Posts tagged "Office"

Daley v. Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, et al.; Nadeau v. Director of the Office of Medicaid (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-092-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12200 SJC-12205   MARY E. DALEY, personal representative,[1]  vs.  SECRETARY OF THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES & another.[2]   LIONEL C. NADEAU  vs.  DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MEDICAID.       Worcester.     January 5, 2017. – May 30, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Medicaid.  Trust, Irrevocable trust.  Real Property, Life estate, Ownership.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on February 11, 2015.   The case was heard by Dennis J. Curran, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.   Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on December 23, 2014.   The case was heard by Shannon Frison, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Lisa Neeley (Patrick Tinsley also present) for Lionel C. Nadeau. Brian E. Barreira for Mary E. Daley. Ronald M. Landsman, of Maryland, for National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. Elizabeth Kaplan & Julie E. Green, Assistant Attorneys General, for Director of the Office of Medicaid & another. Patricia Keane Martin, for National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (Massachusetts Chapter), was present but did not argue. Leo J. Cushing & Thomas J. McIntyre, for Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts, Inc., amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     GANTS, C.J.  These two cases require this court to navigate the labyrinth of controlling statutes and regulations to determine whether applicants are eligible for long-term care benefits under the Federal Medicaid Act (act) where they created an irrevocable trust and deeded their primary asset — their home — to that trust but retained the right to reside in and enjoy the use of the home for the rest of their life.  The Director of the Massachusetts Office of Medicaid (MassHealth) determined that the applicants in these two cases were not eligible for long-term care benefits because their retention of a right to continue to live in their homes made the equity in their homes a “countable” asset whose value exceeded the asset eligibility limitation under the act.  The applicants unsuccessfully challenged MassHealth’s determinations in the Superior Court pursuant to G. L. c. 30A, § 14.  We […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 30, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Brown v. Office of the Commissioner of Probation (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-161-16)

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-11987   HELEN BROWN  vs.  OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PROBATION.       Suffolk.     March 7, 2016. – October 11, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.[1]     Governmental Immunity.  Commonwealth, Claim against.  Judgment, Interest.  Interest.  Damages, Interest, Punitive, Attorney’s fees.  Practice, Civil, Interest, Costs, Attorney’s fees.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on August 13, 2007.   Following review by the Appeals Court, 84 Mass. App. Ct. 1109 (2013), a motion for postjudgment interest was considered by Paul E. Troy, J., and judgment was entered by him.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Jonathan J. Margolis (Beth R. Myers with him) for the plaintiff. Sally A. VanderWeele, Assistant Attorney General, for the Office of the Commissioner of Probation. Jamie Goodwin, for Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association & others, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     LENK, J.  In this case, we consider whether sovereign immunity bars a plaintiff who is awarded punitive damages, costs, and attorney’s fees as part of a judgment under G. L. c. 151B, § 9, from recovering postjudgment interest on those awards from a public employer.  The trial judge denied a request by the plaintiff, Helen Brown, for such interest, concluding that sovereign immunity has not been waived with respect to such interest, and judgment was entered accordingly.  A divided panel of the Appeals Court affirmed the judgment, see Brown v. Office of the Commissioner of Probation, 87 Mass. App. Ct. 729, 735 (2015), and we allowed the plaintiff’s application for further appellate review.  Because we conclude that G. L. c. 151B, § 9, does not waive sovereign immunity from liability for postjudgment interest, either expressly or by necessary implication, we affirm.[2] Background.  We recite only those facts necessary for understanding in context the question of law at issue here.  The plaintiff and a colleague sued the defendant, the office of the Commissioner of Probation, for sex discrimination, race discrimination, and retaliation, pursuant to the procedure set forth in G. L. c. 151B, § 9.  On February 9, 2011, a Superior Court jury found for the plaintiff on her retaliation claim,[3] and awarded $ 6,000 in compensatory damages and $ 500,000 in punitive damages.  The award of punitive damages was reduced to $ 108,000 by an order of remittitur.  […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 12, 2016 at 12:24 am

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Heyn v. Director of the Office of Medicaid (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-043-16)

