Civil, Stay of proceedings, Moot case. Moot Question.
Bharanidharan Padmanabhan, pro se.
petitioner, Bharanidharan Padmanabhan, appeals from a
judgment of a single justice of this court denying his
petition pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3. We affirm.
October, 2014, the petitioner commenced an action in the
Superior Court, naming as defendants the respondent and
certain individuals associated with Cambridge Health
Alliance, the city of Cambridge, the Executive Office of
Health and Human Services, and others. As best as we can
discern from the record before us, his complaint alleged
claims of, among other things, Medicare or Medicaid fraud,
which he became aware of during the course of his employment
with some of the defendants; and retaliation by his employer
when he spoke up about the perceived fraud. In March, 2015,
the case was removed to the United States District Court for
the District of Massachusetts. A judge in that court
subsequently allowed a motion to dismiss certain Federal
defendants and then remanded the case to the Superior Court.
The petitioner appealed from both the allowance of the motion
to dismiss and the remand order to the United States Court of
Appeals for the First Circuit, and that appeal remains
pending. Meanwhile, in the Superior Court, shortly after the
remand order, the remaining defendants filed motions to
dismiss, which, it appears, the petitioner opposed. The
docket further indicates that on June 7, 2016, a status
conference was scheduled for July 19, 2016.
11, 2016, the petitioner filed an "emergency motion to
stay improper proceedings in State court" in the county
court, which the single justice treated as a petition
pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3. He argued that the State
court lacked jurisdiction because his appeal from the remand
order remained pending in the Federal court, and he asked
this court to stay further proceedings in the Superior Court.
He also asked the court to order that the status conference
scheduled for July 19, 2016, be canceled. While his G. L. c.
211, § 3, petition was pending, the July 19, 2016,
status conference proceeded as scheduled. A docket entry
dated July 20, 2016, indicates that because the
petitioner's appeal to the First Circuit remained
pending, the status conference would be continued to October
18, 2016. The single justice subsequently denied the G. L. c.
211, § 3, petition.
petitioner has now filed what appears to have been intended
as a memorandum and appendix pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 2:21, as
amended, 434 Mass. 1301 (2001). Technically speaking, that
rule does not apply here because the petitioner is not
seeking relief from any interlocutory ruling of the trial
court. Rather, he seeks a stay of the trial court
proceedings. It is unclear from the record whether he has
sought such a stay in the trial court, but he has, in any
event, essentially received the relief that he seeks: at the
July 19, 2016, status conference, the conference was
continued to October 18, 2016, because of the
petitioner's pending appeal to the First Circuit.
Subsequently, at the October 18 conference, which has since
occurred, the matter was again continued "until the
[F]ederal appeal is resolved." The petitioner's
request for a stay of the proceedings is therefore moot. See
Rasten v. Northeastern Univ., 432 Mass. 1003, 1003
(2000), cert, denied, 531 U.S. 1168 (2001). Even if the trial
court proceedings had not been stayed, and if at some point
in the future, after resolution of the petitioner's
Federal appeal, the trial court proceedings continue, the
petitioner has an adequate alternative remedy: he may appeal,
in the regular course, from any adverse judgment against him
in the trial court. Relief under G. L. c. 211, § 3, is
properly denied where, as here, "there are adequate and
effective routes other than c. 211, § 3, by which the
petitioning party may seek relief." Greco v.
Plymouth Sav. Bank, 423 Mass. 1019, 1019 (1996), and
case does not, in short, present a situation where
extraordinary relief from this court is required, and the
single justice did not err or abuse her discretion in denying
relief under G. L. c. 211, § 3.
case was submitted on papers filed, accompanied by a
memorandum of law.
 In his G. L. c. 211, § 3,
petition, the petitioner also asked the court to
"[order] bar counsel" to investigate the
"filing of a fraudulent pleading" by his former
attorney. According to the petitioner, the attorney, who had
previously represented him, was no longer his attorney at the
time she filed a certain motion in the Superior Court. The
single justice did not err or abuse her discretion in
declining to issue an order to compel an investigation on
this record and in these circumstances. ...