Posts tagged "Nicoleau"

Commonwealth v. Nicoleau (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-151-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   15-P-1015                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JAHLIEL M. NICOLEAU.     No. 15-P-1015.   Suffolk.     May 16, 2016. – October 14, 2016.   Present:  Agnes, Massing, & Kinder, JJ.     Constitutional Law, Search and seizure.  Search and Seizure, Inventory.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department on September 5, 2014.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Catherine K. Byrne, J.   An application for leave to prosecute an interlocutory appeal was heard by Fernande R.V. Duffly, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk, and the appeal was reported by her to the Appeals Court.     Michael A. Lafleur, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. John M. Corridan for the defendant.     AGNES, J.  The question presented in this case is whether it was reasonable for police to seize and inventory the contents of a backpack found in the back seat of a vehicle operated by the defendant, Jahliel M. Nicoleau, upon his arrest.  The vehicle was parked in front of his home where he lived with his grandmother, who was present at the scene, and to whom the police gave other personal belongings of the defendant.  Based on the reasoning in Commonwealth v. Abdallah, 475 Mass. 47, 52-53 (2016), we conclude that although the police had a right to impound and tow the unregistered, uninsured vehicle that the defendant was operating, there was a practical, available alternative to the seizure of the defendant’s backpack — namely, turning it over to the defendant’s grandmother — which would have precluded the police from seizing it and subjecting it to an inventory search.  Accordingly, we affirm the order allowing the defendant’s motion to suppress a knife that the police found inside the backpack. Background.  On review of “a ruling on a motion to suppress, we accept the judge’s subsidiary findings of fact absent clear error ‘but conduct an independent review of [her] ultimate findings and conclusions of law.’”  Commonwealth v. Scott, 440 Mass. 642, 646 (2004), quoting from Commonwealth v. Jimenez, 438 Mass. 213, 218 (2002).  We recite the facts as found by the motion judge, supplemented with uncontested testimony from the hearing on the motion to suppress. On September 4, 2014, Officer Brian Tracey and his […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 14, 2016 at 11:58 pm

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