Posts tagged "Wright"

Commonwealth v. Wright (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-040-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReportersjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11950   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JOSEPH WRIGHT.       Essex.     November 10, 2017. – March 15, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.     Homicide.  Constitutional Law, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement.  Evidence, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Expert opinion, Exculpatory, Intoxication.  Mental Impairment.  Intoxication.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Discovery, Assistance of counsel, Preservation of evidence.  Witness, Expert.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June 28, 2012.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Richard E. Welch, III, J., and the cases were tried before Howard J. Whitehead, J.     David H. Mirsky (Joanne T. Petito also present) for the defendant. Marcia H. Slingerland, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.          CYPHER, J.  The defendant, Joseph Wright, appeals from two convictions of murder in the first degree.  He urges the reversal of his convictions on four grounds.  First, he contends that the pretrial motion judge erroneously denied his motion to suppress statements he made to Canadian law enforcement officers.  Second, he argues that the trial judge committed a reversible error in ordering the pretrial disclosure of the defendant’s mental health expert’s report regarding the defendant’s mental condition at the time of the crimes, which the prosecution had in its possession during its subsequent cross-examination of the defendant.  Third, the defendant argues that the evidence at trial demonstrates his lack of criminal responsibility for the murders, and relatedly, that his trial counsel’s failure to argue a lack of criminal responsibility defense before the jury constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel.  Fourth, he argues that State police investigators failed to collect certain evidence relevant to his intoxication at the time of the crimes, thereby denying the defendant his right to a “complete defense.”  Having considered the defendant’s arguments, and, more broadly, “the whole case on the law and the facts” pursuant to our duty under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, Commonwealth v. Howard, 469 Mass. 721, 747 (2014), we affirm the convictions. Factual and procedural background.  We recite the facts the jury could have found in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, but we reserve certain details of the facts and proceedings for discussion of the individual issues. The defendant does not dispute that he killed […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 15, 2018 at 8:07 pm

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Wright, et al. v. Balise Motor Sales Company, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-042-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT. 1684CV03477-BLS2 ____________________ DEREK WRIGHT and NATHANIEL TOWSE, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated v. BALISE MOTOR SALES COMPANY and Others1 ____________________ MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTS’ PARTIAL MOTION TO DISMISS AND MOTION FOR A MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT Derek Wright previously sold cars at Balise Hyundai in Hyannis, Massachusetts, for Cape Hy, Inc. Nathaniel Towse sold cars in West Springfield, Massachusetts for Balise Motor Sales Company. Wright and Towse claim that they are owed unpaid overtime, Sunday premium pay, and minimum wages. They assert a variety of statutory claims as well as common law claims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment or quantum meruit. They seek to assert the same claims on behalf of a putative class of similarly situated salespeople. Defendants have moved to dismiss the four common law claims and to compel a more definite statement as to the scope of the putative class. The Court will allow the partial motion to dismiss but deny the motion for a more definite statement. The Court concludes that Defendants are entitled to dismissal of the common law claims because the facts alleged in the complaint do not plausibly suggest that Defendants entered into an implied contract to pay hourly wages of any kind. Instead, the complaint indicates that the parties understood that all salespeople would be paid commissions only. The existence of an implied contract to pay commissions bars Plaintiffs’ claims for unjust enrichment or quantum meruit. 1. Motion to Dismiss. To survive a motion to dismiss under Mass. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), a complaint must allege facts that, if true, would “plausibly suggest[] … an entitlement to relief.” Lopez v. Commonwealth, 463 Mass. 696, 701 (2012), quoting Iannacchino v. Ford Motor Co., 451 Mass. 623, 636 (2008), and Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557 (2007). For the purpose of deciding the pending motion 1 Cape Hy, Inc.; James E. Balise, Jr.; William Peffer; Steven M. Mitus; and Allen Thomalla. – 2 – to dismiss, the Court must assume that the factual allegations in the complaint and any reasonable inferences that may be drawn in Plaintiffs’ favor from the facts alleged are true. See Golchin v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 460 Mass. 222, 223 (2011). In so doing, however, it must “look beyond the conclusory allegations in the complaint and focus on whether the factual allegations plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.” Maling v. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, 473 Mass. 336, 339 (2015), quoting Curtis v. Herb Chambers I-95, Inc., 458 Mass. 674, 676 (2011). 1.1. Implied Contract Claim. In Count VI, Plaintiffs claim that Defendants breach an implied contract with Plaintiffs by failing […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 27, 2017 at 2:13 am

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

Commonwealth v. Wright (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-116-15)

