Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Yearly Archives: 2016

Massachusetts Electors Vote for the President Posted on Dec 23

In September, we wrote about “The Electoral College and Massachusetts Law”, explaining how the Electoral College works in Massachusetts with links to the law. A Certificate of Ascertainment listing the Elector-candidates in the 2016 Presidential Election, with vote totals next to their names, has been filed with   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Electors Vote for the President

Duck boat bill signed to improve safety Posted on Dec 14

Tour companies offering sight-seeing via amphibious vehicles, commonly known as duck boats, are required to add safety features and regulations while tourists are aboard and traveling on public thoroughfares. Signed by Governor Charlie Baker last Thursday, December 8, the new law requires the vehicles, based   …Continue Reading Duck boat bill signed to improve safety

Thanksgiving in Massachusetts History Posted on Nov 23

We wanted to trace the history of Thanksgiving in Massachusetts for you, but the task proved challenging. We all know the story of the “first Thanksgiving” in Plymouth in 1621, but what happened in the following years? As it turns out, it was not uncommon for authorities   …Continue Reading Thanksgiving in Massachusetts History

Word(s) of the Month – stare decisis Posted on Nov 21

Word(s) of the Month - stare decisis

Words of Law is a regular feature of Massachusetts Law Updates, highlighting a particular word or phrase and its meaning in law. Today’s phrase is stare decisis. stare decisis (Stahr-ee di-sI-sis or stair-ee), n. [Latin “to stand by things decided”] (18c) The doctrine of precedent,   …Continue Reading Word(s) of the Month – stare decisis

Selfies in the Voting Booth Posted on Nov 3

On September 28, 2016, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that a New Hampshire law banning voters from taking selfies with their ballots in the voting booth was unconstitutional. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 659:35 was held unconstitutional by the Judges’ decision in   …Continue Reading Selfies in the Voting Booth

Deviating from Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Posted on Nov 2

The Massachusetts Supreme Court recently considered whether G. L. c. 211E, § 3 (e), authorizes a sentencing judge to depart from the mandatory minimum terms specified by statute for subsequent drug offenses. The defendant in Commonwealth v. Laltaprasad was charged with possession of heroin with intent   …Continue Reading Deviating from Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

Voting in Massachusetts Posted on Oct 27

The subject of Elections in Massachusetts is addressed in Title VIII of the Mass. General Laws. The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Elections Division provides information on laws and regulations governing the election process. The Division’s robust web presence will link you to interactive voter tools   …Continue Reading Voting in Massachusetts

Sexual assault evidence law changed Posted on Oct 24

On October 19, 2016, Governor Baker signed legislation to change the length of time evidence in sexual assault cases is preserved.  Massachusetts General Laws chapter 41 sec. 97B was amended so that rape kits will be maintained for 15 years instead of 6 months and   …Continue Reading Sexual assault evidence law changed

Getting ready to vote Posted on Oct 18

Getting ready to vote

In order to vote in the November 8, 2016 election, Massachusetts residents must be registered by Wednesday, October 19th.  You can check on your voter registration status by visiting the Elections Division website.   Additionally you can find out how to register online, your voting location, early voting times   …Continue Reading Getting ready to vote

Word(s) of the Month- Discovery Posted on Oct 14

Word(s) of the Month- Discovery

  Words of law is a regular feature of Massachusetts Law Updates, highlighting a particular word or phrase and its meaning in law. Today’s word is discovery. discovery, n. 1. The act or process of finding or learning something that was previously unknown <after making   …Continue Reading Word(s) of the Month- Discovery