Argued: October 9, 2014.
Norfolk. Complaints for protection from harassment filed in the Dedham Division of the District Court Department on July 29, 2013.
The cases were heard by Robert P. Ziemian, J.
Sarah W. Peterson for the defendants.
Frank Hadley Wright, III, for the plaintiff.
Present: Berry, Hanlon, & Carhart, JJ.
[31 N.E.3d 1160] Hanlon, J.
The defendants, Albert Indresano, Jr. (Albert), and Joseph Indresano (Joseph), seek review of G. L. c. 258E harassment prevention orders (orders) issued against them., They argue that Veronica Higgins-Sullivan, acting under a power of attorney (POA) executed by the plaintiff, Rose Petriello, lacked standing to apply for these orders on Petriello's behalf. The defendants also claim that the abusive conduct that Higgins-Sullivan alleged did not meet the requirements for issuing the orders. Although we are satisfied that Higgins-Sullivan had standing to apply for the orders, due to the very sparse record before us, we are constrained to conclude that there was insufficient evidence to support issuance of the orders under G. L. c. 258E.
The judge heard the following evidence, largely based on the testimony of Higgins-Sullivan, which the judge apparently credited. Petriello lived with Albert Indresano, Sr. (Albert Sr.), as a domestic partner for approximately forty-five years, beginning in 1956; Albert Sr. had four children, Albert, Joseph, Rosemary Indresano, and Joanne McKeage. After Albert Sr.'s death, Petriello moved to 51 Smith Street in Wellesley, a property belonging to a trust that Albert Sr. had established for her benefit. On December 6, 2005, Petriello executed a health care proxy, appointing Albert as her health care agent; she named Joseph as the alternate.
In April, 2013, Petriello, then approximately eighty-eight years old, had a knee operation at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Afterwards, she went to Elizabeth Seton Residence, a rehabilitation facility in Wellesley Hills. On May 22, 2013, Petriello executed a new health care proxy, appointing Higgins-Sullivan as her health care agent. Petriello left Elizabeth Seton Residence on June 6, 2013, and moved directly to Waterstone, an assisted living facility in Wellesley Hills (Waterstone). Higgins-Sullivan testified that Petriello [31 N.E.3d 1161] wanted to move from her 51 Smith Street home because " the trust was broken" __ her bills and expenses were not being paid in accordance with Albert Sr.'s will, and neither Albert nor Joseph would allow Petriello to have access to her own checkbook.
Higgins-Sullivan had agreed to replace Albert as health care agent after Petriello telephoned her in April, 2013. During the telephone call, Petriello was " very upset" because Albert, Joseph, and Rosemary " claimed that [Petriello] had an abortion in 1956." Higgins-Sullivan testified that Petriello, an eighty-eight year old practicing Catholic, denied the accusation and " it upset [her] to no end." Apparently, one of the Indresanos then took the telephone from Petriello; however, Higgins-Sullivan stayed on the line as " [she] was afraid for [Petriello]," because the three Indresanos " were yelling, screaming, ...