SJC

By - 9/8/14 - 11:29 am

UPDATE: Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports lead plaintiff Eve Plumb is the actress who played Jan Brady on the Brady Bunch.

The Supreme Judicial Court said today that current state law protects artists whose art gets tangled up in the bankruptcy of the studios that were trying to sell the works.

In a memo to a US Bankruptcy Court judge handling the Chapter 7 bankruptcy... Read more

By - 8/20/14 - 11:59 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a company that wants to operate amphibious sightseeing tours in Boston has to first get permission from the Boston police commissioner.

Nautical Tours has been trying to win permission to carry sightseers around the Hub since 2007, when it first asked the state Department of Public Utilities for a license to serve Boston.

The department said the company... Read more

By - 8/19/14 - 7:41 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court today gave Suffolk County prosecutors a choice: They can retry Mario Gonzalez of Dorchester for stabbing his girlfriend to death in 2009 or they can accept reducing his current conviction from first to second-degree murder.

A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life without parole. A second-degree conviction also carries a life sentence but with the possibility of parole,... Read more

By - 8/15/14 - 1:03 pm

A man who has been in prison for more than 25 years for a brutal East Cambridge murder deserves a new trial because DNA evidence not available at his original trial shows none of the victim's blood on the purple jacket he allegedly wore while stomping him and then dumping his body behind an abandoned supermarket in 1986, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled today.

The... Read more

By - 8/15/14 - 11:17 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today set out new rules by which criminal defendants whose cases are dismissed or terminated can have their records sealed - with the goal of making it easier to do so if they can prove they're unable to get a job or housing because of those records.

The state's highest court issued the new guidelines in reaction to a Dorchester man's... Read more

By - 7/11/14 - 11:03 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today tossed the 2007 drug conviction of a man initially stopped by Cambridge police for outstanding warrants because one of the arresting officers should never have gone online to find out what sort of pills the man had put in a diabetes test kit.

The state's highest court said that while police can inventory a person's belongings at booking to ensure... Read more

By - 7/9/14 - 11:33 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today tossed child-porn charges against a convicted child rapist found with photocopies of photos from National Geographic, a sociology textbook and a catalog of "travel packages, books, videos, and photographs" for nudists.

John Rex, currently serving 19 to 25 years at MCI Norfolk for raping two boys he met online, was indicted on seven counts of possession of child pornography after... Read more

By - 7/9/14 - 10:59 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that police with a nose for marijuana can no longer search a person or his car if the smell of unburned pot is the only evidence the person might be holding more than an ounce of the drug.

In rulings stemming from cases in Dorchester and Pittsfield, the state's highest court said the smell of burned marijuana was ... Read more

By - 6/25/14 - 2:26 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that, in certain circumstances, ordering a criminal defendant to decrypt password-protected computer files is not a violation of his rights under federal and state rights against self incrimination.

The ruling comes in the case of a Marblehead lawyer charged with a $1.3-million mortgage fraud scheme. Leon Gelfgatt is charged with setting up bogus mortgage companies and then sent... Read more

By - 6/24/14 - 11:02 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today Attorney General Martha Coakley goofed on blocking a referendum on casinos from appearing on this fall's ballot and ordered the question put to voters.

The state's highest court said the question, which would block casinos in the state would not be a "taking" of casino applicants' property, which the AG had said was the reason to keep it off... Read more

By - 6/12/14 - 7:44 am

The Herald reports our molasses-like legislature could move like a bat out of hell - just like they did with upskirting - and do something about Supreme Judicial Court rulings this week that the state parole board can't order lifetime supervision of sex offenders.

By - 6/6/14 - 10:58 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today tossed a Fall River man's murder confession because police waited too long to start asking him about the case while he was in custody.

The ruling, which reaffirms a 1996 ruling that set a six-hour maximum for obtaining a confession after a suspect is arrested, leaves Massachusetts at odds with most other states, which let police take longer if the... Read more

By - 5/19/14 - 12:27 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for a Dominican national who has lived in Boston since he was 11 because he never would have pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute if he knew that would mean mandatory deportation.

In its ruling, the state's highest court said Elan DeJesus's lawyer knew the man was not a citizen and that... Read more

By - 5/11/14 - 9:45 am

The Globe reports on Supreme Judicial Court Justice Robert Cordy, who once did lobbying for Suffolk Downs and who worked for then Gov. William Weld, now a lawyer for Steve Wynn, which is battling Suffolk Downs/Mohegan Sun for the Boston area's one casino license.

By - 5/9/14 - 11:30 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that parent-teacher conferences are not the sort of "public" events that a city can use to protect itself against lawsuits by people who slip and fall while on their way inside to meet with their kids' teachers.

The ruling by the state's highest court means Michelle Wilkins of Haverhill will be allowed to make the case that the city... Read more

By - 5/9/14 - 11:11 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance doesn't violate the First Amendment rights of non-believers in part because its origins are in Cold War patriotism, not religion - and in part because nobody in Massachusetts can be forced to recite it.

The state's highest court's ruling comes in the case of an atheist Acton couple who... Read more

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

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