Posts tagged "H.T."

H.T. v. Commonwealth, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-100-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11326   H.T.  vs.  COMMONWEALTH & another.[1] June 7, 2013.     Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.   Practice, Criminal, Standing, Probation.         The victim of criminal offenses committed by Jamie Melendez appeals from a judgment of a single justice of this court denying her petition for relief under G. L. c. 211, § 3.  Melendez pleaded guilty to four counts of statutory rape of a child in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 23.  A judge in the Superior Court found that when Melendez was nineteen years of age and the victim fourteen, the two were in a relationship and engaged in sexual relations.  There was no evidence of force or coercion, and Melendez was not charged with forcible rape of a child.  The victim was underage and incapable of giving lawful consent.  As a result of Melendez’s crimes, the victim gave birth to his biological child.  Melendez was sentenced to probation and ordered, as conditions thereof, to acknowledge paternity, to support the child financially,[2] and to abide by any orders of support issued by the Probate and Family Court.  The victim argues that these conditions unlawfully bind her to an ongoing relationship with Melendez.  She moved in the Superior Court to revise the conditions of Melendez’s probation.  In her G. L. c. 211, § 3, petition, she requested that the single justice (1) order the Superior Court judge to rule on that motion and (2) enjoin the Probate and Family Court from ruling on this matter.[3],[4]  The Superior Court judge thereafter denied the motion.  The single justice denied all relief.  On appeal, she asks that we reverse the decisions of the single justice and the sentencing judge and enjoin the Probate and Family Court from “taking action inconsistent with its lawful authority.”   The single justice did not err or abuse her discretion by denying relief.  As to the Superior Court decision, the victim of a criminal offense has no judicially cognizable interest in the proceedings and lacks standing to challenge the sentence.  See McDonough, petitioner, 457 Mass. 512, 518-519 (2010); Hagen v. Commonwealth, 437 Mass. 374, 379-380 (2002).  See also Carroll, petitioner, 453 Mass. 1006 (2009), and cases cited (private citizen lacks judicially cognizable interest in prosecution or nonprosecution of another).  The victim nevertheless claims that she is entitled to relief because the conditions of probation bind her to an […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm

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