Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

King v. Town Clerk of Townsend & Others

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk

June 22, 2018

CINDY KING
v.
TOWN CLERK OF TOWNSEND & others. [1]

          Heard: April 6, 2018.

         Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on March 24, 2017. A motion for a preliminary injunction was heard by John T. Lu, J. A proceeding for interlocutory review was heard in the Appeals Court by Mark V. Green, J.

         After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.

          John M. Dombrowski for the plaintiff.

          Ira H. Zaleznik (Benjamin W. O'Grady & John E. Page also present) for Joseph Z. Shank & others.

          Lauren F. Goldberg, for town clerk of Townsend & another, was present but did not argue.

          Present: Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, & Kafker, JJ.

          BUDD, J.

         Ten registered voters (petitioners)[2] residing in the town of Townsend (town) petitioned the town to hold a recall election to remove the plaintiff, Cindy King, a member of the town's board of selectmen (board), [3] from office pursuant to St. 1995, c. 27, the town's recall act (act). On April 9, 2018, we issued an order affirming the order of a single justice of the Appeals Court preliminarily enjoining the town from holding a recall election to remove the plaintiff from office, and we indicated then that an opinion would follow. This opinion states the reasons for that order. Because the act provides for a recall vote to take place only on grounds not alleged here, the recall election sought in this instance may not proceed.

         Background.

         In 2017, the petitioners submitted to the town clerk a petition that sought to recall the plaintiff. See St. 1995, c. 27, § 2.[4] The affidavit that accompanied the petition cited misfeasance and neglect of duty as grounds for the recall, alleging that, in the plaintiff's role as a member of the board, she

"neglected her duty to adequately represent the people of [the town] by refusing to argue in the affirmative for the public to be allowed a time for public communication at [board] meetings when no other board before this has refused to hear public comments or concerns and
"... impeded our Police Chief's ability to do the job he was hired to do by using her position of authority and by imposing her views on day-to-day management of the Police Department and
"... neglected to support prior agreements made by the town with our Police Lieutenant and
"... neglected to speak for obtaining an official and full background check on an applicant for a senior position with the [town] prior to signing the employment contract .

         In response, the plaintiff commenced an action in Superior Court to enjoin the recall election, and on the same day, she filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. She contended that the allegations made against her were legally insufficient to initiate a recall under the act. A Superior Court judge denied her motion for a preliminary injunction, and the plaintiff appealed to a single justice of the Appeals Court, who ordered that a preliminary injunction issue. After a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court denied the petitioners' subsequent petition for relief, the Appeals Court reversed the order of the single justice of the Appeals Court and dissolved the injunction. See King v. Shank, 92 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.