Posts tagged "Royal"

Commonwealth v. Royal (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-025-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   14-P-1902                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  TITUS T. ROYAL. No. 14-P-1902. Suffolk.     December 1, 2015. – March 7, 2016.   Present:  Rubin, Maldonado, & Massing, JJ. Motor Vehicle, License to operate.  License.  Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Records.  Evidence, Hearsay, Business record. Notice.  Practice, Criminal, Hearsay.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Charlestown Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department on December 11, 2013.   The case was heard by Lawrence E. McCormick, J.     Rachel T. Rose for the defendant. Priscilla Guerrero (Cailin M. Campbell, Assistant District Attorney, with her) for the Commonwealth.      MASSING, J.  The defendant, Titus T. Royal, appeals from his conviction, after a bench trial in the Charlestown Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department, of driving with a suspended license in violation of G. L. c. 90, § 23.  He claims that the Commonwealth relied on inadmissible hearsay evidence to prove the element of license suspension, that the Commonwealth failed to prove that the registry of motor vehicles (registry) mailed him notice of its intent to suspend his license, and that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction.  Because the Commonwealth’s evidence of license suspension — an officer’s testimony that he “ran . . . the [defendant’s driver’s] license number through the Registry of Motor Vehicles” and it “came with a status of suspended” — was inadmissible hearsay, we reverse the conviction. Background.  On the morning of November 4, 2013, State Trooper Jeffrey Morrill, who was the only witness to testify at trial, stopped the car the defendant was driving for having an expired registration decal.  Using the laptop computer in his cruiser, Morrill “activated C[J]IS”[1] and ran the car’s registration and the defendant’s driver’s license through the registry database.  Over the defendant’s objection that the testimony was hearsay, Morrill stated, “The registration came back as status expired, non-renewable.  And the Massachusetts license came with a status of suspended.” In addition, the Commonwealth introduced in evidence four certified registry documents.  These included two notices of the registry’s intent to suspend the defendant’s license, both dated August 5, 2013, addressed to the defendant.  The first notice informed the defendant that on the basis of “3 Surchargeable Events,” the registry would suspend his license on November 3, 2013, unless he timely completed a driver retraining program.[2]  The second notice informed him that his license would be suspended on […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 7, 2016 at 10:08 pm

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