Posts tagged "Sullivan"

Commonwealth v. Sullivan (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-186-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11808   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  GERALD SULLIVAN.       Middlesex.     April 7, 2017. – November 16, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Gaziano, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.     Homicide.  Felony-Murder Rule.  Armed Home Invasion.  Deoxyribonucleic Acid.  Practice, Criminal, Witness, Hearsay, Confrontation of witnesses, Disclosure of evidence, Capital case.  Evidence, Hearsay, Expert opinion, Disclosure of evidence, Exculpatory, Qualification of expert witness, Impeachment of credibility.  Witness, Police officer, Expert, Impeachment, Competency, Credibility.  Constitutional Law, Confrontation of witnesses.  Due Process of Law, Disclosure of evidence.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June 30, 2011.   The cases were tried before S. Jane Haggerty, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on September 9, 2015, was heard by Edward P. Leibensperger, J.     Leslie W. O’Brien for the defendant. Jessica Langsam, Assistant District Attorney (Elizabeth A. Dunigan, Assistant District Attorney, also present) for the Commonwealth.         GAZIANO, J.  A Superior Court jury convicted the defendant of felony-murder, with the predicate felony of armed home invasion, in the shooting death of Johnny Hatch on February 18, 2011.[1]  In this direct appeal, the defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions.  He also challenges several evidentiary rulings concerning the introduction of testimony about deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) found on objects at the crime scene, and testimony concerning the use of a DNA profile of the defendant stored in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, which was described to the jury as a “national database.”  In addition, the defendant maintains that the motion judge erred in denying his motion for a new trial on the ground that the Commonwealth did not provide exculpatory evidence concerning a forensic scientist’s failure to pass required proficiency tests.  We conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions, and that none of the asserted errors in the trial proceedings requires a new trial.  Further, having carefully reviewed the record, pursuant to our duty under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, we discern no reason to exercise our extraordinary authority to grant a new trial or to reduce the verdict to a lesser degree of guilt. Facts.  We recite the facts the jury could have found, reserving certain facts for later discussion. At approximately 10 P.M. on February 18, 2011, John and Darlene Vieira[2] were in their apartment in West Medford. […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 16, 2017 at 9:03 pm

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Sullivan, et al. v. Connolly, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-012-17)

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   15-P-1563                                       Appeals Court   KRISTEN SULLIVAN, administratrix,[1] & another[2]  vs.  THOMAS CONNOLLY & another.[3]     No. 15-P-1563.   Suffolk.     December 14, 2016. – February 17, 2017.   Present:  Grainger, Sullivan, & Kinder, JJ.     Negligence, Medical malpractice, Wrongful death, Spoliation of evidence.  Wrongful Death.  Minor, Wrongful death.  Practice, Civil, Wrongful death, Instructions to jury, Opening statement, New trial, Bias of judge.     Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on March 18, 2010.   The case was tried before Linda E. Giles, J., and a motion for new trial was considered by her.     Benjamin R. Novotny for the plaintiffs. Brooks L. Glahn for the defendants.     GRAINGER, J.  A jury in the Superior Court returned a defendants’ verdict in this medical malpractice suit and wrongful death action resulting from the death of an infant within three days of birth.  The plaintiffs appeal, asserting claims of error in the judge’s evidentiary rulings, in her instructions to the jury and, in a more disturbing allegation, accusing the judge of persistent favoritism and biased conduct requiring a new trial. After a careful review of both the record appendix and the trial transcript in their entirety, we affirm the judgment.  Moreover, for the reasons set forth below, we conclude that the allegations of judicial bias in the plaintiffs’ motion for a new trial are unfounded, and that they exemplify pleading material appropriate for a motion to strike as set forth in Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(f), 365 Mass. 754 (1974). We address the plaintiffs’ claims in the order briefed on appeal, noting that the claims of error are intertwined with the assertion of judicial bias.  We refer to the factual assertions of the parties as they relate to the issues; the underlying facts are generally undisputed. Missing witness instruction.  1.  Adverse inference.  A central issue at trial related to fetal heart rate tracings.  These tracings are electronically monitored to ensure that a fetus maintains a minimally healthy heart rate before and during delivery.  The plaintiffs asserted that the defendants were negligent by failing to monitor the decedent’s tracings with appropriate care, failing to recognize that the tracings signaled an unacceptably slow (nonreassuring) heart rate and, consequently, failing to perform an urgently required cesarean section in a timely manner.  The defendants asserted that the tracings indicated a reassuring heart rate, and that […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 17, 2017 at 7:37 pm

