Posts tagged "County"

Modica v. Sheriff of Suffolk County, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-079-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12201   GEORGE MODICA  vs.  SHERIFF OF SUFFOLK COUNTY & others.[1]       Suffolk.     January 5, 2017. – May 15, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Correction Officer.  Words, “Bodily injury.”       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on October 24, 2014.   The case was heard by Douglas H. Wilkins, J., on motions for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Noah A. Winkeller for the plaintiff. Allen H. Forbes, Special Assistant Attorney General, for the defendants.          BUDD, J.  Through G. L. c. 126, § 18A, and G. L. c. 30, § 58, the Legislature has afforded correction officers additional compensation to close the gap between workers’ compensation benefits and an employee’s salary if the employee sustains bodily injury as a result of inmate violence during the course of his or her duties.  The plaintiff, George Modica, a correction officer in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, sued the defendants — the sheriff of Suffolk County, the Suffolk County sheriff’s department, and the Commonwealth — to obtain compensation under the statutes.  At issue in this case is the meaning of “bodily injury” as the term is used in the two statutes.  We conclude that bodily injury is that which results in physical injury; because the defendant has not suffered such an injury, he does not qualify for compensation under the statute. Background.  The pertinent facts, taken from the record, are undisputed.  As a result of breaking up inmate fights in March and April of 2010, the plaintiff began to experience an accelerated heart rate (sinus tachycardia) accompanied by light-headedness and difficulty breathing. The defendants initially paid workers’ compensation benefits voluntarily but soon after discontinued them.  The plaintiff filed a claim for further workers’ compensation benefits and, insofar as relevant here, the plaintiff underwent two independent medical examinations.  Both doctors concurred that the defendant’s symptoms were a physiological response to stress, that the sinus tachycardia was neither the result nor the cause of any physical harm, and that there was no evidence of structural heart disease.[2] The parties eventually settled the plaintiff’s workers’ compensation claim, stipulating that the plaintiff’s injury was a physiological response to his involvement in inmate altercations.  The plaintiff thereafter applied for […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 15, 2017 at 5:26 pm

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Bishay, et al. v. Clerk of the Superior Court on Norfolk County (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-018-17)

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-12153   BAHIG BISHAY & others[1]  vs.  CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT IN NORFOLK COUNTY.     January 23, 2017.     Mandamus.  Clerk of Court.  Judgment, Implementing settlement agreement.  Practice, Civil, Action in nature of mandamus, Entry of judgment.     Bahig Bishay commenced an action in the Superior Court, bringing various claims against National Investigations, Inc., and its principals, Glenn Gillis and Garry Gillis (collectively, National); Harvard 45 Associates, LLC, and its principals, Harold Brown and Enrique Darer (collectively, Harvard); and Allied Finance Adjusters Conference, Inc. (Allied), arising from Bishay’s eviction from his home.  More particularly, Bishay sought damages on various theories for the removal and storage of his personal property in the course of the eviction.  Allied’s motion to dismiss the claims against it was allowed, as was Harvard’s motion for summary judgment as to both the claims against it and a counterclaim it asserted against Bishay.  Bishay and National thereafter reported that they settled their dispute, and they moved for entry of final judgment.  Harvard and Allied opposed the motion, and a judge in the Superior Court denied it.  Bishay again moved for entry of final judgment.  Harvard and Allied opposed that motion, and a different judge denied it.  Bishay and National (collectively, petitioners) jointly filed a petition in the county court seeking relief in the nature of mandamus pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3, and G. L. c. 249, § 4, specifically requesting that the clerk of the Superior Court be ordered to enter final judgment as the petitioners proposed.  Harvard moved to intervene and filed an opposition, joined by Allied, in which it argued that the proposed judgment was collusive and fictitious, adverse to the interests of Harvard and Allied, and contrary to the prior ruling on summary judgment.[2]  A single justice of this court denied relief without a hearing.  The petitioners appeal.   The case is before us pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 2:21, as amended, 434 Mass. 1301 (2001), which requires the petitioners to “set forth the reasons why review of the trial court decision cannot adequately be obtained on appeal from any final adverse judgment in the trial court or by other available means.”[3]  The petitioners have not done so.  They argue that requiring them to proceed to a jury trial would be wasteful in these circumstances, as they have in fact resolved their dispute.[4]  […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 23, 2017 at 10:07 pm

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Skandha v. Clerk of the Superior Court for Civil Business in Suffolk County (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-168-15)

