Showing posts with label law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label law. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds wins lawsuit against County Commissioners

November 21, 2023

Dear Registry Stakeholder and/or Massachusetts Taxpayer,

Please be advised that the Norfolk Superior Court ruled that Norfolk County Director John J. Cronin and the County Commissioners, Peter H. Collins, Joseph P. Shea and Richard R. Staiti violated state law. A copy of the Judge’s ruling and decision is available here:

There has been unlawful interference into the operation and management of the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds which deals with the biggest asset most of us have – the real estate title to our home. The taxpayers should be aware that I commenced the above lawsuit pro-se – or on my own without the assistance of legal counsel. So, while the Norfolk County Commissioners spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer monies on legal fees the Registry of Deeds spent zero (0) dollars in legal fees to get this favorable ruling from the Norfolk Superior Court.

Please read the attached article about the Registry of Deeds win published in The Dedham Times which is available by clicking the image below.

Another article published in a statewide publication Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly is available here:

The 28 communities that make up Norfolk County receive and pay a yearly assessment to support the Norfolk County Government. Many actions including questionable spending and management decisions done by the Norfolk County Government are concerning. These actions and unsound management would not be tolerated if done by our local government in our hometown communities. Lynch Marini and Associates, Inc. Certified Public Accountants wrote in a recent Norfolk County Government audit “For the current fiscal year, this leaves a potential range of misstatements between $645,000.00 and $2.3 million between respective fund balances…” Would a finding like this be accepted in your hometown community by those with oversight responsibilities?

There is one more lawsuit involving the Registry of Deeds against the Norfolk County Commissioners. This lawsuit deals with the conversion of millions of dollars in deeds excise monies that is dedicated for the Registry’s use under state law. This taking of deeds excise monies outlined in state law by County Director John Cronin and the 3 County Commissioners changed over 30 years of financial practice interpreting state law by the Norfolk County Government dating back to 1989. I have a fiduciary duty to Registry of Deeds users including every property owner that owns a home or business as well as the taxpayers to get the Norfolk Superior Court to rule. (Please note the Norfolk County Commissioners sued the Town of Walpole which is still going on. Also, the Norfolk County Commissioners are involved in another lawsuit against a neighborhood group.) These two lawsuits involving the Norfolk County Commissioners are in addition to the 2 lawsuits involving the Registry of Deeds against the Norfolk County Commissioners discussed in this letter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely yours,

William P. O’Donnell
Norfolk Register of Deeds

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Finance Committee Meeting - Agenda - Dec 8, 2021

Finance Committee Meeting on December 8, 2021

1. Call to Order
2. Public Comments
3. Approval of Minutes:
a. October 13, 2021
b. November 10, 2021
4. 2022 Finance Committee Calendar
5. Community Preservation Act
a. Sample CPA Plans
b. Sample CPA Applications
6. Open Meeting Law discussion
7. Future Agenda Items
8. Adjourn

Please find the agenda and links for the upcoming Finance Committee meeting posted here:

Agenda doc (PDF) (including remote connection info) ->

Finance Committee Meeting - Agenda - Dec 8, 2021
Finance Committee Meeting - Agenda - Dec 8, 2021

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Toward a More Perfect Union: Suit filed on insurrection

In a recent episode of "Toward a More Perfect Union", it was asked who could file a law suit? At least one of the impeachment managers just did per this New York Times article:

"A House Democrat who unsuccessfully prosecuted Donald J. Trump at his impeachment trial last month sued him in federal court on Friday for acts of terrorism and incitement to riot, attempting to use the justice system to punish the former president for his role in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

The suit brought by Representative Eric Swalwell, Democrat of California, accuses Mr. Trump and key allies of inciting the deadly attack and conspiring with rioters to try to prevent Congress from formalizing President Biden’s election victory. And like the case laid out in the Senate, which acquitted him, it meticulously traces a monthslong campaign by Mr. Trump to undermine confidence in the 2020 election and then overturn its results.

