Bristol Superior Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Decision in Favor of Fall River Mayor, Represented by Peter Mello and Matthew Feeney of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP
On October 10, 2019, the Bristol Superior Court issued a decision denying the Fall River City Council’s motion for a preliminary injunction, through which the City Council sought to require Fall River Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II to relinquish control of his Office. While the City Council argued that a certain provision of the Fall River Charter affords the Council broad discretion to take such action, in denying the City Council’s motion the Court rejected the Council’s interpretation, in part upon principles of statutory construction requiring that the Court construe the relevant Charter provision in its context. The Court also noted, among other things, that the Charter’s history likewise supports the Court’s decision.
Peter Mello and Matthew Feeney, of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP represented Mayor Correia in this matter. MHTL is a law firm that serves private, public and nonprofit clients in the full range of practice areas, including litigation, labor and employment, governmental and municipal law. Attorney Mello serves as the President of the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association. The Massachusetts municipal law bar association is comprised of hundreds of members who provide legal services to cities and towns or otherwise devote a substantial portion of their practice to the advancement of municipal law. At MHTL, Attorney Mello advises and represents clients with respect to a variety of legal issues in litigation and other matters. Peter Mello’s clients include private companies and organizations, municipalities and other governmental entities.
Attorney Felicia Vasudevan, a partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, received a favorable decision on behalf of her client, Marshfield Public Schools. The Plaintiff appealed the district court’s judgement that upheld a decision of the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (“BSEA”). However, as the notice was filed more than 30 days after entry, the First Circuit ultimately dismissed the appeal for being untimely. The Plaintiff also appealed the district court’s order, denying her motion to vacate. Read More
Following our Alert from March 16, 2023, Civility is Dead – The Supreme Court Rules Municipal Control of Public Speak Limited to Reasonable Time/Place/Manner Restrictions, which discussed the holding to the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Barron v. Kolenda and the Town of Southborough (SJC-13284), we promised to bring you more detailed guidance on developing a Public Speak policy for your public body or municipality. The Barron case involved a constitutional challenge to the Town of Southborough’s public comment policy, which attempted to impose a code of civility on members of the public who participated in public comment before public bodies. In Barron, the court interpreted the state constitution to mean that public bodies may request, but not require, that public commentators be respectful and courteous. Instead, a public body may set restrictions on reasonable time, place, and manner comments to ensure that the meeting retains an orderly and peaceable manner.