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   13-P-2000                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  LOUANN WRIGHT.   No. 13-P-2000. Suffolk.     February 24, 2015. – August 18, 2015.   Present:  Rapoza, C.J., Berry, & Maldonado, JJ.   Practice, Criminal, Venue, Dismissal.  Larceny.  Fraud.  Public Welfare, Food stamp benefits.  Department of Transitional Assistance.  Transitional Aid for Families with Dependent Children.  Statute, Construction.       Complaint received and sworn in the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department on June 28, 2012.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Raymond G. Dougan, Jr., J.     George Barker, Assistant District Attorney (Helle Sachse, Assistant District Attorney, with him) for the Commonwealth. Claudia Lagos (Dana Alan Curhan with her) for the defendant.     MALDONADO, J.  A complaint was brought against the defendant in the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court (Central Division) for one count of larceny over $ 250 by a single scheme, G. L. c. 266, § 30, and four counts of public assistance fraud, G. L. c. 18, § 5B.  These charge the defendant with attesting to false information on public benefits applications she submitted to the Department of Transitional Assistance (department), which resulted, according to the Commonwealth, in the department’s distribution to her of unwarranted benefits. The defendant resides in Somerville and applied for benefits at the department satellite office located in Revere.  Neither the defendant’s Somerville residence nor the department’s Revere satellite office is in the city of Boston.  The defendant filed a motion to dismiss in the Central Division for lack of venue and, following an evidentiary hearing, a judge allowed the defendant’s motion and dismissed the complaint.  The Commonwealth’s appeal followed.  Concluding that venue properly lies in Boston, where the department “used” the defendant’s purported false statements to calculate her public assistance award, we reverse. Background.  We summarize the uncontroverted facts as alleged in the complaint and presented at the evidentiary hearing.[1]  In the application for complaint, the Commonwealth’s investigator reported that the defendant applied for and recertified eligibility for public benefits on at least five separate occasions between 2006 and 2011.[2]  She submitted these forms at a department satellite office located in Revere. The defendant listed between three and six household members on these forms but did not include her husband.[3]  Nor did she account for his income.  From 2006 to 2011 — the relevant time frame — the defendant also filed joint tax […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 18, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Wright (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-146-14)

  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-11501   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  EDWARD G. WRIGHT.     Hampden.     April 10, 2014. – August 20, 2014.   Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.[1] Homicide.  Practice, Criminal, New trial, Hearsay, Capital case.  Evidence, Third-party culprit, Exculpatory, Opinion, Hearsay, Motive, Relevancy and materiality.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June 7, 1984.   Following review by this court, 411 Mass. 678 (1992), a motion for a new trial, filed on April 24, 2012, was considered by C. Jeffrey Kinder, J., and motions for reconsideration were considered by him.   A request for leave to appeal was allowed by Botsford, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk.     Richard J. Fallon (Matthew A. Kamholtz with him) for the defendant. Dianne M. Dillon, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     GANTS, J.  On April 10, 1985, the defendant, Edward G. Wright, was convicted by a jury of murder in the first degree on the theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty.  We affirmed the defendant’s conviction and the denials of his first and second motions for a new trial.  Commonwealth v. Wright, 411 Mass. 678, 683, 686-689, 691 (1992).  After various proceedings, which we will detail below, the defendant, in April, 2012, filed his fifth motion for a new trial, arguing, insofar as relevant here, that newly discovered evidence in the form of third-party culprit evidence warranted a new trial.  The motion was denied without an evidentiary hearing, as were motions for reconsideration.  The defendant then petitioned a single justice of this court, pursuant to the “gatekeeper” provision of G. L. c. 278, § 33E, for leave to appeal the denial of his fifth motion for a new trial.  The single justice allowed the appeal to proceed.  We now affirm the denial of the motion. 1.  Trial.  We set forth the relevant facts as detailed in our earlier opinion, which we supplement in footnotes: “In the afternoon of May 14, 1984, officers of the Springfield police department found the victim’s body with more than sixty stab wounds in her second-floor apartment at 306 Dwight Street Extension.[[2],[3]]  There was evidence that she had died between 12:15 A.M. and 6:15 A.M. that day.  A neighbor heard a woman screaming for about fifteen minutes shortly before 4 A.M.[[4]]  He […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Wright (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-056-14)

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‑199                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT. No. 13‑P‑199. Hampshire.     March 11, 2014.  ‑  May 29, 2014. Present:  Trainor, Brown, & Meade, JJ.   Search and Seizure, Motor vehicle, Reasonable suspicion, Threshold police inquiry.  Constitutional Law, Search and seizure, Reasonable suspicion.  Threshold Police Inquiry.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress.  Controlled Substances.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on November 15, 2011.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by C. Jeffrey Kinder, J., and the case was tried before Richard J. Carey, J.     Jennifer Petersen for the defendant. Thomas H. Townsend, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       BROWN, J.  The defendant was convicted by a jury of trafficking in cocaine.[1]  On appeal, he challenges only the motion judge’s order denying his motion to suppress, contending that the State trooper exceeded the permissible scope of a routine traffic stop.  We affirm. Background.  We summarize the facts the motion judge found, supplemented with uncontested evidence from the motion hearing merely to provide context.  See Commonwealth v. Johnson, 82 Mass. App. Ct. 336, 337 (2012).  On September 20, 2011, Trooper Brendan Shugrue observed a grey Nissan following very closely behind a white Toyota.  Shugrue followed the Nissan, and further observed that the vehicle had tinted windows and New Jersey license plates.  Shugrue pulled over the vehicle for following too closely. While at the side of the vehicle, Shugrue smelled a strong odor of air freshener.  The defendant was driving, and Mitchell Degroat was a passenger.  Shugrue explained why he had pulled over the vehicle and asked the defendant for his driver’s license.  The defendant produced a New York license and stated that he and the passenger were traveling to Vermont to visit the defendant’s niece.  Degroat professed to own the vehicle, but produced a New Jersey registration indicating that a leasing company was the owner.  When Shugrue asked Degroat for identification, he produced an expired, faceless New York driver’s permit.  Throughout this encounter, Degroat did not make eye contact with Shugrue.  Shugrue then returned to his cruiser to issue the defendant a written warning.  Before completing the paperwork, he called for backup to watch the Nissan, as he could not see into the vehicle while sitting in his cruiser, due to the tinted windows on the Nissan.  Trooper William Loiselle […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 29, 2014 at 9:32 pm

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