Massachusetts Appeals Court
Court: You can't be convicted of driving in violation of a license restriction if your license has already been revokedBy adamg - 3/6/13 - 11:47 am
So this guy out in the Berkshires gets his license taken away after his second OUI conviction, appeals 10 years later to get it reinstated, to which the state agrees on condition he install one of those in-dash breath-tester gizmos, which he installs, only then he takes it out and gets caught and has his license taken away.
And then, two years later, he's stopped again and charged with violating the "ignition interlock device" condition and is convicted on that charge.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court today threw out that conviction, agreeing with Sean Pettit that he should never have gone to trial for violating a license restriction when he no longer had a license. Yeah, that kind of violates the intent of Melanie's Law to try to reduce the number of drunks on the roads, but it's up to the legislature to fix the inconsistency if it wants to crack down on repeat drunk drivers this way, the court writes:
Court: Odd placement of car radio panel, not car's location in dangerous part of Dorchester, made man's arrest validBy adamg - 2/21/13 - 12:02 pm
The Massachusetts Appeals Court today overruled a lower-court judge and said prosecutors could use a loaded gun found in a space behind a car dashboard during a Dorchester traffic stop as evidence against the man charged with its illegal possession.
Ishmal Haynes was arrested on Nov. 8, 2009 in "a high crime area of the Dorchester section of Boston" after a state trooper and two Boston police officers spotted him making "several traffic violations" and a search of his car showed he'd stashed a loaded gun in a space behind the dashboard of his rented car.
The judge in his case threw out the gun as evidence, saying that while the officers had reason to order him from his car for the traffic infractions, the fact that he was in a high-crime area was not reason enough to conduct what is known as a Terry search - a search without a warrant when the officers fear a person could have quick access to a weapon.
The appeals court, however, ruled that, in this case, the nature of the neighborhood alone was not what made the search permissible, and that other factors gave the officers the right to conduct a search of the car for a possible weapon.
Once again, court rules that if you don't have a gun permit, you can be arrested for illegal gun possessionBy adamg - 2/15/13 - 11:51 am
In the latest of a series of similar gun rulings, the Massachusetts Appeals Court today rejected a Brockton man's argument that the Second Amendment lets him walk around with a gun without having to bother with the niceties of first applying for a license to carry.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court yesterday threw out the gun conviction of a man who'd been stopped for failing to signal a left turn and running a red light on Quincy Street in Roxbury in 2009.
The court ruled that while Boston Police officers had the right to order Jeromie Johnson - who already had two convictions for illegal weapons possession - out of the car after the stop in the "high crime area," they didn't have enough reason to conduct a "protective sweep" of the car, during which they found a loaded gun wrapped in a sock that was covered with a towel in the back seat. Police are allowed to conduct searches without a warrant in situations where they fear the person they've stopped might have quick access to a weapon.
Court overturns couple's embezzlement convictions because they embezzled from a federal credit union, not a bankBy adamg - 7/25/12 - 1:59 pm
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today a state law on bank embezzlement should not have been used to prosecute a Worcester couple convicted of staging a fake robbery so that they could make off with money from the credit union where the wife worked.
A Chelsea man whose manslaughter conviction was overturned because the jury heard testimony it shouldn't have is not entitled to damages from the state for the time he spent in prison, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today that heroin found in a car after the driver was pulled over for a traffic infraction can't be used as evidence against him or his passenger, because the only reason state troopers ordered the two men out was the aroma of burned pot, which by itself is no longer an indication of criminal activity in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court told a convicted burglar today he's guilty of "entering a residence during the daytime with the intent to commit a felony and with the resulting infliction of fear upon a lawful occupant" even if he didn't want to scare the homeowner who heard him trying to get into her house.
Obdulio Santana argued the court should dismiss his conviction because prosecutors failed to prove he intended to inflict fear on a woman whose house he was caught breaking into after she'd hired him to paint a fence, told him she would be at work - but then stayed home.
The court told Santana the law doesn't care what his intent was, only whether the woman felt fear, which it said she clearly did:
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today a Boston police officer did nothing wrong when he searched under the mattress on which a teen was sitting as he awaited arrest and found a gun.
Police officers had arrived at Paris Quiltner's home on Moody Street in Dorchester in May, 2010 to arrest him on a warrant for trespassing, but added a charge of illegal weapons possession after they found the gun.
Court upholds embezzlement conviction even though two jurors went on Facebook to bitch about jury dutyBy adamg - 5/2/12 - 2:23 pm
The Massachusetts Court of Appeals today upheld a jury's conviction of a bookkeeper at Bridgewater State College for embezzling more than $355,000 in a year.
Clare Werner argued the conviction should be appealed because her lawyer discovered two of the jurors had posted complaints about being selected for the jury on Facebook and because the trial judge dismissed her complaint about that online activity even before Facebook had responded to the judge's subpoena for records related to the post.
A man who snuck back into the US after being deported for a cocaine-trafficking plea will get a new trial because his original lawyer blew it by telling him he probably wouldn't be deported if he pleaded guilty.
