By - 4/11/14 - 11:24 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that police don't need a warrant to try to save animals in danger of immediate death.

The decision comes in the case of a Lynn woman charged with three counts of animal cruelty when police, responding to a call from her neighbor, found three dogs on her lawn - two dead, one nearly so - and went into her... Read more

By - 4/10/14 - 11:09 am

To a layman, the case might sound simple: A guy climbs stairs to his apartment, but leans on the guardrail, which breaks and sends him plummeting to pavement below, resulting in serious injuries - and a lawsuit against his landlords.

But in a decision today, the state Supreme Judicial Court ruled his landlords are not liable for his injuries under a state law mandating compliance... Read more

By - 4/8/14 - 11:27 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that a wiretapped statement by an H-Block associate charged with murdering a young teen in a feud with the rival Heath Street gang can be used against him because H-Block is involved with the sort of "organized crime" for which state law allows wiretaps.

Timothy Hearns faces trial for a double shooting on May 8, 2010 that left... Read more

By - 3/26/14 - 11:04 am

The Supreme Judicial Court says the state can't expand its online database of sex offenders with the names of "Level 2" offenders convicted before the governor signed a law to add information on such offenders to the system last year.

In a ruling today, the state's highest court said that adding existing Level 2 offenders to the database - which until last year only listed... Read more

By - 3/25/14 - 10:55 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today dismissed a lawsuit by the town of Hanover against a union that helped finance a lawsuit against the town over construction of a new high school.

The state's highest court ruled that the New England Regional Council of Carpenters has protection under a state law against lawsuits aimed at quashing citizens' First Amendment rights to seek government action to... Read more

By - 3/7/14 - 9:17 am

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UPDATE, Friday afternoon: Gov. Patrick has signed the anti-upskirting (also, anti-downblowsing) bill into law.... Read more

By - 3/6/14 - 8:02 pm

The Globe reports both houses of the state legislature today approved a measure to ban upskirting, the day after the Supreme Judicial Court ruled current state law does not prohibit it.

By - 3/5/14 - 11:28 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today tossed charges against a Green Line rider caught snapping photos up the skirts of female Green Line riders in 2010.

In its ruling, the state's highest court said the law used to prosecute Michael Robertson applies only to "nude" or "partially nude" women in private locations, such as bedrooms, not to clothed women - even women with no undergarments... Read more

By - 3/5/14 - 11:08 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that people seeking to overturn drug convictions based on the work of disgraced state chemist Annie Dookhan still have to prove that was the overriding reason they agreed to plead guilty.

In several rulings today, the court agreed that Dookhan's thousands of falsifications represented an "egregious" ethical and legal breach and that lawyers for defendants would not have to... Read more

By - 2/18/14 - 11:17 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that police cannot obtain location data kept by wireless providers without a search warrant.

In a split decision, the state's highest court said that while federal law allows law-enforcement officers to get a customer's "cell site location information" through a court order, Massachusetts law requires them to show they have probable cause to believe the information is directly related... Read more

By - 2/12/14 - 3:34 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld Charon Ray's conviction for fatally shooting a teen when he was 16 - his victim was 14 - but said that at some point he could seek parole under federal and state rulings that life without parole is a cruel and unusual punishment for minors.

Ray was convicted for the 2004 death of a Roxbury teen from a rival... Read more

By - 1/13/14 - 11:58 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a psychologist who convinced a woman to go to authorities when she told a him a man raped her when she was a child visiting his house can be compelled to hand over notes related to the allegation.

In its ruling, the state's highest court said that while defendants cannot go on "fishing expeditions" with the records of accusers... Read more

By - 12/24/13 - 10:59 am

Updated to reflect fact court did not order him freed.

The Supreme Judicial Court today ruled a man convicted of a 1981 murder in Kenmore Square can apply for parole because he was only 17 at the time he became a killer, because his automatic sentence of life without parole violates both the federal and state prohibitions on cruel and unusual punishment, at least as... Read more

By - 11/26/13 - 11:10 am

A Boston high-school student caught with five small bags of marijuana has sparked a change in the way judges deal with teens arrested on charges the judges don't feel are warranted.

Ironically, however, the decision does not help the kid, who was seeking to have his permanent court record expunged because the judge in his case dismissed the charge because he should never have been... Read more

By - 11/5/13 - 1:16 pm

A man charged with "upskirting" a woman on the Green Line in 2010 - and captured the next day by a decoy T cop in a skirt of her own - wants the Supreme Judicial Court to toss the charges, saying the law used to prosecute him was only meant to protect women in the shower or dressing rooms, not to people practicing the First... Read more

By - 8/9/13 - 11:39 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld the validity of evidence obtained through tapped cell-phone convesations and text messages obtained under the state wiretapping law, written in 1968, before the advent of cell phones or widespread text messaging.

Two alleged coke dealers in Berkshire County had sued to bar the conversations as evidence against them, arguing that because state law doesn't refer to these newfangled ways... Read more

By - 8/5/13 - 10:54 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today overturned a judge's refusal to reduce a filing fee required in medical-malpractice case for two poor families.

In both cases, the judge said the families were so poor they couldn't possibly afford the $6,000 fee, that therefore, their lawyers must be picking up the fee in the hopes of winning settlements and so making them pay the full fee wouldn't... Read more

By - 7/19/13 - 11:30 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today slapped a Dedham company that fired a worker because it didn't want to bear the insurance costs of his wife's brain-tumor treatment.

Marc Flagg sued AliMed under the state's anti-discrimination law, arguing that firing him for taking care of his wife and their daughter amounted to workplace discrimination. A lower-court judge dismissed his claim, but the court's ruling today reinstates... Read more

By - 7/15/13 - 11:38 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that prosecutors can order e-mail providers such as Google hand over the complete e-mail records of people under indictment - if they're being investigated for additional charges and under strict supervision to ensure they don't get a look at any messages between the defendants and their lawyers.

The ruling comes in the case of the owner and an employee... Read more

By - 7/12/13 - 11:04 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a man arrested by a Smith College police officer will have to stand trial for operating under the influence even though his alleged infraction happened on a street not owned by the college.

The state's highest court noted that state law gives campus police officers the right to patrol and make arrests on land which their college makes "use."... Read more