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Sullivan v. Smith (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-174-16)

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-1626                                       Appeals Court   EARLINE SULLIVAN  vs.  CRAIG S. SMITH.     No. 15-P-1626.   Hampden.     September 20, 2016. – December 16, 2016.   Present:  Meade, Carhart, & Kinder, JJ.     Parent and Child, Child support.  Probate Court, General equity power, Notice.  Jurisdiction, Equitable.  Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.  Jurisdiction, Personal.  Due Process of Law, Jurisdiction over nonresident.  Practice, Civil, Service of process.  Notice.       Complaint in equity filed in the Hampden Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on November 12, 2014.   Judgment was entered by David G. Sacks, J.; a motion for postjudgment relief, filed on July 31, 2015, was considered by him; a motion to dismiss, filed on September 3, 2015, was heard by him; and a corrected order lifting a stay on child support payments was entered by him.     Ann E. Dargie for the defendant.     KINDER, J.  Craig S. Smith (Smith or father), a Georgia resident, appeals from a judgment and orders of the Probate and Family Court ordering him to pay postminority child support to Earline Sullivan (Sullivan or guardian), the former guardian of Smith’s unemancipated eighteen year old son.  On appeal, Smith argues that the Probate and Family Court lacked personal jurisdiction over him, and that the judgment is therefore void.  He also challenges the sufficiency of both service of the complaint and notice of the hearing at which the judgment entered.  We affirm, concluding that the long-arm provisions of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), G. L. c. 209D, § 2-201,[1] provide personal jurisdiction over Smith, that service of process was sufficient, and that he had adequate notice of the hearing. Background.  We summarize the relevant factual and procedural history from the undisputed facts set forth in the judge’s orders, as well as the verified complaint and the relevant dockets.  See Eccleston v. Bankosky, 438 Mass. 428, 429 (2003).  See also Brookline v. Goldstein, 388 Mass. 443, 447 (1983) (both trial judge and appellate court may take judicial notice of court records in related action); Jarosz v. Palmer, 436 Mass. 526, 530 (2002). Smith is the father of a son born on July 13, 1996.  Smith acknowledged paternity in an action brought first by the mother pursuant to G. L. c. 209C, and later by the Department of Revenue pursuant to G. L. c. 119A and G. L. c. 209C.  Smith was ordered […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm

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Commonwealth v. Sullivan (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-156-14)

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-11568   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JOSEPH D. SULLIVAN.       Middlesex.     May 6, 2014. – September 9, 2014.   Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, & Duffly, JJ.[1]     Attempt.  Kidnapping.  Idle and Disorderly Person.  Practice, Criminal, Assistance of counsel.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on November 27, 2007.   The cases were tried before Hiller B. Zobel, J.; motions for a new trial and to vacate a conviction, filed on November 2, 2010, were considered by Sandra L. Hamlin, J.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Kevin J. Curtin, Assistant District Attorney (Nicole L. Allain, Assistant District Attorney, with him) for the Commonwealth. Dennis A. Shedd for the defendant. Timothy St. Lawrence, for Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     SPINA, J.  Following a jury trial in the Superior Court in December, 2008, the defendant, Joseph D. Sullivan, was convicted of attempted kidnapping, G. L. c. 274, § 6, and of accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex, G. L. c. 272, § 53.[2]  He was sentenced to from three to five years in the State prison on his conviction of attempted kidnapping, and he was sentenced to three years’ probation on his conviction of accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex, to commence on and after the attempted kidnapping sentence.  On appeal, the defendant argued that (1) the Commonwealth failed to present sufficient evidence to prove every element of the charged crimes beyond a reasonable doubt;[3] (2) his motion to vacate the attempted kidnapping conviction was wrongly denied; and (3) his counsel provided ineffective assistance during the course of the trial.[4]      The Appeals Court affirmed the judgment on the indictment charging attempted kidnapping, concluding that the Commonwealth had proved all of the required elements of the offense.  Commonwealth v. Sullivan, 84 Mass. App. Ct. 26, 28-30, 32 (2013).  On the indictment charging accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex, the Appeals Court reversed the judgment, set aside the verdict, and entered judgment for the defendant.  Id. at 30-32.  It concluded that because the Commonwealth had not demonstrated that the defendant’s conduct involved “sexually explicit language or acts,” the Commonwealth failed to meet its burden of proving that the defendant’s […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 9, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Sullivan (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-139-14)

