Supreme Judicial Court
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that the call history on a simple flip phone is no different than any other evidence police might find on a person under arrest and that they can look at it without first obtaining a search warrant.
The state's highest court, however, said it was withholding judgment on the matter of more complex smartphones.
As other courts have noted... Read more
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today the city of Newton will have to show a lower court why it shouldn't be made to pay a softball player for serious injuries caused by a tree falling on him while he was waiting his turn at bat.
Edward Marcus sued Newton for negligence for the two broken vertebrae and two broken shoulder blades he suffered in July... Read more
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a Somerville police officer returning home to Woburn did nothing wrong when he grabbed the keys of a guy who plowed into him at a red light on Montvale Avenue.
The Supreme Judicial Court today threw out a Palmer man's 60-day jail sentence for driving after his license had been revoked because his lawyer was not allowed to examine anybody from the Registry about a letter it supposedly sent him about the revocation.
Peter Parenteau pleaded guilty to drunk driving in 2007 in exchange for a sentence that included a two-year license revocation. He says... Read more
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today state environmental officials have the right to tell the owners of the Plymouth nuclear plant to take steps to protect fish and other animals from being sucked into the plant's cooling system.
State officials say they don't actually have any plans to order changes, but Entergy Nuclear Generation sued anyway, saying state law only gives the Department of Environmental... Read more
The Supreme Judicial Court told Daniel Rogers today it didn't believe for a second he somehow acquired a knife after runing out of a Longwood Galleria CVS with 11 tubes of stolen toothpaste and that he was forced to stab two of the clerks chasing him, one fatally.
The court upheld Rogers' first-degree murder sentence for the 2004 attack, which means Rogers will spend the... Read more
The Supreme Judicial Court today threw out incriminating statements made by a Brockton murder suspect to an informant wearing a wire, in a case that involves the state wiretap law and its definition of "organized crime."
The state's wiretap law generally forbids the recording of conversations without both parties' consent, with only a few exceptions, including investigations into "organized crime." The court ruled that while... Read more
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today the state public-records law does not extend to judicial rulings sealing records held by state agencies.
However, it also said a man seeking a look at some 5.5 million pages of records in a foreclosure-scandal case can try to convince a judge that an order sealing all the documents was overly broad.
In 2009, the state Attorney General's office... Read more
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that Joseph Nee was fairly convicted on a charge he conspired with other students at Marshfield High School to massacre students and teachers they didn't like.
Nee was convicted in 2008 and served nine months in state prison. In his appeal, Nee, son of Boston patrolmen's union President Thomas Nee, argued the verdict should be overturned because he had... Read more
A Watertown man today became the latest convicted drug dealer to have his verdict overturned because of a Supreme Court ruling that defense lawyers must be allowed to cross-examine experts who certify that what police found was a particular type of drug or weapon.
In the case of Carlos Fernandez, arrested in 2005, that was the easy part for the Supreme Judicial Court: The justices... Read more
But the Supreme Judicial court today upheld the murder conviction of a New Bedford man despite rewards paid to two of the witnesses against him for helping to solve the crime.
The court agreed that the letters the DA wrote to a private group certifying the help given by the two violated the rules of conduct for Massachusetts lawyers, which "prohibit the practice of compensating... Read more
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld the gun and drug-distribution convictions of a Cape man who allegedly moved out of Barnstable to avoid a lengthy investigation by Cape law-enforcement officials.
Joseph Mendes had sought to overturn his convictions, arguing that a Barnstable District Court judge had no authority to issue search warrants for his new digs in Bourne, because Bourne is not part of that... Read more
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a gun allegedly tossed over a fence by a man being chased by police can be used against him.
At issue was when Messiah Franklin felt he was under police orders to stop and submit to officers after a carful of cops noticed him and another guy hanging out on Harmon Street in Mattapan on the evening of Nov.... Read more
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that Bristol County can't charge inmates for basic necessities.
In a ruling that cites the history of sheriffs dating to Roman times, the state's highest court said that just because state law doesn't enumerate just what it is a sheriff is supposed to do doesn't mean Sheriff Thomas Hodgson can do whatever he wants. Although common law dating back... Read more