Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
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The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed Appellant's appeal from a judgment of a single justice of the court denying his petition for extraordinary relief, holding that the appeal was moot.Appellant, who was serving a life sentence after being convicted of murder in the first degree, filed a petition for medical parole. While that petition was pending, Appellant filed his petition for extraordinary relief requesting an order directing the Department of Correction to create a medical parole plan. A single justice denied the petition on the basis that Appellant had an adequate alternative remedy. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that because the petition had been denied, this appeal was moot. View "Carriere v. Department of Correction" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the Sex Offender Registry Board initiating an upward reclassification of John Doe when he was charged with additional sex offenses, holding that there was clear and convincing evidence supporting the level three classification.In 1998, Doe pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of victim one and was classified as a level two sex offender. In 2009, Doe was found guilty of two counts of rape and abuse of a child without force and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person age fourteen or older involving victim two. In 2010, Defendant was found guilty of two counts of rape of a child as to victim three. After Defendant was charged with the additional sex offenses relating to victims two and three, the Board notified Doe of his duty to register as a level three sex offender. The superior court and appeals court upheld the Board's decision. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the hearing examiner's decision was supported by substantial evidence and was not arbitrary or capricious. View "Doe v. Sex Offender Registry Bd." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the Energy Facilities Siting Board approving a project change petition filed by NSTAR Electric Company, doing business as Eversource Energy, that would move the boundaries of an electric substation 190 feet from the location that had previously been approved, holding that the Board did not err in approving the project change.Specifically, the Supreme Judicial Court held (1) the Board did not err in determining that GreenRoots, Inc. did not satisfy the applicable legal standard for the reopening of a completed adjudicatory proceeding; (2) the Board complied with the statutory and regulatory requirements regarding public participation and environmental justice; and (3) the Board's conclusion that Eversource reasonably addressed risks from future sea level rise under the circumstances was supported by substantial evidence. View "GreenRoots, Inc. v. Energy Facilities Siting Bd." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the court affirming the decision and order of the Board of Registration in Medicine suspending Petitioner's license to practice medicine, holding that the Board's decision was supported by the evidence and was not legally erroneous, procedurally defective, or arbitrary or capricious.A magistrate concluded that Petitioner was subject to discipline by the Board because his disruptive behavior on two separate occasions amounted to misconduct and demonstrated that Petitioner engaged in conduct that undermined the public confidence in the integrity of the medical profession. The Board adopted the findings and conclusions of the magistrate and concluded that Petitioner's actions warranted an indefinite suspension of his license to practice medicine. The single justice affirmed. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the Board's decision was supported by the evidence, and (2) Petitioner failed to demonstrate that the decision was legally erroneous, procedurally defective, or arbitrary and capricious. View "Schwartz v. Board of Registration in Medicine" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Registration suspending Physician's license to practice medicine on the basis that Physician violated 243 Code Mass. Regs. 2.07(11)(a)(1), holding that the Board's findings that Physician violated the Board's regulations were supported by substantial evidence and that the decision was not arbitrary or capricious.The Board initiated a formal adjudicatory proceeding against Physician, after which a magistrate found that Physician had violated 243 Code Mass. Regs. 2.07(11)(a), which prohibits advertising that is false, deceptive, or misleading, and also violated 243 Code Mass. Regs. 1.03(5)(a)(10). The Board adopted the magistrate's findings of fact and conclusions of law and issued an indefinite suspension of Physician's license to practice medicine. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the Board's regulations do not offend due process; (2) the Board's findings were supported by substantial evidence; and (3) neither the findings nor the sanction imposed were arbitrary or capricious. View "Welter v. Bd. of Registration in Medicine" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice of the court affirming a decision of the Board of Registration in Podiatry that revoked Thomas Franchini's license to practice podiatry in Massachusetts, holding that the Board's decision was not arbitrary or capricious, was supported by substantial evidence, and did not suffer from any other defect enumerated under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 30A, 14(7).A hearings officer found that Franchini knowingly made certain false and misleading statements in his licensure application and recommended that the Board impose disciplinary sanctions. The Board largely adopted the hearing officer's decision, finding that Franchini engaged in gross misconduct such as to call into question Franchini's ability to practice podiatry, dishonesty, fraud, or deceit, and knowingly making false statements in his application to the Board. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that Franchini should be subject to disciplinary sanctions. View "Franchini v. Bd. of Registration in Podiatry" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed as moot Appellant's appeal from a judgment of the county court denying, without a hearing, Appellant's petition for extraordinary relief, holding that the single justice did not err or abuse his discretion by denying relief.In his petition, Appellant sought relief in the nature of mandamus compelling the Department of Correction to prepare a medical parole plan in connection with his application for medical parole. After Appellant submitted his petition his request for medical parole was denied. The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed Appellant's appeal from the judgment of the county court denying the petition, holding that the litigation was considered moot. View "Troila v. Department of Correction" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the order of the Land Court denying Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in this land dispute, holding that an undeveloped lot that was deemed unbuildable under the local zoning bylaw in effect when the lot's owner requested a building permit was protected as buildable under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, 6.At issue before the Supreme Judicial Court was whether the lot at issue met the minimum "frontage" requirement set forth in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, 6. The land court annulled the issuance of the building permit in this case, concluding that the lot did not qualify for protection under the statute. The appeals court reversed and reinstated the decision of the zoning board of appeals allowing the application for a permit. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed and vacated the land court judge's order, holding that the subject lot had more than fifty feet of "frontage" on a "way," and therefore, the lot was protected as a buildable lot pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, 6. View "Williams v. Board of Appeals of Norwell" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of the parole board as to Plaintiff's appeal from the board's fourth denial of his request for parole, holding that the superior court correctly affirmed the board's decision to deny Plaintiff release on parole.After a retrial, Plaintiff was convicted of rape and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon for crimes he committed when he was sixteen years old. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. In denying Plaintiff's fourth request for parole, the board concluded that he was not yet rehabilitated and that his release was not compatible with the welfare of society. The superior court affirmed. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiff was not entitled to relief as to any of his arguments on appeal. View "Rodriguez v. Mass. Parole Board" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) declaring a high school senior ineligible to play a fifth year of interscholastic football and basketball and denying his request for an exception, holding that the MIAA's determination was not arbitrary and capricious.Plaintiff, a high school senior who had repeated his junior year and had played a total of four prior years on the interscholastic teams of his high schools, and his school brought this action requesting injunctive relief enjoining the MIAA from enforcing its decision declaring Plaintiff ineligible to participate in interscholastic high school sports for a fifth academic year. The superior court allowed the motion for preliminary injunction, concluding that the MIAA acted arbitrarily and capriciously in rejecting Plaintiff's application for a waiver. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the order and remanded the matter to the superior court, holding (1) a reviewing court should examine a challenge to an MIAA eligibility determination only to determine whether the decision was arbitrary and capricious; and (2) the MIAA's decision in this case was not arbitrary and capricious. View "Abner A. v. Mass. Interscholastic Athletic Ass'n" on Justia Law