“The horrific events of January 6 were a direct and foreseeable consequence of the defendants’ unlawful actions,” asserts the civil suit, filed for Mr. Swalwell in Federal District Court in Washington. “As such, the defendants are responsible for the injury and destruction that followed.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
Franklin's has a series on Monday called "Towards A More Prefect Union" Frank Falvey converses with Rep. Jeff Roy, Dr. Michael Walker-Jones and Dr. Natalia Linos. The show airs on Monday's at 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Work is also underway to make a podcast version of this show available.
Toward a More Perfect Union:  Suit filed on insurrection
Toward a More Perfect Union:  Suit filed on insurrection

Friday, March 5, 2021

Washington Post: "It’s time to repeal the worst criminal justice law of the past 30 years"

"The failures in these cases all originated in state courts. Under our system, when a state violates the constitutional protections of a fair trial, the federal courts are required to intervene. The right to judicial review of an unlawful detention, also known as the writ of habeas corpus, is enshrined in the Constitution and dates back to 13th-century England.

But in 1996 Congress took a chisel to habeas corpus with the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). Attorneys who represent people challenging their convictions, such as Mississippi’s Humphreys McGee, say the AEDPA and the Supreme Court rulings that followed have suffocated federal review. “It’s been a 25-year thicket of real through-the-looking-glass s---," McGee says. And the law’s repeal or reform is long overdue."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Monday, February 22, 2021

Boston Globe: "Federal government drops legal battle over Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's reservation status"

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe scored a legal victory Friday when the US Interior Department withdrew a Trump administration appeal that aimed to revoke federal reservation designation for the tribe’s land in Massachusetts.
A federal judge in 2020 blocked the Interior Department from revoking the tribe’s reservation designation, saying the agency’s decision to do so was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and contrary to law.” The Trump administration appealed the decision, but the Interior Department on Friday moved to dismiss the motion.

In a filing in a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., the Interior Department said it had "conferred with the parties and none opposes this motion." A judge granted the motion and dismissed the case.
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

New York Times: Fox settles lawsuit over it's lies

"On Oct. 12, 2020, Fox News agreed to pay millions of dollars to the family of a murdered Democratic National Committee staff member, implicitly acknowledging what saner minds knew long ago: that the network had repeatedly hyped a false claim that the young staff member, Seth Rich, was involved in leaking D.N.C. emails during the 2016 presidential campaign. (Russian intelligence officers, in fact, had hacked and leaked the emails.)

Fox’s decision to settle with the Rich family came just before its marquee hosts, Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity, were set to be questioned under oath in the case, a potentially embarrassing moment. And Fox paid so much that the network didn’t have to apologize for the May 2017 story on

But there was one curious provision that Fox insisted on: The settlement had to be kept secret for a month — until after the Nov. 3 election. The exhausted plaintiffs agreed."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Saturday, August 15, 2020

"it has been the greatest honor to serve for and with you"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin: 

"After nearly three years on the Town Council, Eamon McCarthy Earls has resigned from his role as a town councilor.

“Drawing inspiration from my experiences helping to craft bylaws and policies for Franklin, in the examples set by some of our leading citizens who work in law, among them state Rep. Jeff Roy, School Committee member Judy Pond Pfeffer or former state Rep. James Vallee, I’m embarking on the process of becoming an attorney,” said Earls, 26, during Wednesday’s council meeting.

His resignation is effective Sept. 6, he said, as he plans to attend the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University in Virginia starting next month. He told the Daily News that time will tell which area of law he chooses to focus on, but said he’s interested in public policy and municipal law.

According to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 ranking of the nation’s best law schools, the Antonin Scalia Law School was ranked at No. 42 overall out of 198 schools, and fourth for part-time law programs."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 

Additional info from the Town Council meeting where this announcement was made can be found in this recap

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Community Forum on Sexting - Twitter Summary

A collection via Storify of the Twitter posts during the Community Forum on Sexting held at Franklin High School, Franklin, MA on Oct 16, 2017.

