Massachusetts Immediate Threat Assumptions

GL c. 90, Sec. 22 (a) grants the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles broad power to irrefinitely revoke a driver's license for violations of the motor vehicle laws which stipulate an immediate threat to the public safety. A revocation under the immediate threat law has been determined not to sentence a punishment and, therefore, a criminal prosecutions and non-punitive immediate threat suspension arising out of the same incident, such as an operating under the influence event, does not violate the double jeopardy clause of the United States Constitution or Massachusetts common, statutory, or constitutional law.

These indefinite license revocations are usually triggered by a police officer filing a report with the RMV wherein he explains why preventing the driver to remain on the road computes an immediate threat to public safety. Sometimes the issue is medical related such as a case where a person is operating under the influence of prescription medication. In other cases, the report is generated as a result of dangerous or reckless driving witnessed by or reported to a police officer. Immediate threat reports may involve companion criminal charges.

The legal standard for an indefinite immediate threat revocation, which the Registry had wide latitude in interpreting, is that the driver "has committed a violation of the motor vehicle laws of a nature which would give the Registrar a reason to believe that continuing operation by such holder is and will be so seriously improper as to institute an immediate threat to the public safety. "

The immediate threat statute requires that the Registrar find that a license holder poses such a significant threat to public safety, that the license should be completely taken. Additionally, law requires that the Registrar provide the operator with a notice specifying the time and place of the violation or incident that led to the immediate threat suspension.

Anyone who has had his or her license or right to operate revoked as an immediate threat is entitled to a hearing at the Registry of Motor Vehicles within 30 days of the revocation and the driver is entitled to be represented by a lawyer. Massachusetts Immediate threat revocations are indefinite in nature, meaning that the revocation will not terminate unless and until the license holder has proved to the Registry's satisfaction that the causes of the past or present violations or issues of concern have been brought under control such that the driver no longer poses a threat to the motoring public. A Registry of Motor Vehicles lawyer can help you make this showing and get your license reinstated. The RMV charges a $ 500.00 reinstatement fee for immediate threat suspensions.



Source by Brian Simoneau

Using a Massachusetts Small Claims Court For Personal Injury Claims

If you sustain damages or minor injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you may consider bringing your injury claim before the Massachusetts small claims court.

The Massachusetts small claims court is not considered a separate court, as it actually operates under special sessions of the District Court, and therefore has its own benefits and restrictions. For example, the amount of damages sought cannot exceed $2,000 in order to qualify for consideration in a Massachusetts claims court. If your medical bills and other expenses are more than $2,000 you’ll need to file a Massachusetts personal injury lawsuit in a different court.

There is an exception to this rule. Property damage sustained in a Massachusetts car accident cannot exceed $2,000 in small claims court, but the court can consider statutory damages or attorney fees that are above the $2,000 limit. Yet, even in these cases, the base amount of your initial claim must still be below $2,000.

Bringing a Claim to Massachusetts Small Claims Court

Massachusetts small claims court is structured so that the parties involved can seek legal remedies in an effective and inexpensive manner. Filing fees for any claims totaling less than $500 are $30 and any injury claims seeking more than $500 have a $40 filing fee.

Civil court statutes also apply to Massachusetts small claims court, so be sure that the statute of limitations has not expired before filing your injury claim. In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations covering personal injury claims is 3 years, although there are some exceptions to this rule.

When you’re filing a claim in Massachusetts small claims court, you must do so in the district where you live or work, or where the defendant lives or works. If you incurred damages from someone who works in Boston, it may serve your case to file in the Boston small claims court. Your lawyer should help you determine the best area to file your injury claim.

The most important filing information to obtain is the defendant’s proper address.

If you file a claim without the defendant’s proper address, your injury claim will be dismissed.

Unfortunately, you cannot sue a public employee in Massachusetts small claims court, which means any lawsuit brought against a public employee, state agency, city or town must be filed in Superior Court.

Massachusetts Personal Injury Claims

Even for a small claim, it is usually wise to seek a legal consultation before filing a Massachusetts small claims court notice. A good example is if your Massachusetts injury claim occurred as the result of a car accident.

A Massachusetts personal injury lawyer can look at the specifics of your case, advise you on where to file your claim, and represent your best interests in court. In your “Statement of Small Claim” form, you can ask that your attorney fees be included in the total amount of damages you are seeking.