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-11811   BODHISATTVA SKANDHA  vs.  CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT FOR CIVIL BUSINESS IN SUFFOLK COUNTY. September 29, 2015. Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.  Mandamus.  Practice, Civil, Action in nature of mandamus, Assembly of record.  Clerk of Court.   The petitioner, Bodhisattva Skandha, appeals from a judgment of a single justice of this court denying his petitions pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3, and for relief in the nature of mandamus pursuant to G. L. c. 249, § 5.  We affirm.   Background.  The petitions stem from Skandha’s effort to appeal from the dismissal of a complaint in the Superior Court that he and two other plaintiffs filed, in August, 2010, against the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) and several associated attorneys.  The plaintiffs claimed that CPCS and the attorneys had violated the plaintiffs’ due process rights by, among other things, failing to screen their new trial motions to determine whether they had any claims that would entitle them to relief from their respective convictions.  A judge in the Superior Court dismissed the complaint, in May, 2013, and it appears that Skandha timely filed a notice of appeal.[1]  The appeal was dismissed, however, in January, 2014, apparently on the basis that Skandha had failed to take the necessary steps to perfect it.[2]   Skandha subsequently timely filed a notice of appeal from the dismissal of his appeal, as he was entitled to do (in which he again indicated that there were no transcripts in the matter, see note 2, supra).  He also filed, in March, 2014, a “motion for the court to order the clerk to provide the pleadings for the plaintiffs’ appeal,” and, in June, 2014, a motion in the Superior Court asking the court “to order the clerk to assemble the record.”  Both of these motions were stamped “rejected” on June 26, 2014, and never docketed.  After his efforts to appeal stalled in the Superior Court, Skandha filed his petitions in the county court for relief in the nature of mandamus and pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3, asking the single justice to direct the clerk of the Superior Court to assemble the record for purposes of his appeal.  The petitions were denied without a hearing.   Discussion.  Skandha has now filed what appears to have been intended as a memorandum and appendix pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 2:21, as amended, 434 Mass. […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 29, 2015 at 7:35 pm

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Flaherty v. Sheriff of Suffolk County, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-023-15)

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   14-P-778                                        Appeals Court   GEORGE H. FLAHERTY  vs.  SHERIFF OF SUFFOLK COUNTY & another.[1] No. 14-P-778. Suffolk.     December 9, 2014. – March 16, 2015.   Present:  Cohen, Fecteau, & Massing, JJ.     Sheriff.  Correction Officer.  Public Employment, Assault pay benefits, Worker’s compensation, Retirement.  Workers’ Compensation Act, Public employee.  Limitations, Statute of.  Commonwealth, Claim against.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 15, 2010.   The case was heard by Linda E. Giles, J., on motions for summary judgment.     Christopher G. Perillo for the defendants. Arinda R. Brooks for the plaintiff.     MASSING, J.  The defendants, the sheriff of Suffolk County and the Suffolk County sheriff’s department (collectively referred to as the Commonwealth[2]), appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court finding the Commonwealth liable for assault pay owed to the plaintiff, George H. Flaherty, under G. L. c. 126, § 18A (sometimes referred to as the statute).  The Commonwealth contends (1) that Flaherty’s entitlement to assault pay terminated when he reached the mandatory age of retirement for correction officers and became entitled to superannuation retirement benefits and (2) that his action is barred by the statute of limitations.  The Superior Court judge rejected both contentions.  We agree with the judge’s conclusion that Flaherty was entitled to assault pay as long as he was receiving workers’ compensation benefits, and that his action is not time barred, but we agree with the Commonwealth that the applicable statute of limitations is G. L. c. 260, § 3A, precluding Flaherty from recovering payments that became due more than three years before he filed his complaint. Background.  While working as a Suffolk County correction officer in January, 2006, Flaherty was injured as a result of prisoner violence.  An administrative judge of the Department of Industrial Accidents found that he was partially disabled and awarded him workers’ compensation benefits beginning January 4, 2006.  He continued to receive workers’ compensation benefits until September 1, 2010, the effective date of a lump sum settlement agreement that ended his entitlement to those benefits.  On November 15, 2010, Flaherty filed an action in the Superior Court claiming that the Commonwealth was required by G. L. c. 126, § 18A, to compensate him with assault pay during the period he received workers’ compensation benefits.  The Commonwealth did not dispute that Flaherty was entitled to assault pay but argued that his superannuation […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 16, 2015 at 5:46 pm

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Commissioners of the Bristol County Mosquito Control District v. State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-184-13)