Be sure to scroll within the Storify widget to view all the posts.

Community Forum on Sexting - Twitter Summary
Community Forum on Sexting - Twitter Summary

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"I think kindness and goodness prevailed”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Hate is difficult to track. 
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups across the country, has pegged a single group in the MetroWest and Milford area - Framingham-based Concerned Citizens and Friends of Illegal Immigration Law Enforcement (CCFIILE) – out of 12 groups in Massachusetts. 
The most recent numbers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which tracks hate crimes across the country, have 411 such crimes reported in Massachusetts in 2015. Six came from the Milford or MetroWest area, and none were as high profile as the Charlottesville, Virginia rally that ended in a woman’s death last weekend. 
That doesn’t mean those six incidents and one group haven’t been harmful, civil rights groups say."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

sign on some Franklin lawns
sign on some Franklin lawns

Sunday, May 24, 2015

US Flag Code - how to properly display

To share information on the US Flag Code you can find a readable version here

and the US House version here

and the US Senate version here

Note: the versions differ in the presentation of the information. Technically, they are all the same US Law. It is also worth noting that while it is a law 
failure to comply with it is not enforced and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that punitive enforcement would conflict with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.[2]

Why share the info now?
Given the presence of so many flags for Memorial Day, it is also apparent not everyone knows the proper protocol for the display of our US flag.

flag flying at Pisani Field, Peck St
flag flying midday at Pisani Field, Peck St

  • Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset, although the Flag Code permits night time display "when a patriotic effect is desired" and the flag is illuminated.[17] Similarly, the flag should be displayed only when the weather is fair, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.[18]

flag flying at sundown at Pisani Field, Peck St
flag flying at sundown at Pisani Field, Peck St

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Marijuana tax stamps still on sale even though law up in smoke

An oddity creates an opportunity for collectors!


Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:


via Commonwealth Conversations: Revenue by Robert Bliss on 3/30/12

A Massachusetts newspaper reported this week that two men arrested for possession of five pounds of marijuana had also run afoul of state tax law.

The story went on to quote from the law ... which was all well and good except the law was thrown out in a Supreme Judicial Court case settled in 1998, Commissioner of Revenue v. Mullins. In ruling against the Commonwealth, the SJC said the law was aimed at drug dealers and amounted to a double jeopardy penalty since it imposed a high rate of taxation, had a deterrent purpose, was clearly conditioned on the commission of a crime, and bore no logical relationship to legal possession.

Some background is in order. in 1993, the Massachusetts Legislature passed the Massachusetts Controlled Substance Tax which authorized DOR to print tax stamps for controlled substances such as marijuana. Even though the SJC ruling made the law moot, it has not been repealed. The law set a tax rate of $3.50 per gram or $99.20 per ounce of controlled substance.

After the SJC decision, DOR kept the stamps, which are purple and about the size of a postage stamp.

Indeed, since the law first took effect, DOR has earned about $2,500 from the stamps which sell for $3.50 each, with most of those sales registered after the SJC decision.

Who is buying a stamp that has no valid legal purpose, given the SJC decision? Stamp collectors. Some purchasers sell the stamps as collectibles on web-based auction sales sites for as much as $20.

If you'd like to order your collectible, gag gift or stocking stuffer -- and folks, supplies are running low, so act now since DOR will not re-order the useless stamps once they are gone -- you can obtain them by downloading DOR form CST-1, Marijuana and Controlled Substances Stamp order form and mailing it to DOR at the address listed on the form.

We can't make this stuff up.


Things you can do from here:


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Open Meeting Law Workshop

The Open Meeting Law presentation document used to prepare the School Committee on the MA regulations.

