Posts tagged "attorney"

Exxon Mobil Corporation v. Attorney General (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-058-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12376   EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION  vs.  ATTORNEY GENERAL.       Suffolk.     December 5, 2017. – April 13, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.     Attorney General.  Consumer Protection Act, Investigative demand.  Jurisdiction, Personal, Foreign corporation, Long-arm statute.  Due Process of Law, Jurisdiction over nonresident.       Motion filed in the Superior Court Department on June 16, 2016.   The proceeding was heard by Heidi E. Brieger, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Justin Anderson, of the District of Columbia (Jamie D. Brooks & Theodore V. Wells, Jr., of New York, Thomas C. Frongillo, & Caroline K. Simons also present) for the plaintiff. Richard A. Johnston, Assistant Attorney General (Melissa A. Hoffer, I. Andrew Goldberg, Christopher G. Courchesne, Peter C. Mulcahy, & Seth Schofield, Assistant Attorneys General, also present) for the defendant. Wendy B. Jacobs & Shaun A. Goho, for Francis X. Bellotti & others, amici curiae, submitted a brief. Archis A. Parasharami, of the District of Columbia, & Steven P. Lehotsky, for Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.          CYPHER, J.  In 2015, news reporters released internal documents from Exxon Mobil Corporation (Exxon) purporting to show that the company knew, long before the general public, that emissions from fossil fuels — Exxon’s principal product — contributed to global warming and climate change, and that in order to avoid the consequences of climate change it would be necessary to reduce drastically global fossil fuel consumption.  The documents also purported to establish that despite Exxon’s knowledge of climate risks, the company failed to disclose that knowledge to the public, and instead sought to undermine the evidence of climate change altogether, in order to preserve its value as a company. Upon reviewing this information, the Attorney General believed that Exxon’s marketing or sale of fossil fuel products in Massachusetts may have violated the State’s primary consumer protection law, G. L. c. 93A.  Based on her authority under G. L. c. 93A, § 6, the Attorney General issued a civil investigative demand (C.I.D.) to Exxon, seeking documents and information relating to Exxon’s knowledge of and activities related to climate change. Exxon responded by filing a motion in the Superior Court, pursuant to G. L. c. […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 13, 2018 at 2:37 pm

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Committee for Public Counsel Services, et al. v. Attorney General of Massachusetts, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-051-18)

SUFFOLK, ss. COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT FOR SUFFOLK COUNTY No. SJ-2017-347 COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC COUNSEL SERVICES, HAMPDEN COUNTY LAWYERS FOR JUSTICE, INC., HERSCHELLE REAVES, and NICOLE WESTCOTT vs. ATTORNEY GENERAL of MASSACHUSETTS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for BERKSHIRE COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for BRISTOL COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for the CAPE and ISLANDS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for ESSEX COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for HAMPDEN COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for MIDDLESEX COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for NORFOLK COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for the NORTHWESTERN DISTRICT, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for PLYMOUTH COUNTY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY for SUFFOLK COUNTY, and DISTRICT ATTORNEY for WORCESTER COUNTY DECLARATORY JUDGMENT This matter came before the court, Gaziano, J., on a petition pursuant to G L. c. 211, § 3, seeking relief for defendants affected by the misconduct of state chemist Sonja Farak. As an initial matter, the respondents — the Attorney General and the offices of the Massachusetts District Attorneys — have agreed to vacate certain convictions obtained using drug certificates signed by Sonja Farak. The respondents have filed with the court, and served on the petitioners, formatted interim lists identifying the defendants and their convictions, delinquency or youthful offender adjudications, or other adverse dispositions that the respondents agree should be vacated and dismissed with prejudice. The convictions, adjudications, or other dispositions of those cases are addressed in this orcler. Final lists are to be provided by the respondents and filed with this court no later than April 30, 2018. Those lists may result in additional dismissals. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the convictions of drug offenses under G. L. 94C that have been so identified by the respondents in the interim lists filed with this court on or before March 30,2018, shall be and are hereby VACATED AND DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE, and any outstanding warrants associated with those convictions are recalled. The clerk shall provide copies of the formatted lists to the Judicial Information Services Department of the trial comi fmihwith in order to effectuate the dismissals. Entered: April 5, 2018 ~ Comi (Gaz.·ia./n.o, J.), fiJ1{y- , ‘\ (‘ – . f;} – /8 r. ;/ . I !f~{A /1 2~U lriaura S. Doy~~re~J I /~ ‘4 Full-text Opinions