Court: Stolen bikes found with a trespasser can't be used against him, but can be returned to rightful ownersBy adamg - 3/30/12 - 11:38 am
When a Boston Police detective found Michael Holloway trespassing at a BHA project in Roxbury in 2010, he testified, Holloway couldn't identify the brand of one of the two mountain bikes he had with him. Holloway was arrested for trespassing and, when the bikes turned out be have been reported stolen, receiving stolen property.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court, however, ruled today that the bikes cannot be used as evidence against Holloway, because the detective never had probable cause to seize them without a warrant.
Ed. note: Post updated to clarify that the ruling was only on the poles between 2005 and 2009.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today that Verizon does not owe Boston $5.3 million in back taxes on its poles and wires over a four-year period.
The court said 150 years of telephone-related legislation in Massachusetts has consistently excluded overhead wiring along public ways from the personal-property tax - even as legislators have let cities and towns tax wiring that snakes under public ways.
The question became moot for future years in 2010, when the law was changed, city officials say.
Man ordered to pay child support for twins conceived through IVF after he had separated from his wifeBy adamg - 3/6/12 - 1:11 pm
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today a Nigerian immigrant will have to pay child support for two children conceived with donor sperm and eggs even though his then separated wife had signed an agreement not to go after him for support payments.
The court said state law, which focuses on "intent to create a child," trumps Chukwudera B. Okoli's contention he never gave "consent to become a parent."
Court: Odor of burnt pot no longer enough to pull people out of cars - unless accompanied by suspicious behaviorBy adamg - 2/16/12 - 12:50 pm
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today a loaded gun found in the glove compartment of a car pulled over for a traffic stop in Dorchester in 2009 can be used as evidence against the two people in the car.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court today reversed a Falmouth man's conviction for breaking and entering, saying the fact that a taped up ID card in his name was found at the scene was not enough to find him guilty.
The court said prosecutors failed to provide any other real evidence beyond the presence of the card that Ronald Renaud was responsible for the theft of four plasma TVs, a DVD player and sports memorabilia and that without that, they failed to show the man actually burgled the house:
Court blocks sterilization of mentally ill pregnant woman, but says family has right to make case to force an abortionBy adamg - 1/17/12 - 7:17 pm
The Massachusetts Appeals Court today overturned a lower-court judge who had ordered a woman with severe mental problems to be sterilized as part of an abortion the judge had agreed with her family to make her have over her objections.
Court: If you steal somebody's gun, then accidentally shoot yourself and die, your survivors aren't entitled to a centBy adamg - 1/6/12 - 12:47 pm
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today a gun owner was not liable for the death of a man who stole one of his guns then died when the gun went off as he was putting it back at his sister's insistence.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court today reinstated a man's conviction of cruelty to animals for squashing a mother duck leading her ducklings across a mall parking lot in Dartmouth in June, 2009.
A divided Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today a man who bought a Norwell house in part because the broker told him it was zoned for use as the hair salon he wanted to open should get a trial to try to persuade a jury he deserves damages because it turns out the house wasn't zoned for that use.
Daniel DeWolfe bought a two-family house on Washington Street in Norwell that had been advertised by its listing brokerage, Hingham Centre, Ltd., as zoned "Business B," which a broker told him meant it was suitable for a salon. The property's MLS listing also said it was zoned that way, and the broker gave him a copy of part of the town zoning code allowing salons with "Business B" handwritten at the top.
In fact, the property was zoned "Residential B," which does not allow salons, and something DeWolfe did not learn until after he had gotten both a permit for a new septic system and a building permit to install his salon on the first floor.
Court to former state rep: Nice try, but no, you're not going to get a pension increase because you had a state parking spaceBy adamg - 11/3/11 - 11:01 am
The Massachusetts Court of Appeals today rejected former state Rep. Marie Parente's bid to have her pension increased based on the estimated value of her state-provided parking space on Beacon Hill and her per-diem payments for traveling to and from her home in Milford.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today Chelsea Police acted properly when they went into an apartment and seized a loaded gun after getting a call its owner had shown off his gun and announced he'd been hired to kill somebody with it.
A Chelsea District Court judge had tossed the gun as evidence against Vladimir Samuel, ruling that while police had permission from an occupant of the apartment to enter, lifting the pillow under which a caller said Samuel had placed the gun would have required a search warrant - because the occupant did not give them specific permission to peek under the pillow.
The Massachusetts Court of Appeals today upheld a judge's sentence against a man convicted of repeatedly punching and kicking a pregnant supermarket worker who tried to stop him from shoplifting - a longer sentence that was imposed after he refused to accept probation as a condition of his original, shorter term behind bars.
Gene A. Jackson was convicted for a 2009 incident at the Porter Square Shaw's, involving a loss-prevention officer who followed him out of the store:
The Massachusetts Appeals Court today began a ruling on an insurance issue involved in a 2005 collision off Quincy between a Boston Harbor Cruises ferry and two disabled boats like this:
Sometimes ships do not pass in the night.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today that Housing Court is the wrong place to consider a complaint by two Roxbury tenants that their landlord reacted to a rent dispute by badmouthing them to congregants at the church where they work as custodians - and by trying to get them fired by strewing trash on the church floors to make it seem like they weren't doing their jobs.