Posts tagged "1013714"

Commonwealth v. Pon (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-137-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReportersjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11542 COMMONWEALTH  vs.  PETER PON.[1] Suffolk.     April 7, 2014. – August 15, 2014.   Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.[2] Criminal Records.  Criminal Offender Record Information. Practice, Criminal, Record.  Constitutional Law, Access to criminal records, Privacy.  Privacy.     Complaint received and sworn to in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department on October 22, 2007.   After dismissal, a petition to seal the record, filed on November 14, 2012, was heard by Robert E. Baylor, J., and a motion for reconsideration was considered by him.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Pauline Quirion (Susan Malouin with her) for the defendant. Donna Jalbert Patalano, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Rahsaan D. Hall, for Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice & another, amici curiae, submitted a brief. Rebecca A. Jacobstein, for Committee for Public Counsel Services & another, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     CORDY, J.  Under G. L. c. 276, § 100C, second par., inserted by St. 1973, c. 322, § 1, a former criminal defendant whose case resulted in the entry of a nolle prosequi or a dismissal may obtain discretionary sealing of his or her criminal record where a judge determines that “substantial justice would best be served” by sealing.  This provision, which is part of the over-all criminal offender record information (CORI) statutory scheme, is intended to enable such individuals to overcome the inherent collateral consequences of a criminal record and achieve meaningful employment opportunities.  See Globe Newspaper Co. v. District Attorney for the Middle Dist., 439 Mass. 374, 384 (2003).  In 2010, the Legislature enacted extensive reforms to the CORI scheme, extending access to official CORI records to more employers, housing providers, and other organizations, for limited use, and simultaneously broadening the scope of the sealing provisions to enable more individuals to shield their records from public view.  See generally St. 2010, c. 256.  Given the demonstrable legislative concern in these reforms about the negative impact of criminal records on the ability of former criminal defendants to reintegrate into society and obtain gainful employment, particularly in an age of rapid informational access through the Internet and other new technologies, it is apparent that the stringent standard for discretionary sealing we articulated nearly twenty years ago, in Commonwealth v. Doe, 420 Mass. 142, 149-152 (1995), no longer […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 16, 2014 at 12:18 am

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