Superior Court Judge Dismisses All Claims Against Two Waltham Police Officers In Civil Rights Lawsuit

In 2018, the plaintiff amended his complaint in an existing civil rights lawsuit to name two Waltham police officers as defendants. In the amended complaint, the plaintiff alleged that he was defamed by the police officers’ filing of false police reports about him, that one of the officers sought a criminal complaint against the plaintiff without prior notice or respecting his right to a show cause hearing on the charges, that the officers conducted negligent investigations concerning the plaintiff, that the officers prosecuted the plaintiff maliciously and that one of the officers gave false testimony during a probation hearing. A motion to dismiss was filed on behalf of the officers, explaining that the plaintiff’s claims were subject to dismissal prior

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Arbitrator Reverses Five Day Suspension of Springfield Police Officer

In a recent arbitration award, Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. (“RJA”) successfully represented a Springfield police officer in connection with a five day suspension. Prior to the five day suspension, the officer, who was not at that point a member of the Massachusetts Police Association Legal Defense Fund, had been suspended from his duties based upon various allegations, including that the officer had not been in proper uniform at the start of his shift.  Without the benefit of the Legal Defense Fund at that time, the officer served the suspension. Following that discipline, the officer joined the Legal Defense Fund. Later, in 2015, the officer was working a private road detail in the City.  At the time, the officer was

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Open and Gross Lewdness and Lascivious Behavior Under G.L. c. 272, §16 Requires “Shock” or “Alarm” to Another Person

In the case of Commonweatlh v. Maguire, 476 Mass. 156 (2017), the Supreme Judicial Court addressed the elements of the felony crime of Open and Gross Lewdness and Lascivious Behavior under G.L. c. 272, §16.  Based upon a failure to prove that the defendant’s conduct of exposing his penis to several females sitting on a bench at the Hynes Convention Center subway platform produced either “shock” or “alarm” for the females or the MBTA officer who made the arrest, the Court reversed the conviction.  The officer testified that he was disgusted at the defendant’s actions and concerned that the women were being victimized by those actions, but the Court ruled that evidence was insufficient to meet the subjective shock or

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Suspect Still Has No Right to Counsel Before Deciding Whether to Take Breathalyzer Test

Recently, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the amendment in 2003 of the Commonwealth’s drunk driving law, G.L. c. 90, § 24, did not provide a reason for it to reverse its decision in Commonwealth v. Brazelton, 404 Mass. 783 (1989), that there is no right to counsel when a suspect must decide whether or not to take a breathalyzer to test whether they were driving under the influence.  In Commonwealth v. Neary-French, 457 Mass. 167 (2016), the Court considered a question reported to it from the District Court asking whether the per se violation of operating a motor vehicle with a breath test of .08 or greater created by the 2003 amendments to G.L. c. 90, § 24 made

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First Circuit Court of Apeals Affirms Judgment in Favor of Fall River Police Chief in Case Involving Allegation of Rape by a Police Officer

In a recent First Circuit decision concerning civil liability for police supervisors, Saldivar v. Racine, 818 F.3d 14 (2016), Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. (“RJA”) successfully represented the Fall River Chief of Police in a civil rights lawsuit in which the plaintiff, who sought $750,000.00 in damages, claimed that she had been assaulted and raped by a Fall River police officer.  According to the plaintiff, a Fall River police officer arrived at her apartment to investigate a complaint that she made earlier in the day and, once the officer was inside the residence, he threatened her with his gun and assaulted her sexually.  The officer later resigned his position with the Department. The plaintiff filed a civil rights lawsuit naming

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According to SJC, Police Need Only Notify Suspects of the Recording of the Interview; You Do Not Need Suspect’s Permission to Record the Interview

In Commonwealth v. Alleyne, ___ Mass. ___ (2016), the Supreme Judicial Court clarified that police officers do not need a suspect’s permission to record the suspect’s interview as long as the suspect has actual knowledge of the recording.  The Court recommended that police departments do away with their interview forms that advise a suspect of a right to refuse recording and that require the suspect to initial a choice whether or not to permit recording.  According to the Court, “… the better practice going forward is simply to advise suspects of the recording instead of requesting permission to record.”

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