Source by Thomas M. Kiley

The Devil in Massachusetts – A Modern Enquiry Into the Salem Witch Trials by Marion L Starkey

The back cover of the edition of The Devil in Massachusetts I read stated that Ms. Starkey “applies modern psychiatric knowledge to the witchcraft hysteria” which plagued Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Although Starkey’s work is obviously well-researched and is historically authentic, it is neither an enquiry nor a psychological evaluation with new insights into the mass panic caused by several seriously disturbed young girls. She poses question after question to the reader yet puts none of her own conclusions or hypotheses to any of them.

The Devil in Massachusetts is elegantly written based on Starkey’s research of actual trial transcripts, historical records and publications of the time. However her penchant for asking questions, double negatives and placing subordinate clauses at the beginning of sentences does cause the reader to double-back much of the time to re-read passages to understand her message.

The absence of any meaningful dissertation on the population may be a moot point in this post 9/11 world, whatever conclusions could be drawn in Starkey’s 1949 publication. Still it would be interesting to know what caused several young girls, ages eight to eighteen, to suddenly fall into convulsing fits and claim they were being tortured by invisible imps. They ‘cried out’ members of the community, mostly women, as their tormentors.

Arrests were issued and carried out with frequency to bring the accused before magistrates who firmly believe in the existence of witches. More disturbing than the girls made-up hysterics was the courts’ complete buy-in of the ‘spectral evidence’, unseen witches and wizards observed ONLY by the afflicted girls. And they weren’t the only ones. Families of the accused disowned their relatives at the mere thought of being related to a witch, even if the woman had never shown any behavior remotely reminiscent of witchcraft. Others stood by their loved ones, bringing countless witnesses to testify on their behalf. Cooler minds did not prevail as the shrieks and howlings of pre-teen girls gave precedence over more knowledgeable and sane people.

Other towns in the Salem area such as Andover and Ipswich encountered similar episodes but by now sanity began to take hold and these cases were dismissed as quickly as they began.

The self-important Massachusetts preacher Cotton Mathers got caught up in the hysteria as well and through his own reticence and culpability, failed to rescue a man whom he concluded to be innocent. In later years, he managed to attach his name to saving the souls of condemned pirates, a crime with more tangible and concrete evidence against the accused.

Despite the lack of any new insights on the Salem witch trials, The Devil in Massachusetts is a great glimpse into the mass confusion, terror and murder in pre-colonial New England. It does cause one to recall the old adage about history repeating itself, but if Starkey did not enlighten us onto the psychological reasoning behind the panic, are we repeating it now? The days of hunting witches to hang them or burn them at the stakes are over. But what about our current ‘witch hunts’ against persons of difference race, religion or sexual orientation?

I guess the answer to the first question is ‘yes’.



Source by Alan G. Scott

Payroll Massachusetts, Unique Aspects of Massachusetts Payroll Law and Practice

The Massachusetts State Agency that oversees the collection and reporting of State income taxes deducted from payroll checks is:

Department of Revenue

51 Sleeper St.

Boston, MA 02205

(617) 887-6367

(800) 392-6089 (in state)

http://www.state.ma.us/dor/dorpg.htm

Massachusetts allows the use of the federal W-4 form if exemptions claimed are the same for state and federal. Otherwise, you must use “M4 Massachusetts Employee’s Withholding Exemption Certificate” for Massachusetts income tax withholding.

Not all states allow salary reductions made under Section 125 cafeteria plans or 401(k) to be treated in the same manner as the IRS code allows. In Massachusetts cafeteria plans are not taxable for income tax calculation; taxable for unemployment insurance purposes. 401(k) plan deferrals are not taxable for income taxes; taxable for unemployment purposes.

In Massachusetts supplemental wages are required to be aggregated for the state income tax withholding calculation.

You must file your Massachusetts State W-2s by magnetic media if you are required to file your federal W-2s by magnetic media.

The Massachusetts State Unemployment Insurance Agency is:

Division of Employment Security

Charles F. Hurley Bldg.

19 Staniford St., 5th Fl. DET

Boston, MA 02114-2589

(617) 626-6855

http://www.detma.org/

The State of Massachusetts taxable wage base for unemployment purposes is wages up to $14,000.00.

Massachusetts requires Magnetic media reporting of quarterly wage reporting if the employer has at least 250 employees that they are reporting that quarter.

Unemployment records must be retained in Massachusetts for a minimum period of four years. This information generally includes: name; social security number; dates of hire, rehire and termination; wages by period; payroll pay periods and pay dates; date and circumstances of termination.

The Massachusetts State Agency charged with enforcing the state wage and hour laws is:

Department of Labor and Industries

Fair Labor and Business Practices Division

200 Portland St.

Boston, MA 02114

(617) 727-3465

http://www.ago.state.ma.us/

The minimum wage in Massachusetts is $6.75 per hour.

