Burke v. Chief of Police of Newton

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtBefore HENNESSEY; LIACOS
Citation374 Mass. 450,373 N.E.2d 949
Decision Date21 February 1978

Page 949

373 N.E.2d 949
374 Mass. 450
James L. BURKE
v.
CHIEF OF POLICE OF NEWTON.
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex.
Argued Dec. 8, 1977.
Decided Feb. 21, 1978.

Page 950

[374 Mass. 451] Gerard S. McAuliffe, Pembroke, for plaintiff.

John P. Courtney, Asst. City Sol., Newton, for defendant.

Before [374 Mass. 450] HENNESSEY, C. J., and QUIRICO, BRAUCHER, WILKINS and LIACOS, JJ.

[374 Mass. 451] LIACOS, Justice.

With one exception, this case presents issues identical to those considered and decided this day in DORIS V. POLICE COMM'R OF BOSTON, --- MASS. ---, 373 N.E.2D 944 (1978)A. As in Doris, this case is before us on a reservation and report without decision by a judge of the Superior Court to the Appeals Court, which we transferred here sua sponte. The parties agreed in writing to all material facts. See Mass.R.Civ.P. 64, 365 Mass. 831 (1974), and G.L. c. 231, § 111.

The plaintiff is a member of the Newton police department. His complaint recited that the defendant police chief of Newton had informed all police officers on March 9, 1976, that the provisions of G.L. c. 41, § 99A, and G.L. c. 31, § 48A, 1 and certain police regulations were to be construed so as to require all officers to live within ten miles of Newton as measured by road miles from the officers' homes to the city limits. The plaintiff averred that he had purchased a home located in a town whose boundary was within ten miles of the boundary of Newton in the belief that this constituted compliance with the statutes and regulations. The complaint sought injunctive and declaratory relief based on the alleged unconstitutionality of § 99A under various provisions of the Massachusetts and United States Constitutions, relying essentially on the same theories as did the plaintiff in the Doris case. See DORIS, ANTE AT --- N.1, 373 N.E.2D 944.B The defendant has been enjoined from enforcing the statutes pending final adjudication. The parties have stipulated [374 Mass. 452] that the named plaintiff is representative of a class of Newton police officers similarly situated.

We hold here, as we did in Doris, that the statutes in question are valid and constitutional exercises of legislative power. The issue raised in this case that was not disposed of in Doris is the question whether the ten-mile distance should be measured by "road" miles or otherwise. The defendant urges that "mile" means the distance as measured along existing roads.

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22 practice notes
  • Globe Newspaper Co. v. Superior Court
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • February 26, 1980
    ...ordinary meaning. They are to be construed according to their natural import and approved usage." Burke v. Chief of Police of Newton, 374 Mass. 450, --- a, 373 N.E.2d 949 (1978). "(T)he statutory language itself is the principal source of insight into the legislative purpose. . . . (W)here ......
  • Lash v. Traverse City, Docket No. 263873.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • June 1, 2006
    ...of trial, must be measured by ordinary, usual, and shortest public travel route). I acknowledge that in Burke v. Newton Police Chief, 374 Mass. 450, 373 N.E.2d 949 (1978), relied on in Judge Zahra's opinion, the court concluded that the term "ten miles," as used in the residency statute per......
  • DiCarlo v. Suffolk Constr. Co., No. 13–P–388.
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • November 6, 2014
    ...and phrases shall be construed according to the common and approved usage of the language....” See Burke v. Chief of Police of Newton, 374 Mass. 450, 452, 373 N.E.2d 949 (1978) (words in a statute should be given their ordinary meaning unless there is a clear indication to the...
  • Department of Community Affairs v. Massachusetts State College Bldg. Authority
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • July 5, 1979
    ...to extrinsic sources to vary the plain meaning of a clear, unambiguous statute. Burke v. Chief of Police of Newton, --- Mass. ---, --- H, 373 N.E.2d 949 (1978); Hoffman v. Howmedica, Inc., 373 Mass. 32, --- I, 364 N.E.2d 1215 (1977); Rice v. Rice, 372 Mass. 398, --- J, 361 N.E.2d 1305 (1977......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
22 cases
  • Globe Newspaper Co. v. Superior Court
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • February 26, 1980
    ...ordinary meaning. They are to be construed according to their natural import and approved usage." Burke v. Chief of Police of Newton, 374 Mass. 450, --- a, 373 N.E.2d 949 (1978). "(T)he statutory language itself is the principal source of insight into the legislative purpose. . . . (W)here ......
  • Lash v. Traverse City, Docket No. 263873.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • June 1, 2006
    ...of trial, must be measured by ordinary, usual, and shortest public travel route). I acknowledge that in Burke v. Newton Police Chief, 374 Mass. 450, 373 N.E.2d 949 (1978), relied on in Judge Zahra's opinion, the court concluded that the term "ten miles," as used in the residency statute per......
  • DiCarlo v. Suffolk Constr. Co., No. 13–P–388.
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • November 6, 2014
    ...and phrases shall be construed according to the common and approved usage of the language....” See Burke v. Chief of Police of Newton, 374 Mass. 450, 452, 373 N.E.2d 949 (1978) (words in a statute should be given their ordinary meaning unless there is a clear indication to the...
  • Department of Community Affairs v. Massachusetts State College Bldg. Authority
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • July 5, 1979
    ...to extrinsic sources to vary the plain meaning of a clear, unambiguous statute. Burke v. Chief of Police of Newton, --- Mass. ---, --- H, 373 N.E.2d 949 (1978); Hoffman v. Howmedica, Inc., 373 Mass. 32, --- I, 364 N.E.2d 1215 (1977); Rice v. Rice, 372 Mass. 398, --- J, 361 N.E.2d 1305 (1977......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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