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-11504 COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MICHAEL J. SULLIVAN. Middlesex.     April 10, 2014. – August 15, 2014.   Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Gants, & Duffly, JJ.[1] Homicide.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, New trial. Evidence, Scientific test, Exculpatory.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on April 24, 1986, and May 14, 1986, respectively.   A motion for a new trial, filed on March 9, 2012, was heard by Kathe M. Tuttman, J.   A request for leave to appeal was allowed by Spina, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk.     Robert J. Bender, Assistant District Attorney (Steven C. Hoctor, Assistant District Attorney, with him) for the Commonwealth. Dana Alan Curhan for the defendant.     SPINA, J.  The defendant, Michael J. Sullivan, was convicted by a jury in Superior Court of murder in the first degree and armed robbery arising out of the brutal stomping death of Wilfred McGrath.  We affirmed the defendant’s convictions on direct appeal.  Commonwealth v. Sullivan, 410 Mass. 521, 533 (1991).  Since then, the defendant has sought postconviction relief both in State and Federal courts.[2]  At issue in this case is the defendant’s most recent motion for a new trial.  As a result of the reexamination by a private forensic laboratory of certain physical evidence from the defendant’s trial, which revealed that the victim’s blood was not present on a jacket purportedly worn by the defendant during the killing, the defendant filed a motion for a new trial based on newly available evidence.  The motion judge[3] granted the defendant’s motion, and the Commonwealth sought leave to appeal from a single justice of this court.  The Commonwealth’s application was granted, and the Commonwealth argues on appeal that the motion judge erred in concluding that the jacket was a key piece of corroborative evidence in the case against the defendant and that the newly available evidence arising from the retesting of the jacket casts real doubt on the justice of the defendant’s conviction.  We agree with the motion judge, and we affirm the order granting the defendant’s motion for a new trial. 1.  Facts.  The facts surrounding the killing of the victim are set forth in detail in Sullivan, 410 Mass. at 522-523.  We summarize those facts here and supplement them with other relevant facts from the trial record and […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 15, 2014 at 5:07 pm

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Sullivan, et al. v. Kondaur Capital Corporation (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-039-14)