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 6, 2018 at 12:09 am

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Connor v. District Attorney for the Norfolk District (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-109-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS   NORFOLK, ss.                                                                                  SUPERIOR COURT                                                                                                             CIVIL ACTION                                                                                                             No. 14-01322     MYLES J. CONNOR   vs.   DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR THE NORFOLK DISTRICT   MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION   The plaintiff, Myles J. Connor (“Connor”), brought this action for declaratory relief pursuant to G. L. c. 231A, seeking a declaration that he is the owner of certain property (“the Property”) which was seized by the District Attorney for the Norfolk District (“District Attorney”) during execution of a search warrant in 1985.  On June 12, 2017, this Court denied the District Attorney’s motion for summary judgment.  Now before the Court is the District Attorney’s motion for reconsideration.  For the reasons contained herein, the motion for reconsideration is DENIED. BACKGROUND   The facts surrounding how the District Attorney came to possess the Property, and Connor’s efforts to reclaim the Property, have already been described in detail in this Court’s earlier Decision and Order on Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment.  Connor v. District Attorney for the Norfolk District, 2017 WL 2979108 (Mass. Super. 2017).  Those facts are incorporated by reference into this decision. The District Attorney has submitted additional exhibits to supplement the summary judgment record.  The additional exhibits include deposition testimony of Kathryn M. Perry-Dougan, who pled guilty to a charge of drug possession following the 1985 search of her apartment where the Quincy police seized drugs as well as the Property. DISCUSSION   A party seeking reconsideration of a prior ruling must show newly discovered evidence, a change of circumstances, a change of law, or a plain error of fact or law in the original ruling.  See Mass. R. Civ. P. 60(b); Audubon Hill South Condominium Assoc. v. Community Assoc. Underwriters of Am., Inc., 82 Mass. App. Ct. 461, 470 (2012).  The District Attorney has shown none of these, nor has explained why arguments made in its motion for reconsideration were not made earlier. In its motion, the District Attorney re-hashes its argument that the doctrine of laches applies to Connor’s claim.  The District Attorney has failed to point out any reason that would require reconsideration on this point.  Fundamentally, the District Attorney’s argument remains flawed in that it is premised on the notion that the burden of initiating action in this case rested on the Plaintiff.  It did not – the law places that burden squarely on the shoulders of the District Attorney.  The District Attorney’s attempts to shift that burden are plainly misplaced.  Even were the Court to leave this point aside and reconsider the laches argument, it would still conclude that the District Attorney is not entitled to prevail on summary judgement on this record.  “Laches is […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 18, 2017 at 2:10 am

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Bridgeman, et al. v. District Attorney for the Suffolk District, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-014-17)

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12157   KEVIN BRIDGEMAN & others[1]  vs.  DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR THE SUFFOLK DISTRICT & others.[2]       Suffolk.     November 16, 2016. – January 18, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Controlled Substances.  Constitutional Law, Conduct of government agents.  Due Process of Law, Disclosure of evidence, Presumption.  Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.  Practice, Criminal, Postconviction relief, Conduct of government agents, Disclosure of evidence, Plea, New trial.  Evidence, Certificate of drug analysis, Disclosure of evidence.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on January 9, 2014.   The case was reported by Botsford, J.     Matthew R. Segal (Daniel N. Marx, Adriana LaFaille, & Carlton E. Williams also present) for the petitioners. Benjamin H. Keehn, Committee for Public Counsel Services (Nancy J. Caplan & Eric Brandt, Committee for Public Counsel Services, also present) for Committee for Public Counsel Services. Quentin R. Weld, Assistant District Attorney, for District Attorney for the Essex District. Susanne M. O’Neil, Assistant District Attorney, for District Attorney for the Norfolk District. Vincent J. DeMore, Assistant District Attorney, for District Attorney for the Suffolk District. The following were present but did not argue: Robert J. Bender & Hallie White Speight, Assistant District Attorneys, for District Attorney for the Middlesex District. Gail M. McKenna, Assistant District Attorney, for District Attorney for the Plymouth District. Brian S. Glenny, Assistant District Attorney, for District Attorney for the Cape & Islands District. Aaron M. Katz, for Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, amicus curiae. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Joseph S. Dowdy & Christine C. Mumma, of North Carolina, John Roddy, & Denise McWilliams for New England Innocence Project & another. Janet Moore, of Ohio, & Patricia A. DeJuneas for National Association for Public Defense. Anthony A. Scibelli & Elizabeth A. Ritvo for Boston Bar Association. Daniel K. Gelb, Chauncy B. Wood, Naveen Ganesh, & Peter Walkingshaw for National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers & another.     GANTS, C.J.  We once again confront the tragic legacy of the misconduct of Annie Dookhan when she was employed as a chemist at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute (Hinton lab).  In Bridgeman v. District Attorney for the Suffolk Dist., 471 Mass. 465, 487 (2015) (Bridgeman I), the petitioners and the intervener, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 18, 2017 at 4:53 pm