If you have trouble viewing the slideshow with this tool, you can also view a Google Docs version here

Note: Email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the document

Friday, February 26, 2010

Four Changes to Law

Phillip K Howard spoke recently at the TED Conference and it was captured in this TED Talk.
The land of the free has become a legal minefield, says Philip K. Howard -- especially for teachers and doctors, whose work has been paralyzed by fear of suits. What's the answer? A lawyer himself, Howard has four propositions for simplifying US law.
What are the four propositions?

1 - Judge law mainly by its effect on society, not individual situations.
2 - Trust in law is an essential condition of freedom. Distrust skews behavior towards failure.
3 - Law must set boundaries protecting an open field of freedom, not intercede in all disputes.
4 - To rebuild boundaries of freedom, two changes are essential:
  • simplify the law
  • restore authority to judges and officials to apply law
I do encourage you to view the video (approx. 20 minutes) as the arguments Phillip makes are quite compelling. 

What do you think? Do we stand a chance of getting somewhere with these proposals?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

In the new - Washington St accident, China protest, immigrant legal advice

Man killed in crash

By Joyce Kelley/Daily News staff

A 49-year-old Rhode Island man driving an 18-wheel tractor trailer died in a crash on Washington Street yesterday morning, police said.

Police declined to identify the man or his hometown until his relatives are notified, said Lt. Thomas Lynch. No one else was involved or injured in the accident, he said.

The man was dead when police arrived at the accident near 890 Washington St., in front of Temple Etz Chaim about 11:15 a.m., said Lynch. A driver behind the truck saw the accident and alerted police, he said.

The truck snapped two utility poles in half, said Fire Captain James Klich.

"We don't know exactly what happened, but ... it took out three utility poles," Lynch said.

Read the remainder of the article here


Human Rights group to use Marathon route to protest

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

Three weeks before the Boston Marathon grabs the world's attention, a group alarmed by China's alleged human rights abuses plans to use the same Hopkinton-to-Boston route to publicize its cause: protesting this summer's Olympic Games.

"We believe the Olympic Games represent something universal and good," said Steve Gigliotti, the Massachusetts spokesman for the Human Rights Torch Relay. "The Olympics and human rights violations cannot coexist within China."

Seeking to expose alleged abuses ahead of the games, protest supporters lit a torch in Athens, Greece, in August and have since carried it to Europe, South America and Australia. The group has chosen Boston and its Marathon route to introduce its initiative to the United States and North America.

"Boston symbolizes the birthplace of freedom and liberty in the U.S.," Gigliotti said. "We decided it was a nice fit."

While he will have help carrying the torch, triathlete and marathoner Paul Guzzi, who lives in Franklin and works in Wellesley, will run the entire 26-mile route for the March 30 event. He volunteered after being told of abuses in China by his mother, who practices Falun Gong's tenets and became involved with the torch effort.

Read the remainder of the article here.


Rocky road to citizenship

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

Immigration lawyer Chris Lavery sees the problem too often: an employer who hasn't paid his illegal worker for four months. Lavery has to tell the illegal immigrant what the law says: they have no recourse.

"I'd like to see some sort of cure for that," he said, responding to Librarian Margaret Ellis' question about what immigration issue he'd like to see examined during elections.

Ellis invited Lavery to speak about modern immigration law to draw out the theme in "Dark Tide," by Stephen Puleo, a non-fiction book that she urges the whole town to read.

"The book deals with immigration in the early part of the 20th century. I wanted to (see) how different is immigration today? In some ways, it's the same, just a different group of people," Ellis said.

Read the remainder of the article here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sprinkler Law Taking affect

The Fire Safety Act, signed into law by former Gov. Mitt Romney in 2004, requires all bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues that hold 100 people or more to have automatic sprinklers. The legislation was passed in the wake of The Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island, which killed 100 people in February 2003.

Gee, why are some folks complaining now? It is not like this just came out yesterday. For those in business prior to the law being signed, they have had time to get their act together.

Ira Cantor's writing in the Franklin Gazette has details on the three establishments in Franklin required to put them in. (I think there might be a couple more but they are already not operating for a variety of reasons so the count is skewed.)