Amicus Announcements from September 2017 to August 2018

From time to time, the Supreme Judicial Court solicits amicus ("friend of the court") briefs or memoranda from parties not directly involved in a case, but that may have an interest or opinion about a case pending before the court.

Parties filing amicus briefs are expected to comply with the requirements of Rules 17,19 and 20 of the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure. Amicus briefs, to assist the court, should focus on the ramifications of a decision and not solely on the interests of the parties filing such briefs. Amicus submissions are due no later than two weeks before the first day of the sitting in which the case is scheduled for argument.

Interested parties may file their briefs in the Supreme Judicial Court Clerk's Office for the Commonwealth.

The following are amicus announcements for the 2017-2018 court year

November 2017

SJC-12411
Commonwealth vs. Maksim Lutskov

Where the defendant was convicted, as a youthful offender, of armed home invasion and other offenses, whether his sentence of twenty years in the State prision (the mandatory minimum for armed home invasion) violates article 26 of the Declaration of Rights. See Diatchenko v. District Attorney for the Suffolk District, 466 Mass. 655 (2013), and Commonwealth v. Perez, 477 Mass. 677 (2017).

SJC-12409
Carmen Correa, administratrix, vs. Andreas P. Schoeck, M.D. & others

Whether a pharmacy owes a duty of care to its customer to notify her physician that her insurer will not pay for her prescription medication without prior authorization.

SJC-12422
Christopher Anderson & others vs. Attorney General & another
Whether the Attorney General properly certified Initiative Petition No. 15-17 – which proposes a constitutional amendment imposing an additional State income tax of four per cent on the portion of one’s income that exceeds $1,000,000 – for inclusion on the Statewide ballot in November, 2018.

SJC-12415
Commonwealth v. R. B.

In the context of the trial of a G. L. c. 123A, § 9, petition for discharge, where an objection to an alleged trial error was not made in the lower court, whether or in what circumstances appellate review is available; if appellate review is available, what standard of review should apply.

 

October 2017

SJC-12395   
In re a Juvenile 
 
1. Whether G. L. c. 119, § 72A, permits a Juvenile Court judge, who has dismissed an offense charged for lack of probable cause, to order a defendant to be tried in an adult court for lesser included offenses, where the lesser included offenses are supported by probable cause; and

2. Whether, if the statute so permits, its application against this defendant would be unconstitutional for failure to have provided him with proper notice of the charges pending against him or the possibility of such a transfer.  
 

September 2017

SJC-12373 
Rental Property Management Services vs. Loretta Hatcher

With respect to property that a person who is not an attorney does not own, or as to a tenancy in which that person is not identified as the lessor, whether the commencement or prosecution of a summary process or other legal proceeding by that person in the Housing Court constitutes conduct in violation of G. L. c. 93A.

SJC-12391 
W. Robert Allison vs. Elof Eriksson & others

Whether G. L. c. 156C, § 60 (b), provides the exclusive remedy for a minority member of a Massachusetts limited liability company who objects to a merger or consolidation of the company; whether the remedy provided in G. L. c. 156C, § 60 (b), is limited in application to a merger or consolidation that was properly authorized and proceeded without violation of fiduciary duties.

SJC-12397  
G4S Technology, Inc. vs. Massachusetts Technology Park Corp.

In the context of a construction contract dispute, whether or to what extent a party's own willful breach of contract should preclude it from recovering for another party's breach, either under the contract or in quantum meruit; whether the principles of Sipley v. Stickney, 190 Mass. 43 (1906), and Andre v. Maguire, 305 Mass. 515, 516 (1940), with respect to assertion of contract, quasi-contract, or unjust enrichment claims by a party who has breached a construction contract, should be replaced with a materiality analysis.

SJC-12389 
Doroteo Polanco vs. Andras Sandor & others

Given the requirement under G. L. c. 231, § 60B, that a plaintiff file a "bond in the amount of six thousand dollars in the aggregate secured by cash or its equivalent," whether a surety bond satisfies this requirement.  

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