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11320   COMMISSIONERS OF THE BRISTOL COUNTY MOSQUITO CONTROL DISTRICT[1] vs.  STATE RECLAMATION AND MOSQUITO CONTROL BOARD & another.[2]     Bristol.     September 3, 2013.  ‑  October 30, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Mosquito Control.  Statute, Construction.  Moot Question.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on October 8, 2009.   The case was heard by Raymond P. Veary, Jr., J., on motions for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Richard E. Burke, Jr., for the plaintiffs. Amy Spector, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendants.       BOTSFORD, J.  The dispute in this case concerns the authority of the plaintiff commissioners of the Bristol County Mosquito Control Project (Bristol project), an entity that operates under G. L. c. 252 and is subject to oversight by the defendant State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board (board), to establish unilaterally the compensation rates for the individuals who are employed by the Bristol project to carry out its mosquito control programs and functions.  At the heart of this dispute is the meaning of G. L. c. 252, § 14D (§ 14D), which was enacted in 2008.  The plaintiffs initiated this action in 2009, seeking a declaration that under § 14D, they have the authority to hire and set the compensation rates for the project’s employees and to retain legal counsel; they also sought an order of mandamus requiring the defendant Treasurer and Receiver General (Treasurer) to pay those employees the salary increases due to them.  On cross-motions for summary judgment, a Superior Court judge allowed the board’s motion and dismissed the complaint.  We conclude that the summary judgment record is insufficient to determine whether the plaintiffs are entitled as matter of law to the relief they seek.  Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the Superior Court and remand for further proceedings. Statutory scheme.  General Laws c. 252 governs the structure and function of the board as well as local mosquito control districts and projects such as the Bristol project.  We summarize its relevant provisions.     The board is established by G. L. c. 252, § 2, and, pursuant to that section, exists within the State agency formerly known, and referred to in § 2, as the Department of Food […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 30, 2013 at 7:23 pm

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Suffolk County Sobriety Checkpoint Planned Saturday

Massachusetts State Police will be operating a sobriety checkpoint this week at an undisclosed location in Suffolk County. The checkpoint will operate sometime between Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23. “The purpose is to further educate the motoring public and strengthen the public’s awareness to the need of detecting and removing those motorists who operate under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs from our roadways,” Colonel Timothy P. Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, said in a press release. Alben noted that, “The selection of vehicles will not be arbitrary, safety will be assured, and any inconveniences to motorists will be minimized with advance notice to reduce fear and anxiety.” For more information, visit the State Police website, www.mass.gov/msp. SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , , ,

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     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 […]

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

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Suffolk County Sobriety Checkpoint Planned Friday

Massachusetts State Police will be operating a sobriety checkpoint this week at an undisclosed location in Suffolk County. The checkpoint will operate sometime between Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8. “The purpose is to further educate the motoring public and strengthen the public’s awareness to the need of detecting and removing those motorists who operate under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs from our roadways,” Colonel Timothy P. Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, said in a press release. Alben noted that, “The selection of vehicles will not be arbitrary, safety will be assured, and any inconveniences to motorists will be minimized with advance notice to reduce fear and anxiety.” For more information, visit the State Police website, www.mass.gov/msp. SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm

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How Will Sequestration Affect Suffolk County?

The numbers here show the federal employees in Massachusetts by county in 2012, according to the latest figures from Eye on Washington, a DC-based lobbying firm that tracks federal employment. It compiles the data from the Office of Personnel Management, Federal Employment Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While much has been made written on how the current sequestration battle in Washington could affect the national economy, these numbers are meant to give readers a sense of the sequestration at the local level. No one knows for certain what the sequestration cuts, some $ 85 billion, will mean exactly. Even if the March 1 federal cuts are enacted, the full effects would not be felt immediately. The government is required to alert impacted agencies of what cuts are to be made and what workers are to be furloughed. It should be noted, however, that even the suggestion of cuts and the notification process itself could be felt in some community economies. Uncertainty for federal workers means they are likely to tighten their belts until they see what the cuts look like – and how long they last. It means those workers will likely spend less money at local shops and restaurants. In some communities there may be only a handful of federal workers and the impacts may be small. But as these figures show, in other counties federal employees numbers in the thousands and in those places the sequestration could become a more significant pain, particularly if it drags on for weeks or months. (U.S. Postal Service Employees are excluded in this count. The USPS receives no tax dollars in its operations and would not be affected by the sequestration cuts.) South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , ,