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.

Commonwealth v. Geordi G.

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Berkshire

September 20, 2018

COMMONWEALTH
v.
GEORDI G., a juvenile.

          Heard: April 11, 2018.

         Complaint received and sworn to in the Berkshire County Division of the Juvenile Court Department on January 19, 2016. A motion to dismiss was heard by Judith A. Locke, J.

          Kyle Gray Christensen, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.

          Robert Hennessy for the juvenile.

          Present: Sullivan, Lemire, & Ditkoff, JJ.

          DITKOFF, J.

         A school official obtained a delinquency complaint charging the juvenile with, inter alia, two counts of assault and battery based on alleged incidents of pushing a teacher and hip-bumping the principal at his middle school. See G. L. c. 265, § 13A (a.) . Over the Commonwealth's objection, a judge of the Juvenile Court dismissed these charges for lack of probable cause. Concluding that the observations of the teacher, the principal, and a school counsellor established probable cause, we vacate the order of dismissal. We also take this opportunity to remind school officials of their obligation, when seeking a delinquency complaint against a student with an individualized education program (IEP), to make the prosecutor aware of the juvenile's special needs in a timely manner.

         Background.[1]

         On December 2, 2015, the twelve year old juvenile was in the gymnasium of his middle school at the end of a basketball game. He refused to follow directions, started swearing at a teacher, and left the gymnasium. The teacher followed and asked him to come back into the gymnasium, but he refused and ran down the hallway into the atrium. When the juvenile was asked to go to the office, he stated that he was "not going to the fucking office" and did not want "to talk to any of those assholes." The teacher tried to calm him down, but he would not calm down or stop swearing loudly. The principal then came into the atrium and also tried to calm him down. The juvenile was breathing heavily, had clenched fists and puckered lips, and was visibly upset. He also punched a cinder block wall that was behind him. The teacher was standing in front of the doors to the hallway, and the juvenile pushed the teacher and went through the doors.

         After several minutes, other teachers left their rooms and came into the hallway to try to calm down the juvenile. The principal directed the first teacher to return to her classroom. Nonetheless, the juvenile became more agitated, punched lockers, and stated that he was going to injure people. The principal issued a "soft lockdown," which required the students to stay in their classrooms and to delay transitioning to their next classes. After about ten minutes, the soft lockdown was removed when the group of teachers and the principal were able to convince the juvenile to leave the hallway and to enter the office of the school's adjustment counsellor.

         In the counsellor's office, the juvenile was still upset and swearing. He stepped towards the principal in a threatening manner and, standing face-to-face about one foot away, repeatedly asked, "You're fucking scared of a [twelve] year old?" The juvenile then walked to the door, bumping the principal with the side of his body, thus moving him.

         On December 3, 2015, the assistant principal of the middle school filed an application under G. L. c. 218, § 35A, for a delinquency complaint, alleging that the juvenile committed two counts of assault and battery (one against a teacher and the other against the principal) and one count of disturbing a school assembly, G. L. c. 272, § 40. The assistant principal made no mention of the juvenile's IEP in the application, and there is no indication that the school otherwise made the prosecutor aware of the juvenile's special needs.

         On January 19, 2016, the clerk-magistrate issued a delinquency complaint for all three charges. The juvenile then moved to dismiss the complaint before arraignment. On March 24, 2016, [2] a hearing was held on the motion to dismiss. The judge dismissed the two assault and battery charges for lack of probable cause and arraigned the juvenile on the charge of disturbing a school assembly.[3] The Commonwealth appeals pursuant to Mass. R. Crim. P. 15 (a) (1), as appearing in 422 Mass. 1501 (1996) .

         D ...


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.