Heard: October 5, 2017.
action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county
of Suffolk on January 11, 2017. The case was reported by
Lockhart-Jenks, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for
Moriarty, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.
Present: Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, Cypher, &
case, here on a reservation and report by a single justice of
the county court in response to the juvenile's petition
under G. L. c. 211, § 3, requires us to consider the
proper application of G. L. c. 276, § 58, and G. L. c.
276, § 58B, specifically with regard to the number of
days an individual may be held without bail after a bail
revocation hearing. We conclude that where an individual has
been released on bail pursuant to G. L. c. 276, § 58,
and there is probable cause to believe the individual
committed a crime while released on bail, the Commonwealth
may seek to revoke bail under either § 58 or § 58B.
The judge must then determine whether the Commonwealth
satisfied the requirements of the particular statute, either
§ 58 or § 58B, under which it sought to revoke
Background and prior proceedings.
6, 2016, a delinquency complaint issued charging the juvenile
with breaking and entering in the daytime with intent to
commit a felony and larceny over $250. A judge in the
Juvenile Court set the juvenile's bail at $1, 000. The
judge also advised the juvenile, pursuant to G. L. c. 276,
§ 58, that the juvenile's bail could be revoked if
he committed a new crime while on release. The juvenile
posted bail and was released.
August, 2016, two delinquency complaints issued against the
juvenile for several new crimes he allegedly committed while
on release on the pending charges, including two counts of
assault and battery on a pregnant victim and one count of
malicious destruction of property valued over $250. In
November, 2016, based on the new charges, the Commonwealth
sought to revoke the juvenile's bail pursuant to G. L. c.
276, § 58. A Juvenile Court judge allowed the
Commonwealth's motion, revoked the juvenile's bail,
and set a date for a bail review hearing on January 30, 2017,
which amounted to a ninety-day bail revocation.
January 10, 2017, the charges stemming from the
juvenile's conduct while he was released on bail had been
resolved. The juvenile continued to be held on the
original charges, however, so he moved to vacate the bail
revocation order, but the judge who had revoked bail denied
that motion. In response, the juvenile filed an emergency
petition with this court pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3.
After a hearing, the single justice issued an interim order,
noting that the issue raised by the juvenile in the petition,
which he now presses before the full court, was not raised in
the trial court, and concluding that the Juvenile Court judge
did not abuse his discretion in refusing to vacate the bail
revocation order in these circumstances. One day later, there
was a disposition in the underlying delinquency complaint.
The single justice subsequently reserved and reported the
matter raised in the juvenile's petition to the full
court, in order to give the court an opportunity to address
the proper application of G. L. c. 276, §§ 58 and
58B, 2. Discussion.
Although this case is moot, we address the issues raised
because, as the single justice noted, they are "fully
briefed and raise matters of importance that are likely to
arise again, but are unlikely to be capable of appellate
review in the normal course before they become moot."
Delaney v. Commonwealth, 415 Mass. 490, 492 (1993),
quoting Upton, petitioner, 387 Mass. 359, 365
revocation under §§ 58 and 58B.
juvenile claims that the judge erred in applying the
ninety-day revocation period under G. L. c. 276, § 58B,
as opposed to the sixty-day revocation period under G. L. c.
276, § 58, after finding probable cause to believe that
the juvenile had committed a crime while released on bail
under § 58. The crux of the juvenile's argument is
that because bail can be revoked under either § 58 or
§ 58B, where an individual commits a crime while on
release, the statutes create an ambiguous bail revocation
framework, and therefore, the rule of lenity requires the
application of the sixty-day revocation period under ...