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Dunn, et al. v. Attorney General, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-094-16)

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12107   JAMES H. DUNN & another[1]  vs.  ATTORNEY GENERAL & others.[2]       Suffolk.     June 8, 2016. – July 6, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Initiative.  Constitutional Law, Initiative petition.  Attorney General.  Animal.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on April 25, 2016.   The case was reported by Duffly, J.     Katherine J. Spohn, of Nebraska (Mary Jacobson, of Nebraska, with her) for the plaintiffs. Elizabeth N. Dewar, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendants. Thomas O. Bean for the interveners.     GANTS, C.J.  In this appeal, we consider whether the Attorney General properly certified an initiative petition proposing a new law that would prohibit (1) confinement of egg-laying hens, calves raised for veal, and breeding pigs on a commercial farm “in a cruel manner,” i.e., under conditions that prevent them from lying down, standing up, fully extending their limbs, or turning around freely; and (2) the sale by any business within the Commonwealth of “shell” eggs, “whole veal meat,” and “whole pork meat” that the business owner or operator “knows or should know” was produced from animals so confined.  The plaintiffs contend that this initiative petition was not properly certified because the animal confinement restriction and the prohibition against sale are not related or mutually dependent subjects, and because the petition is not in “proper form” insofar as it contains a statement of purpose that does not constitute a “law” to be voted upon by the people.  See art. 48, The Initiative, II, §§ 2, 3, of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution, as amended by art. 74 of the Amendments.  We conclude that the subjects contained in the petition are sufficiently related to meet the requirements of art. 48, and that the brief statement of purpose in the proposed measure does not render it unfit for submission to the voters.  We therefore conclude that the initiative petition was properly certified by the Attorney General. Background.  In August, 2015, the Attorney General received a signed initiative petition entitled “An Act to prevent cruelty to farm animals,” which she numbered as Initiative Petition 15-11 (petition 15-11 or petition).  The petition contains two principal provisions, which we shall refer to as the “farm provision” and the “sales provision.” […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 6, 2016 at 7:41 pm

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Hensley, et al. v. Attorney General, et al; Allen, et al. v. Attorney General, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-093-16)

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12106 SJC-12117   JOSEPHINE HENSLEY & others[1]  vs.  ATTORNEY GENERAL & another.[2]   MATTHEW JOHN ALLEN & others[3]  vs.  ATTORNEY GENERAL & another.[4]       Suffolk.     June 8, 2016. – July 6, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Initiative.  Constitutional Law, Initiative petition.  Attorney General.  Marijuana.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on April 22, 2016.   The case was reported by Duffly, J.   Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on May 10, 2016.   The case was reported by Spina, J.     John S. Scheft for Josephine Hensley & others. Robert E. Toone, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendants. Thomas R. Kiley for Matthew John Allen & others. David G. Evans, of New Jersey, for Massachusetts Hospital Association & others, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     GANTS, C.J.  We have before us two cases involving an initiative petition that, if approved by the voters in the November, 2016, election, would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana and products that contain marijuana concentrate.  The plaintiffs in the first case (Hensley case) claim that the Attorney General erred in certifying the petition for inclusion on the ballot under art. 48 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution because it contains subjects that are not related or mutually dependent.  They also claim that the Attorney General’s summary of the measure is not fair.  Finally, they contend that, if the question is to be included on the ballot, we should require the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Commonwealth (Secretary) to amend the title and the one-sentence statements they prepared because they are clearly misleading, in violation of G. L. c. 54, § 53.  The plaintiffs in the second case (Allen case) include eleven of the original fifteen signers of the initiative petition.  They challenge only the title and the one-sentence “yes” statement prepared by the Attorney General and the Secretary, but on grounds different from those alleged by the Hensley plaintiffs. We conclude that the Attorney General did not err in certifying the petition for inclusion on the ballot under art. 48 because the petition contains only related subjects.  We also conclude that her summary of it is fair.  Finally, we conclude that it is clear that the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 6, 2016 at 4:08 pm

