Court and Community News

Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021
Notice of available position on the Clients' Security Board; District Court vacancies open for applications; Massachusetts Trial Court selected to receive Elder Justice Innovation Grant; ​State Police license plate reader cameras repaired

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Notice of available position on
the Clients' Security Board

The justices of the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) invite interested attorneys to apply for appointment to a five-year term on the Clients' Security Board, effective December 2021.

Pursuant to SJC Rule 4:04, the board is composed of seven members of the Massachusetts bar and manages the fund used to discharge the bar's collective responsibility with respect to losses caused to the public by defalcations of members of the bar. The board anticipates that members will be permitted to participate in board business virtually as needed, though meetings may also be held in person on occasion when circumstances permit.

The justices will be making one appointment to the board. Attorneys with legal aid, immigration, or other legal experience working with historically underrepresented or underserved communities are encouraged to apply. The justices also strongly encourage attorneys with diverse backgrounds and experiences, as well as those who practice outside of the immediate Boston metropolitan area, to apply.   

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and one-page resume to Anna Rachel Dray-Siegel at anna.dray-siegel@jud.state.ma.us by Oct. 29, 2021. Contact Dray-Siegel with any questions about the application process or the position.

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District Court vacancies open for applications

The Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) is currently accepting applications for the following judicial vacancies:

Chicopee District Court
Hon. David S. Ross
(April 10, 2021)

Eastern Hampshire District
Hon. Maureen Walsh
(May 12, 2021)

The application deadline for both positions is Thursday, Nov. 4, at noon. Click here for application instructions and here to sign up for JNC notifications.

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Massachusetts Trial Court Selected to Receive
Elder Justice Innovation Grant

Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey and Court Administrator John Bello announced this week that the Trial Court was one of only seven court systems selected to receive a national Elder Justice Innovation Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living.           

The Probate and Family Court will use the two-year federal grant of just under $1 million to create a statewide Office of Adult Guardianship and Conservatorship Oversight. This office will increase court oversight of guardians/conservators and guardian/conservator arrangements to protect adults aged 60 and older and adults with disabilities from abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect.

The new Office of Adult Guardianship and Conservatorship Oversight will serve an increasingly aging population in Massachusetts. According to the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging at the Gerontology Institute, in 2019, 19% of Massachusetts residents were aged 60 or older; by 2030, that demographic is expected to grow by 28%.

“This grant provides the Trial Court with a tremendous opportunity to improve the quality of life for our most vulnerable senior citizens,” said Carey. “Our courts are committed to building best practices for a growing elderly population and anticipating their particular needs.” 

“The need for guardians, conservators, or surrogate decision-makers will only increase,” said Probate and Family Court Chief Justice John Casey. “This initiative will expand on the work done since the implementation of the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code and the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act.”

“This project will involve significant collaboration by the Trial Court and a wide range of community stakeholders to develop data and build an evidence-based model for oversight,” said Bello. “Fifteen community organizations provided letters of support for this project, which made clear the strong level of interest and support.

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State Police license plate reader cameras repaired

The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security is informing criminal justice agencies and defense counsel in the commonwealth that an issue with the reliability of date and time stamps from automatic license plate reader (ALPR) cameras used by the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) and sourced from vendor Neology Inc. has been rectified. Accordingly, all MSP ALPR fixed-position cameras will be operating as of Oct. 7, 2021.

As described in a Dec. 2020 memorandum, while reviewing ALPR data in November 2020, the MSP had discovered instances where the dates and times recorded by ALPR cameras did not align with the dates and times those photographs were uploaded to the cameras’ host servers. The MSP, working with Neology, had determined that these particular time gaps occurred when an ALPR camera lost power, reconnected with its power source, and began taking pictures prior to connecting with its host server. During the time period after the ALPR camera was powered on, but before it connected with the host server, the ALPR could not update its date and time settings to the correct time. Once the ALPR connected with its server, its date and time settings were synchronized with the host server.   

As a result, in any case where the ALPR lost power, the ALPR could have inaccurately recorded the date or time on which the picture was taken, if that picture was taken prior to the ALPR establishing a connection with the host server. The date and time of upload recorded by the host server remained accurate and was unaffected by this issue.  Therefore, a comparison between the date and time recorded by the ALPR on the photograph and that recorded by the host server could indicate whether the ALPR-recorded information was accurate. 

Shortly after learning of this issue on Nov. 12, 2020, the MSP suspended the use of fixed-position ALPR cameras and preserved all existing ALPR data. Going forward, every ALPR photograph will include a watermark indicating whether the ALPR camera read time can be relied upon for accuracy.  

The MSP will preserve any ALPR data that was in the system and captured prior to Nov. 12, 2020, and during the time the APLR cameras were not operating. Beginning Oct. 7, 2021, new data will be kept on a yearly basis pursuant to the one-year retention schedule required by existing policy.    

Contact ALPRVerify@Mass.gov with any questions.