Posts tagged "Perella"

Commonwealth v. Perella (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-015-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑11083   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JOSEPH PERELLA. Norfolk.     October 1, 2012.  ‑  February 1, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.   Limitations, Statute of.  Practice, Criminal, Complaint, Indictment, Grand jury proceedings, Dismissal.  Statute, Construction.  Robbery.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on May 12, 2010.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Janet L. Sanders, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Gregory P. Connor, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Patrick M. Troy (Dennis M. Toomey with him) for the defendant.       DUFFLY, J.  On January 19, 2010, a criminal complaint was filed in the District Court charging the defendant with the commission of an armed robbery that took place on January 20, 2000.  On May 12, 2010, more than ten years after the date of the armed robbery, a grand jury returned an indictment against the defendant for that offense.  A judge of the Superior Court allowed the defendant’s motion to dismiss on the ground that the case was not properly initiated by indictment until after the statute of limitations had run. This case requires us to decide whether the filing of a criminal complaint tolls the statute of limitations set forth in G. L. c. 277, § 63 (§ 63), which states that “[a]n indictment for [armed robbery under G. L. c. 265, § 17] . . . may be found and filed within [ten] years after the date of commission of such offense.”  We conclude that § 63 requires the filing of an indictment within the ten-year limitations period for armed robbery, G. L. c. 265, § 17, and that the filing of a complaint within the limitations period, and the return of an indictment outside of that period, does not constitute timely commencement of the criminal proceeding.  We therefore affirm the order dismissing the indictment.   Background and prior proceedings.  We summarize background information that is reflected in the briefs of both parties.[1]  On January 20, 2000, a man entered the Randolph Savings Bank in Stoughton, wearing a winter hat, a scarf that covered his face, and sunglasses.  The man passed to a teller a note that “request[ed]” money and claimed the man had a weapon.  After the teller handed the man some money, the man left the bank.  A civilian witness took note […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm

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