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Gray, et al. v. Attorney General, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-092-16)

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12064   STEPHANIE GRAY & others[1]  vs.  ATTORNEY GENERAL & another.[2]       Suffolk.     May 2, 2016. – July 1, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Initiative.  Constitutional Law, Initiative petition.  Attorney General.  Education, Standards.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on January 22, 2016.   The case was reported by Cordy, J.     Thaddeus A. Heuer (Andrew M. London with him) for the plaintiffs. Juliana deHaan Rice, Assistant Attorney General (Michael B. Firestone, Assistant Attorney General, with her) for the defendants.     BOTSFORD, J.  The Attorney General has certified an initiative petition that concerns, and seeks to end, the use of the Common Core State Standards (common core standards) in defining the educational curriculum of publicly funded elementary and secondary students in the Commonwealth.  The petition also concerns the standardized testing process used in Massachusetts school districts:  it would require the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education (commissioner) to publicly release each year all of the questions and other “test items” included in the prior year’s comprehensive assessment tests that all publicly funded students in elementary and secondary schools are required to take.  The plaintiffs, a group of Massachusetts voters, challenge the Attorney General’s certification of the petition and seek to enjoin the Secretary of the Commonwealth (Secretary) from placing the proposed measure on the 2016 Statewide ballot on a number of grounds.  We conclude, as the plaintiffs argue, that the Attorney General’s certification of Initiative Petition 15-12 did not comply with art. 48, The Initiative, II, § 3, of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution because it contains provisions that are not related or mutually dependent.[3]  It is therefore unnecessary to consider the plaintiffs’ other challenges. 1.  Background.[4]  The common core standards were developed in 2009 as part of a State-led initiative that included governors and commissioners of education from forty-eight States, two territories, and the District of Columbia working as members of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.  The purpose of the initiative was to create consistent learning goals to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the requisite preparation for “college, career, and life.”  See Development Process, Common Core State Standards Initiative, http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/development-process/ […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 1, 2016 at 6:03 pm

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Bogertman, et al. v. Attorney General, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-090-16)

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12063   TIMOTHY BOGERTMAN & others[1]  vs.  ATTORNEY GENERAL & another.[2] Suffolk.     May 2, 2016. – June 28, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Initiative.  Constitutional Law, Initiative petition.  Attorney General.  Gaming.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on December 7, 2015.   The case was reported by Cordy, J.     Matthew S. Cameron for the plaintiffs. Elizabeth N. Dewar, Assistant State Solicitor, for the defendants. Jeffrey S. King & Hayley Trahan-Liptak, for Eugene McCain, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     GANTS, C.J.  In this appeal, we decide whether the Attorney General properly certified an initiative petition that seeks to amend G. L. c. 23K to authorize the Gaming Commission (commission) to award one additional license for a slot machine parlor.  Article 48 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution, which governs the process for presenting proposed laws directly to Massachusetts voters through popular initiatives, sets forth certain standards for initiative petitions.  In this case, the plaintiffs contend that the petition violates two of art. 48′s restrictions, which prohibit initiative petitions that are (1) limited to local matters, or (2) substantially the same as those presented at either of the two preceding biennial State elections.  See art. 48, The Initiative, II, §§ 2, 3, of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution, as amended by art. 74 of the Amendments.  We conclude that the petition complies with these provisions and was therefore properly certified by the Attorney General. Background.  In 2011, the Legislature enacted the Expanded Gaming Act, St. 2011, c. 194, which established the commission and a highly structured process for introducing, licensing, and regulating casino and slots gambling in the Commonwealth under a new statute, G. L. c. 23K.  See Abdow v. Attorney Gen., 468 Mass. 478, 480-483 (2014) (describing Expanded Gaming Act).  Chapter 23K authorizes the commission to award up to three “category 1″ licenses for gaming establishments “with table games and slot machines” (i.e., casinos) in certain specified regions of the Commonwealth, and no more than one “category 2″ license for a gaming establishment “with no table games and not more than 1,250 slot machines” (i.e., a slots parlor).  See G. L. c. 23K, § 2 (defining category 1 and 2 licenses); G. L. c. 23K, § 19 (a) (specifying number and regional locations of category […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 28, 2016 at 2:55 pm

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Shipps v. District Attorney for the Norfolk District (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-111-15)

