Drug lab cases information

Dookhan and Farak Case Hotline: 888-999-2881

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Sonja Farak drug lab cases

Between August 2004 and January 2013, chemist Sonja Farak engaged in serious misconduct at the state drug lab in Amherst that jeopardized the integrity of thousands of cases, mostly in Western Massachusetts. Because of Ms. Farak’s misconduct, the Supreme Judicial Court ordered the automatic dismissal with prejudice of drug cases tested by Ms. Farak at the Amherst Drug Lab effective April 5, 2017. On further review, the Court ordered the automatic dismissal with prejudice of all cases tested at the Amherst Drug Lab between January 2009 and January 2013, effective December 13, 2018.

The court will be sending notices to those affected by Ms. Farak’s misconduct. Copies of the notice letter, in English, Spanish, and other languages, are posted below.

Annie Dookhan drug lab cases

Between 2003 and 2011, chemist Annie Dookhan engaged in serious misconduct at a state drug lab that jeopardized the integrity of over 20,000 cases in Eastern Massachusetts. Because of Ms. Dookhan's misconduct, the Supreme Judicial Court ordered the dismissal with prejudice of thousands of drug cases. If your case was effected by Ms. Dookhan’s misconduct, your case was automatically vacated and dismissed with prejudice as of April 20, 2017, and a letter was mailed to you in May 2017 explaining what happened. You can find copies of the Dookhan Notice Letter below.

General drug lab cases information

To find out if your case was affected by either Ms. Dookhan or Ms. Farak, you can call a toll-free hotline operated by defense lawyers with the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the public defender agency in Massachusetts. The number is 888-999-2881. The hotline is open Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Please note that if your case has been identified for dismissal, it could take approximately 2-3 months for the relevant court records to be updated. You can check your records electronically by following this link: https://icori.chs.state.ma.us.

Information for filing a motion for refund after invalidated conviction

If you paid fees, including a victim-witness fee, fine, court costs, drug assessment fee, probation supervision fee, or restitution because of a conviction that has now been invalidated, you may use the “Motion for Refund after Invalidated Conviction” form to seek your refund of those fees.  You must fill out the first two pages of the motion to the best of your ability.  Then, you must file the motion in the court where you were convicted. 

If you do not know or do not remember how much money you paid in fees and costs, the Clerk’s Office of that court will obtain your fee payment information from the Trial Court’s Fiscal Department and send it to you.  The Clerk will also provide the prosecutor’s office with the fee information. 

If you disagree with the fee information you receive, either as to the types of fees you paid or the amount of fees you paid, you may contact the court to schedule a hearing. 

You must contact the court within the “deadline for responses due,” which is located on the third page of the motion document that you receive back from the Clerk’s Office with your fee payment information.  When you go to the hearing, please bring any and all documentation that you have, such as receipts or other papers showing what you paid.

Last updated: May 23, 2019