The general provision in Massachusetts concerning paying overtime in a non-FLSA covered employer is one and one half times regular rate after 40-hour week.

Massachusetts State new hire reporting requirements are that every employer must report every new hire and rehire and contractors over $600. The employer must report the federally required elements of:

  • Employee’s name
  • date of hire or contract
  • Employee’s address
  • Employee’s social security number
  • Employer’s name
  • Employers address
  • Employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

This information must be reported within 14 days of the hiring or rehiring.

The information can be sent as a W4 or equivalent by mail, fax or electronically.

There is a $25.00 penalty for a late report and $500 for conspiracy in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts new hire-reporting agency can be reached at 800-332-2733 or 617-626-4154 or on the web at http://www.cse.state.ma.us/.

Massachusetts does not allow compulsory direct deposit.

Massachusetts requires the following information on an employee’s pay stub:

  • Gross and Net Earnings
  • Employer’s and employee’s name.
  • payment date
  • amount and nature of deductions
  • increases
  • straight time and overtime pay
  • hours worked
  • itemized deductions

Massachusetts requires that employee be paid biweekly or weekly; semimonthly or biweekly for FLSA-exempts or salaried employees (monthly if they agree).

Massachusetts requires that the lag time between the end of the pay period and the payment of wages to the employee not exceed six days if workweek is 5 or 6 days; 7 days after pay period if workweek is 7 days or less than 5 days.

Massachusetts payroll law requires that involuntarily terminated employees must be paid their final pay immediately and that voluntarily terminated employees must be paid their final pay by the next regular payday (if there is none, the next Saturday) or by mail if employee requests it.

Deceased employee’s wages of $100 must be paid to the surviving spouse, adult child, or parent (in that order) 30 days after death and if there is no will.

Escheat laws in Massachusetts require that unclaimed wages be paid over to the state after three years.

The employer is further required in Massachusetts to keep a record of the wages abandoned and turned over to the state for a period of 5 years.

Massachusetts’s payroll law mandates no more than $4.125 may be used as a tip credit.

In Massachusetts the payroll laws covering mandatory rest or meal breaks are only that all employees must have 30 minutes rest after six hours of work.

Massachusetts’s statute requires that wage and hour records be kept for a period of not less than two years. These records will normally consist of at least the information required under FLSA.

The Massachusetts agency charged with enforcing Child Support Orders and laws is:

Massachusetts Department of Revenue

Child Support Enforcement Division

51 Sleeper St.

P.O. Box 9492

Boston, MA 02205-9492

(800) 332-2733

http://www.cse.state.ma.us/

Massachusetts has the following provisions for child support deductions:

  • When to start Withholding? Next payday more than 3 days after notice.
  • When to send Payment? Within 3 days of Payday.
  • When to send Termination Notice? Within 3 days of payday.
  • Maximum Administrative Fee? $1 per payment.
  • Withholding Limits? Federal Rules under CCPA.

Please note that this article is not updated for changes that can and will happen from time to time.



Source by Charles Read

Stopping a Foreclosure in Massachusetts by Filing a Complaint or Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Efforts by Massachusetts homeowners to stop foreclosure sales gained valuable traction from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s recent request that lenders and loan servicers suspend foreclosures in light of recent disclosures of widespread abuse among financial institutions. The widespread publicity in the media regarding misconduct by financial institutions offers ammunition for homeowners who wish to stop a foreclosure sale by filing a complaint and motion for preliminary injunction in court.

Because Massachusetts is a “non-judicial” foreclosure state, the foreclosure process proceeds extremely quickly (often, in as little as 90 days) and with essentially no judicial oversight unless a homeowner files a legal action in court to stop the foreclosure process. This may be done by the filing of a complaint and motion for a preliminary injunction. Sample Massachusetts foreclosure defense forms, including complaints and preliminary injunction motions, are available for download.

The announcements by the Office of the Attorney General, together with the considerable protections offered by the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, provide powerful ammunition for stopping a foreclosure sale in Massachusetts. A Massachusetts homeowner trying to stop a foreclosure sale may raise a number of powerful arguments and causes of action, including:

  • Fraud/duress as a result of misrepresentations made to the homeowner by the initial lender at the time of the loan;
  • Illegality of the underlying loan due to its egregiously high costs that were deceptively withheld and/or concealed at the time of the loan;
  • Failure of the loan servicer to provide foreclosure notices required under Massachusetts law; and
  • Lack of standing (i.e., the financial institution does not possess the initial note and/or cannot produce a complete chain of assignments).

Complaints to stop foreclosure and motions for preliminary injunctions should be filed in the Superior Court for the county in which the property is located.



Source by Marc Rapaport