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11733   WILLIAM M. SHIPPS, JR.  vs.  DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR THE NORFOLK DISTRICT. July 6, 2015.     Declaratory Relief.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Sentence.     William M. Shipps, Jr., filed a complaint in the county court in 2014, pursuant to G. L. c. 231A, seeking a declaration that his sentences for murder in the first degree under G. L. c. 265, § 2, as amended by St. 1979, c. 488, § 2, which were imposed thirty years earlier, are unconstitutional.  A single justice of this court dismissed the complaint.  We affirm.   In 1984, Shipps was convicted of two indictments charging murder in the first degree and other crimes.  He was sentenced on the murder convictions to two consecutive life terms in State prison without the possibility of parole, and to four concurrent life terms on the remaining convictions.  Commonwealth v. Shipps, 399 Mass. 820 (1987).  Thereafter, Shipps filed three motions seeking a new trial in the Superior Court, all of which were denied.  Commonwealth v. Shipps, 440 Mass. 1018, 1019 (2003), cert. denied, 541 U.S. 910 (2004).  A single justice of this court denied leave to appeal from the ruling on the third motion, pursuant to the “gatekeeper” provision of G. L. c. 278, § 33E, and we dismissed Shipps’s appeal from that ruling.  Id.   1.  In 2014, Shipps filed a complaint for declaratory relief in the county court, seeking a determination that the imposition of his sentence (indeed, any sentence at all) for his convictions of murder in the first degree violated the ex post facto and due process clauses of the United States Constitution because the sentencing statute applicable at the time of his offenses, G. L. c. 265, § 2, as amended by St. 1979, c. 488, § 2, provided for no penalty other than death, which by the time of his offenses had been ruled unconstitutional.  See District Attorney for the Suffolk Dist. v. Watson, 381 Mass. 648 (1980).  It is well established that declaratory relief ordinarily is not available in the context of pending criminal cases.  Id. at 659.  Similarly, a complaint seeking declaratory relief may not be used postconviction to avoid the gatekeeper provision of G. L. c. 278, § 33E, or to challenge the legality of a sentence by contesting the constitutionality of the statute under which the plaintiff (the defendant in the underlying criminal case) was sentenced.  […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 6, 2015 at 11:49 pm

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Bridgeman v. District Attorney for the Suffolk District, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-082-15)

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11764 KEVIN BRIDGEMAN & others[1]  vs.  DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR THE SUFFOLK DISTRICT & another.[2]       Suffolk.     January 8, 2015. – May 18, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Controlled Substances.  Constitutional Law, Plea, Conduct of government agents, Judicial review, Sentence, Delay in commencement of prosecution.  Due Process of Law, Plea, Sentence, Delay in commencement of prosecution, Intervention in civil action.  Committee for Public Counsel Services.  Attorney at Law, Attorney as witness.  Practice, Criminal, Plea, Postconviction relief, New trial, Sentence, Delay in commencement of prosecution, Conduct of government agents, Cross-examination by prosecutor.  Evidence, Guilty plea, Certificate of drug analysis, Disclosure of evidence, Cross-examination.  Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.  Practice, Civil, Intervention.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on January 9, 2014.   The case was reported by Botsford, J.     Matthew R. Segal (Daniel N. Marx with him) for the petitioners. Benjamin H. Keehn, Committee for Public Counsel Services (Nancy J. Caplan, Committee for Public Counsel Services, with him) for the intervener. Vincent J. DeMore, Assistant District Attorney, for District Attorney for the Suffolk District. Quentin Weld, Assistant District Attorney, for District Attorney for the Essex District. Jean-Jacques Cabou, of Arizona; Joanna Perini-Abbott, of Oregon; & Daniel Gelb & Elizabeth A. Lunt, for National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers & another, amici curiae, submitted a brief. Richard Marshall, of New York, & Aaron M. Katz, C. Thomas Brown, Mark Vaughn, & Barbara J. Dougan, for Families Against Mandatory Minimums & others, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     SPINA, J.  The present case is the latest in a series of cases concerning the egregious misconduct of Annie Dookhan, a chemist who was employed in the forensic drug laboratory of the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute (Hinton drug lab) from 2003 until 2012.[3]  Kevin Bridgeman, Yasir Creach, and Miguel Cuevas (collectively, the petitioners) are three individuals who pleaded guilty to various drug offenses in cases where Dookhan signed the certificates of drug analysis (drug certificates) on the line labeled “Assistant Analyst.”  On January 9, 2014, prior to this court’s decision in Commonwealth v. Scott, 467 Mass. 336 (2014), the petitioners filed a petition in the county court pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3, asking the court for two forms of relief.  […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 18, 2015 at 3:35 pm

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