk County Division of the Probate and Family Court Department of the Trial Court.  On December 22, […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 20, 2014 at 3:54 pm

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