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 15-P-166 Appeals Court EILEEN M. HEYN, personal representative,1 vs. DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MEDICAID. No. 15-P-166. Worcester. February 5, 2016. – April 15, 2016. Present: Green, Hanlon, & Henry, JJ. Medicaid. Trust, Self-settled trust, Irrevocable trust, Distribution, Allocation of payments between principal and income, Power of appointment. Annuity. Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on December 12, 2013. The case was heard by William F. Sullivan, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings. Patrick Tinsley for the plaintiff. Daniel J. Hammond, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendant. Patricia Keane Martin, Robert P. Ford, Kathryn E. Szewczyk, & Don J.J. Cordell, for National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (Massachusetts Chapter), amicus curiae, submitted a brief. GREEN, J. We are called upon yet again to review a determination that assets within a self-settled irrevocable 1 Of the estate of Everlenna Roche. 2 inter vivos trust should be treated as available to the trust grantor for payment of nursing home expenses (and, correspondingly, render the grantor ineligible for Medicaid benefits). We conclude that a hearing officer of the MassHealth board of hearings erroneously concluded that the trust at issue permitted its trustee to distribute proceeds from the sale of trust assets to the grantor in certain circumstances. Consequently, we reverse the judgment of the Superior Court affirming MassHealth’s termination of benefits to the plaintiff’s decedent.2 Background. From November 4, 2011, until her death on August 25, 2013, the plaintiff’s decedent, Everlenna Roche, resided at a skilled nursing facility in Westborough. Approximately eight and one-half years earlier, Roche had established the Everlenna R. Roche Irrevocable Trust (trust), and transferred to it title to her home at 10 Baker Way, Westborough, retaining a life estate.3 Upon moving into the 2 We acknowledge the amicus brief submitted by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. (Massachusetts chapter). 3 The defendant makes no argument that the life estate retained by Roche might itself have a value that could affect her eligibility for benefits, stating in its brief that it is “a correct statement of the law under Cohen [v. Commissioner of the Div. of Med. Assistance, 423 Mass. 399 (1996), cert. denied sub nom. Kokoska, by Kokoska v. Bullen, 519 U.S. 1057 (1997),] and its progeny” that retention of a life estate does not render an individual ineligible for benefits. We do […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 18, 2016 at 3:53 pm

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Needham v. Director of the Office of Medicaid (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-166-15)

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-182                                        Appeals Court   MAURICE NEEDHAM[1]  vs.  DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MEDICAID. No. 14-P-182. Essex.     January 14, 2015. – October 20, 2015.   Present:  Katzmann, Sullivan, & Blake, JJ.     Medicaid.  Administrative Law, Regulations, Agency’s interpretation of statute, Agency’s interpretation of regulation.  Probate Court, Judgment, Trust.  Trust, Reformation.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on December 28, 2012.   The case was heard by Maynard M. Kirpalani, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.     Elizabeth N. Dewar, Assistant State Solicitor, for the defendant. Peter J. Caruso for the plaintiff.      SULLIVAN, J.  This is an appeal pursuant to G. L. c. 30A from a judgment of the Superior Court reversing the denial of long-term care benefits under the Commonwealth’s Medicaid program.  A judge of the Superior Court concluded that the Director of the Office of Medicaid (MassHealth)[2] was bound by an order of a judge of the Probate and Family Court reforming a trust, and was obligated to consider the reformed trust when determining countable assets for purposes of Medicaid eligibility for long-term care benefits.  We conclude that MassHealth is bound by Federal law in making eligibility determinations, that Federal law prohibits recognition of the reformation of the trust within the statutory look-back period, and that MassHealth therefore could not be compelled to consider the reformed trust in evaluating eligibility.  Accordingly, we reverse the judgment and remand for entry of judgment in favor of MassHealth. Background.  The facts of the case are undisputed.  In his February 11, 2011, application for MassHealth long-term care benefits, the plaintiff Maurice Needham[3] disclosed two trusts, one revocable and one irrevocable.  The revocable trust held only the family home valued at $ 412,400, and named the irrevocable trust, of which Needham was also the settlor, as the sole beneficiary.[4]  MassHealth reviewed this and other financial information for purposes of determining whether Needham met the financial eligibility requirements for long-term care under the Medicaid program.  See 130 Code Mass. Regs. § 520.003(A)(1) (2009) (setting an eligibility ceiling of $ 2,000 in countable assets).  The irrevocable trust, also valued at $ 412,400, was deemed countable by MassHealth because a provision of the trust instructed the trustee to accumulate principal and to use it for the settlor’s future needs without regard to the interest of the remaindermen, his children.[5]  MassHealth concluded […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 20, 2015 at 4:28 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,

Brown v. Office of the Commissioner of Probation (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-086-15)

