Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Yearly Archives: 2005

Patriot Act Reauthorization On Hold Posted on Dec 19

On Friday, December 16, 2005, the Senate blocked reauthorization of key provisions of the Patriot Act. According to ABC News, “much of the controversy involved powers granted to law enforcement agencies to gain access to a wealth of personal data, including library and medical records,   …Continue Reading Patriot Act Reauthorization On Hold

What is a loaded gun? Posted on Nov 29

On November 22, 2005, Gov. Romney signed a new law that clarifies the definition of a loaded shotgun or rifle, which is of particular importance to hunters. Chapter 137 of 2005 eliminates the previous conflict between the definition in Chapter 131 and that in Chapter   …Continue Reading What is a loaded gun?

Can an Employee be Fired for No Reason? Posted on Nov 22

Many people are under the impression that an employer must have a good reason to fire an employee. A recent Boston Globe column does a good job of explaining the bad news, “Although it seems almost impossible to believe, employers in Massachusetts, or in any   …Continue Reading Can an Employee be Fired for No Reason?

Horses Posted on Nov 15

An article in Friday’s Bolton Common, Motorists: Make way for horses, reminds us to use care when sharing the road with a a horse. It quotes Mass. General Laws c.90, section14, which says, in part, “Every person operating a motor vehicle shall bring the vehicle   …Continue Reading Horses

Name Changes Posted on Nov 9

At Law About Name Changes, we include links to sites that explain the procedure for changing one’s name, but we’ve neglected to mention the two easiest times to change your name–when you get married, and when you get divorced. According to GLAD, “In addition to   …Continue Reading Name Changes

Nicole’s Law Posted on Oct 27

The House and Senate have both passed Nicole’s Law, S2152, which requires carbon monoxide detectors in homes. Devices will be required in any residence that “(1) contains equipment fossil-fuel burning equipment including, but not limited to, a furnace, boiler, water heater, fireplace or any other   …Continue Reading Nicole’s Law

Dog as a Dangerous Weapon Posted on Oct 26

A recent Appeals Court Decision, Commonwealth v. Fettes, 64 Mass.App.Ct. 917 (October 18, 2005) states “A dog can be a dangerous weapon. A dangerous weapon is ‘any instrument or instrumentality so constructed or so used as to be likely to produce death or great bodily   …Continue Reading Dog as a Dangerous Weapon

Sexually Dangerous Persons Posted on Oct 26

While much attention is paid to sex offender registries, through which sex offenders in the community must identify themselves, less notice has been taken of the Sexually Dangerous Persons law, which provides for civil commitments of a day to life in the Massachusetts Treatment Center   …Continue Reading Sexually Dangerous Persons

Drunk Driving Compromise Bill Posted on Oct 21

After passing different drunk driving bills last week, the House and Senate have both approved a compromise drunk driving bill, H4446. The compromise is softer than bill proponents had hoped, but stronger than the earlier House bill. The bill includes the definition of a new   …Continue Reading Drunk Driving Compromise Bill

Duty to Bury Posted on Oct 18

Several times recently we’ve been asked whether a husband or wife has an obligation to pay for the burial of their deceased spouse. While we have a page on the law about burial, none of the statutes or regulations linked there seem to create a   …Continue Reading Duty to Bury