Posts tagged "Animals"

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. Department of Agricultural Resources, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-105-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12207   PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS, INC.  vs.  DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES & another.[1]       Suffolk.     February 6, 2017. – June 14, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Public Records.  Agriculture.  Animal.  Statute, Construction.  Privacy.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on October 14, 2014.   The case was heard by Christopher J. Muse, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     David Milton for the plaintiff. Amy Spector, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendants. Laura Rótolo & Jessie Rossman, for American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, amicus curiae, submitted a brief. Jessica White, for Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     LENK, J.  This case concerns the scope of two exemptions from the statutory definition of “public records.”  Specifically, it probes whether information, such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, and other information, contained on animal health certificates in the custody of the Department of Agricultural Resources, is subject to disclosure in response to a public records request.  A Superior Court judge determined that such information is protected from disclosure under statutory exemptions G. L. c. 4, § 7, Twenty-sixth (n) and (c), implicating, respectively, public safety and privacy.  For the reasons that follow, we vacate that order and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.[2] Background.  1.  Public records framework.  At all times relevant to this case, two statutes governed access to public records:  G. L. c. 66, § 10, and G. L. c. 4, § 7, Twenty-sixth.[3]  General Laws c. 66, § 10, sets forth the conditions under which government entities, through their records custodians, must provide access to public records.  “The primary purpose of G. L. c. 66, § 10, is to give the public broad access to governmental records.”  Worcester Tel. & Gazette Corp. v. Chief of Police of Worcester, 436 Mass. 378, 382-383 (2002). The term “public records,” in turn, is defined by G. L. c. 4, § 7, Twenty-sixth.  The definition sweeps in a wide array of documents and data made or received by employees, agencies, or other instrumentalities of the Commonwealth.  See Hull Mun. Lighting Plant v. Massachusetts Mun. Wholesale Elec. Co., 414 Mass. 609, 614 (1993), citing G. L. c. 4, § 7, Twenty-sixth (1990 ed.).  This expansive definition of “public records” is statutorily limited by twenty enumerated exemptions in G. L. […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 14, 2017 at 8:09 pm

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

Home Sales for the Love of Rescued Animals

Three years ago Weston real estate agent Leslie Mann read a story on the Internet that horrified her. What she read was the story of Turtle, a female pit bull-type dog who had been abandoned in a wooded area of Hyde Park in the middle of winter. She was badly injured and barely clinging to life — showing all the signs of a bait dog, one used to test the fighting instinct of a potential fight dog. The Animal Rescue League of Boston stepped in to help Turtle — she was found near Turtle Pond Parkway — nursing her back to health through six months of treatment at Tufts Veterinary Hospital in Walpole. “I was just horrified by [the story] and said, ‘We have to do something for her,’” Mann said. At the time, she held a Spin class fundraiser and sold T-shirts, efforts that brought in about $ 6,000 for Turtle’s treatment. Today, Turtle is happy, healthy and living blissfully with her adopted family, all facts that make Mann smile. “I think it’s just something about how sweet she is after everything she’s been through, it just caught people’s attention,” Mann said of her affection for Turtle. “It certainly caught my attention.” But Mann’s appreciation for the work of the Animal Rescue League continues even now. “They just are so amazing,” Mann said. “Turtle is alive today because … people raced out in the middle of the night and got her help. They go and rescue animals nobody else would rescue.” Even though Turtle doesn’t need her help anymore, Mann and her husband, Kyle, both agents with Gibson Sotheby’s Realty in Weston, want to continue supporting the Animal Rescue League of Boston. For the remainder of the year, they will donate $ 1,000 to the league from every home sale they make, in Weston and beyond. “They’re just such an amazing place,” Mann said. “They don’t just put the animals in the shelter and hope somebody comes and adopts them. They do a lot to help them get adopted. “I’m really excited about the organization.” More information on the Manns’ efforts is available here. South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , ,