Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

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Richard Adamo posted on Jan 1

We lost one of our own this week, beloved law librarian Richard Adamo. Richard was a man of great humor and joy, enormous kindness and generosity, and a passionate believer in the mission of providing legal information to the public. He will be deeply missed   …Continue Reading Richard Adamo

Burial Laws in Massachusetts posted on May 7

The Huffington Post this week has an informative blog post on the challenges of burying those whom no one wants. In Burying Mass Murderers: The Problem of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Tanya D. Marsh provides an excellent overview of Mass. burial laws, and the challenges facing those in   …Continue Reading Burial Laws in Massachusetts

Zip Code is “Personal Identification Information” posted on Mar 12

In Tyler v. Michaels Stores, announced yesterday, the SJC answered three certified questions from the US District Court regarding consumer privacy in credit card transactions. The court held: 1. Under MGL c.93, § 105(a), a zip code is “personal identification information.” “This is so because… a consumer’s zip code,   …Continue Reading Zip Code is “Personal Identification Information”

Consent of All Adult Children for Cremation posted on Jul 10

In Burney v. Childrens Hospital, 169 Mass. 57 (1897), the court recognized that next of kin have a right to possession of a decedent’s body.  “a right of possession is recognized, which is vested in the husband or wife or next of kin, and not in the executors.”  In O’Dea   …Continue Reading Consent of All Adult Children for Cremation

Profanity in Massachusetts posted on Jun 13

Middleborough did not recently outlaw profane speech. The bylaw prohibiting profanity has been on their books since 1968. It says: “Whoever having arrived at the age of discretion accosts or addresses another person with profane or obscene language in a street or other public place,   …Continue Reading Profanity in Massachusetts

“First Complaint” Doctrine Modified posted on Dec 6

In Comm. v. Aviles, issued today, the SJC announced its intention to modify the first complaint doctrine. “Until now, we have considered the first complaint doctrine to be an “evidentiary rule“…  The admission of evidence in violation of such evidentiary rule, that is, in violation   …Continue Reading “First Complaint” Doctrine Modified

Is Discovery Rule Applicable When Leak Later Leads to Toxic Mold? posted on Aug 15

The Appeals Court issued an opinion today in Doherty v. Admiral’s Flagship Condominium Trust, which takes on the issue of whether the discovery rule applies when a leak occurs outside the statute of limitations period causing mold infiltration sometime later. The court said it does: “The   …Continue Reading Is Discovery Rule Applicable When Leak Later Leads to Toxic Mold?

Right to Classification Hearing Not Waived by Failure to Appear posted on Aug 8

In Doe v. Sex Offender Registry Board, the Supreme Judicial Court decided Friday that the Sex Offender Registry Board exceeding its authority in enacting 803 CMR 1.13(2). The regulation reads: “(2) Failure of the sex offender to appear at the scheduled hearing without good cause   …Continue Reading Right to Classification Hearing Not Waived by Failure to Appear

Level 3 Sex Offender Not Automatically Barred from Rest Home posted on Aug 8

In Doe v. Boston Police Commissioner, decided Friday, the Supreme Judicial Court held that a level three sex offender was entitled to a hearing before  MGL c.6, s.178K (2)(e) (barring level three offenders from rest homes) could be applied against him. “Even assuming that some level three sex offenders in   …Continue Reading Level 3 Sex Offender Not Automatically Barred from Rest Home

Can the second and third cars in line proceed through a stop sign? posted on May 23

This is one of the most common questions we get. People who learned to drive in Massachusetts some years ago were taught that it was OK, and don’t quite believe that the law (MGL c.89, s.9) says otherwise. Happily, the Boston Globe printed a column   …Continue Reading Can the second and third cars in line proceed through a stop sign?