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-1055                                       Appeals Court   HELEN BROWN  vs.  OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PROBATION. No. 14-P-1055. Suffolk.     April 21, 2015. – August 4, 2015.   Present:  Green, Fecteau, & Agnes, JJ.     Public Employment.  Governmental Immunity.  Judgment, Interest. Damages, Punitive, Interest, Attorney’s fees.  Interest. Waiver.  Practice, Civil, Interest, Waiver, Attorney’s fees, Costs.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on August 13, 2007.   Following review by this court, 84 Mass. App. Ct. 1109 (2013), a motion for postjudgment interest was considered by Paul E. Troy, J., and judgment was entered by him.     Jonathan J. Margolis (Beth R. Myers with him) for the plaintiff. Sally A. VanderWeele, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendant. David A. Russcol, for Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.      FECTEAU, J.  This case presents the novel issue of whether a plaintiff who recovers punitive damages as part of a judgment under the provisions of G. L. c. 151B, § 9, against a subdivision of the Commonwealth may be awarded postjudgment interest on that award and on the award of attorney’s fees and costs, or whether sovereign immunity bars such interest.[1]  The statutes relevant to the issue, including those under which the punitive damages were awarded, i.e., c. 151B, and G. L. c. 235, § 8 (interest on judgments), are silent on the matter.  Neither the Appeals Court nor the Supreme Judicial Court has squarely addressed the issue in a published opinion with respect to     c. 151B.  In Sheriff of Suffolk County v. Jail Officers & Employees of Suffolk County, 465 Mass. 584, 597‑598 (2013), the Supreme Judicial Court stated, “the general rule is that ‘the Commonwealth . . . is not liable for postjudgment interest in the absence of a clear statutory waiver of sovereign immunity in that regard,’” and “entities entitled to sovereign immunity are not liable for interest under G. L. c. 235, § 8, absent an unequivocal statutory waiver,” citing Chapman v. University of Mass. Med. Center, 423 Mass. 584, 586 (1996).  Thus, we must discern whether this case presents an exception to the general rule. In Todino v. Wellfleet, 448 Mass. 234, 238 (2007) (Todino), the court generally observed that “[m]unicipal liability implicates the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which protects the public treasury from unanticipated money judgments.  Sovereign immunity prohibits liability against the Commonwealth [and] . . . its instrumentalities […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm

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Franklin Office Park Realty Corp. v. Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-172-13)

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‑11334   FRANKLIN OFFICE PARK REALTY CORP.  vs.  COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.     Worcester.     May 9, 2013.  ‑  September 16, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Department of Environmental Protection.  Administrative Law, Agency’s interpretation of statute, Regulations, Judicial review.  Practice, Civil, Review of administrative action.  Environment, Air pollution.  Asbestos.  Statute, Construction.  Regulation.  Words, “Wilful.”       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on March 22, 2011.   The case was heard by John S. McCann, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Louis M. Dundin, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendant. Paul E. White for the plaintiff.       DUFFLY, J.  The plaintiff, Franklin Office Park Realty Corp. (Franklin), challenges the assessment of a penalty in the amount of $ 18,225, imposed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for improper handling and disposal of roof shingles that contained asbestos.  Franklin argues that, pursuant to G. L. c. 21A, § 16 (administrative penalties act), it was entitled to a notice of noncompliance and the opportunity to cure any violations before a penalty was imposed.  The commissioner of the DEP (commissioner) accepted the recommendation of a hearing officer that he affirm the penalty on the ground that Franklin’s failure to comply fell within one of six exceptions to the notice requirement because it was “willful and not the result of error” (wilfulness exception), see G. L. c. 21A, § 16, which he interpreted as requiring only a showing of “the intent to do an act that violates the law if done.”  Franklin sought judicial review pursuant to G. L. c. 30A, § 14; a judge of the Superior Court determined some of the facts found by the hearing officer to be unsupported by substantial evidence, and that the DEP’s interpretation of G. L. c. 21A, § 16, was unreasonable and thus not entitled to deference.  DEP appealed, and we transferred the case to this court on our own motion. We conclude that the language “willful and not the result of error” in G. L. c. 21A, § 16, when considered in the context of the statutory scheme and the Legislature’s intent, clearly requires a showing that the party who has not complied with the law knew or should […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm

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11-Story Office Building Could Come to E. Berkeley St.

Find out more details about the new project that would replace an existing parking lot and auto repair shop on East Berkeley Street. South End Patch News

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 21, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , , ,