Posts tagged "1016315"

Malloch v. Town of Hanover, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-163-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-11713   KRISTIN MALLOCH  vs.  TOWN OF HANOVER & others.[1]       Suffolk.     January 5, 2015. – September 24, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.   Civil Service, Decision of Civil Service Commission, Eligibility list, Judicial review, Police, Promotion.  Police, Promotional examination.  Administrative Law, Agency’s interpretation of statute, Decision, Findings, Judicial review, Agency’s authority, Substantial evidence.  Practice, Civil, Review respecting civil service.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on March 28, 2013.   The case was heard by Paul D. Wilson, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Frank J. McGee for the plaintiff. Bryan F. Bertram, Assistant Attorney General, for the personnel administrator of the human resources division of the Commonwealth. Galen Gilbert, for Carla Sullivan, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     DUFFLY, J.  The town of Hanover (town) had two open positions for sergeants in its police department.  Although the plaintiff, Kristin Malloch, had scored highest on the civil service examination for promotion to a police sergeant position, the town decided to bypass Malloch and promote the candidates who had scored second and third highest on the sergeants’ examination.  Malloch appealed the town’s decision to the Civil Service Commission (commission), pursuant to G. L. c. 31, § 2 (b), arguing that, where an appointing authority promotes a candidate other than the candidate ranked highest on the certification list; the promotion will not become effective until the appointing authority’s written statement of reasons for the bypass “has been received by the administrator,” G. L. c. 31, § 27;, that “received” in this context means substantially reviewed and approved by the administrator; and that the administrator[2] may not, in accordance with G. L. c. 31, § 5 (l), delegate that function to the town’s appointing authority.  Malloch argued also that, even if the delegation were permissible, her bypass was not supported by evidence of a reasonable justification for the bypass.  The commission denied her appeal, and Malloch sought review in the Superior Court pursuant to G. L. c. 30A, § 14. Agreeing with Malloch that the statutory requirement that the written statement of bypass reasons must be “received by” the administrator means “reviewed and approved by” the administrator, a Superior Court judge concluded that it was not “practicable,” see G. L. c. 31, § 5 (l), for the […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 24, 2015 at 5:56 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , ,

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