New Eng. L. Rev. Mass. Crim. Dig.
v. 47 | 13
plaintiffs’ motion to unseal the warrant documents and the defendantssought review by the Appeals Court. The SJC transferred the appeal on itsown motion.
III. Issues Presented
1. Did the criminal session judge’s acknowledgement of the existenceof “good cause” for maintaining the impoundment order in the May 13,2011 decision to dismiss prohibit the plaintiffs from being able to renewtheir challenge to the impoundment order?
2. Was the June 23, 2011 order by the civil session judge procedurallydeficient because it was a preliminary injunction that granted the ultimaterelief sought without providing the defendants with adequate notice of oropportunity to respond?
3. As targets of the search warrant, do the plaintiffs have a FourthAmendment right to access the search warrant materials beforeindictment?
IV. Holdings and Reasoning
1. No. The Court concluded that a plain reading of the May 13, 2011decision clearly shows the judge took no action on the merits of theplaintiffs’ motion. In the decision the judge states that “no action” wastaken and that the motion is dismissed “without prejudice.”
Bothstatements support that the plaintiffs were free to re-file without anyconstraint.Additionally, the Court held that the Commonwealth’s assertion thatthe plaintiffs were required to show a change in circumstance or a passageof time before resubmission of the motion was incorrect. The onlyprocedural rule imposed on the plaintiffs was to present a non-frivolousclaim. The conclusion that the plaintiffs’ claims were not frivolous issupported by the May 13, 2011 decision that describes the claims as“persuasive” and having “important litigation of constitutionaldimension.”
Furthermore, the judge—after hearing oral arguments andreviewing each party’s briefs—found sufficient support to grant theemergency motion to modify the impoundment in the June 23, 2011decision.
2. No. The decision to impound documents is the exception to the
Id. at 84.
Id. at 85.
Id. at 88.
New England Internet Café, L.L.C., 462 Mass. at 84.
Id. at 85.
See Id. at 84-85.