Posts tagged "G.F."

Commonwealth v. G.F. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-043-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-12388   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  G.F.       Suffolk.     November 9, 2017. – March 20, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.     Sex Offender.  Constitutional Law, Sex offender.  Due Process of Law, Sex offender.  Practice, Civil, Sex offender, Civil commitment, Verdict.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on December 24, 2010.   A motion to modify the temporary order of confinement and for an order of custody conditions, filed on October 17, 2016, was heard by Douglas H. Wilkins, J., and questions of law were reported by him to the Appeals Court.   Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on October 24, 2016.   The case was heard by Gaziano, J., and the matter was reported by him to the Appeals Court.   After consolidation in the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Joseph M. Kenneally (Michael F. Farrington also present) for G.F. John P. Zanini, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     GAZIANO, J.  This case concerns G. L. c. 123A, the statute governing civil commitment of sexually dangerous persons (SDP).  Prior to civilly committing an individual under this statute, the Commonwealth must obtain a unanimous jury verdict finding that the individual is sexually dangerous.[1]  G. L. c. 123A, § 14 (d).  Subject to certain exceptions, the trial to determine sexual dangerousness must be held within sixty days after the Commonwealth files a petition for trial.  G. L. c. 123A, § 14 (a).  During this time, the individual is to be temporarily confined.  See G. L. c. 123A, § 14 (e); Commonwealth v. Pariseau, 466 Mass. 805, 808 (2014). In this case, the Commonwealth filed a petition seeking to commit the petitioner as an SDP in December, 2010.  Following years of delay and three mistrials, the petitioner remains confined without a finding that he is sexually dangerous.  He contends that substantive due process and the SDP statute require dismissal of the Commonwealth’s petition.  A judge of the Superior Court concluded that continued confinement violated the petitioner’s substantive due process rights, ordered his release, and then stayed that order and reported a number of questions. We conclude that the SDP statute permits a fourth trial in the circumstances of this case.  While due process would impose a limit on the number of retrials […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 20, 2018 at 9:46 pm

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