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       13‑P‑706                                        Appeals Court   JOSEPH L. SULLIVAN & another[1]  vs.  KONDAUR CAPITAL CORPORATION. No. 13‑P‑706. Suffolk.     February 4, 2014.  ‑  April 16, 2014. Present:  Kafker, Green, & Sullivan, JJ.   Mortgage, Assignment, Foreclosure.  Practice, Civil, Motion to dismiss, Standing.  Real Property, Mortgage, Registered land, Certificate of title.  Assignment.  Agency, Scope of authority or employment.  Corporation, Officers and agents.  Land Court.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on March 8, 2010.   After transfer to the Land Court Department, a motion to dismiss was heard by Harry M. Grossman, J.     Rockwell P. Ludden for the plaintiffs. David M. Rosen for the defendant.       GREEN, J.  In this appeal, the plaintiffs, Joseph L. and Mary R. Sullivan (Sullivans), challenge the title of the defendant, Kondaur Capital Corporation (Kondaur), to the Sullivans’ former residence, based on their contention that Kondaur did not hold a valid interest in the mortgage it foreclosed on the property in October, 2009.  A judge of the Land Court allowed Kondaur’s motion to dismiss the Sullivans’ amended verified complaint, and thereafter denied (on grounds of futility) the Sullivans’ motion to further amend their complaint.  Though several of the Sullivans’ challenges are without merit, we conclude that the complaint sufficiently stated a claim that Kondaur’s title to the mortgage was defective at the time of the foreclosure, and reverse the judgment. Background.  We draw the following factual background from the allegations in the Sullivans’ verified amended complaint.  On or about August 16, 2004, the Sullivans acquired title to property located at 98 Wild Hunter Road in Dennis (property).  The property is registered land, and upon registration of the deed conveying the property to them, certificate of title no. 174074 issued in their names, evidencing their title.  On January 11, 2006, the Sullivans executed a mortgage (mortgage), conveying the property to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), “solely as nominee for [WMC Mortgage Corp. (WMC)] and [WMC’s] successors and assigns,” to secure payment of a promissory note the Sullivans executed in favor of WMC.  The mortgage thereafter was duly filed for registration with the Barnstable registry district of the Land Court.  By instrument dated May 21, 2008 (first assignment), MERS purported to assign the mortgage to Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc. (Saxon).  Thereafter, by instrument dated February 12, 2009 (second assignment), Saxon […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 16, 2014 at 3:57 pm

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Investigators Match DeSalvo DNA to Sullivan Crime Scene

Officials have closed the book on the final in a series of murders allegedly committed by the Boston Strangler. South End Patch News

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Sullivan (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-090-13)

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       10‑P‑1791                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JOSEPH D. SULLIVAN.     No. 10‑P‑1791. Middlesex.     March 18, 2013.  ‑  July 10, 2013. Present:  Rapoza, C.J., Carhart, & Hines, JJ.     Attempt.  Kidnapping.  Idle and Disorderly Person.  Practice, Criminal, Postconviction relief, Assistance of counsel.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on November 27, 2007.   The cases were tried before Hiller B. Zobel, J.; motions for a new trial and to vacate a conviction, filed on November 2, 2010, were considered by Sandra L. Hamlin, J.     Dennis A. Shedd for the defendant. James D. Kerr, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     HINES, J.  Following a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of attempted kidnapping, G. L. c. 274, § 6, and accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex, G. L. c. 272, § 53.[1]  On appeal, he argues that (1) the Commonwealth presented insufficient evidence to support the convictions; (2) his motion to vacate the attempted kidnapping conviction was wrongly denied; and (3) trial counsel provided ineffective assistance during the course of the trial.  We affirm in part and reverse in part. 1.  Sufficiency of the evidence.  The defendant challenges the jury’s verdict on the attempted kidnapping charge on the ground that the Commonwealth failed to prove the required elements of the offense:  a specific intent to kidnap and an overt act in furtherance of the offense.  G. L. c. 274, § 6.  See Commonwealth v. Rivera, 460 Mass. 139, 142 (2011).  He also claims that his conviction of annoying or accosting a person of the opposite sex must be reversed because the Commonwealth failed to prove that his actions were “offensive” and “disorderly,” as required by the statute.  G. L. c. 272, § 53. We review a claim of sufficiency of the evidence under the oft-repeated Latimore standard, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth.  Commonwealth v. Latimore, 378 Mass. 671, 676-677 (1979).  Under this standard, the jury could have found the following facts.  At approximately 9:30 P.M. on September 28, 2007, R.M., the victim, was walking alone on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.  She was returning to her dormitory on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus after an evening class.  The defendant, who was headed toward Boston in his vehicle, swerved toward R.M. and said, “Hey little girl, you look so tired.  Come on over.  […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 10, 2013 at 8:28 pm

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