Home BERNARD BANE vs. SUPERINTENDENT OF BOSTON STATE HOSPITAL.

350 Mass. 637

April 6, 1966 - April 28, 1966

Suffolk County

Present: WILKINS C.J., SPALDING, CUTTER, KIRK, & SPIEGEL, JJ.

The records of the Boston State Hospital concerning a certain patient were not open to inspection by him or his attorney under G. L. c. 111, Section 70, as amended through St. 1964, c. 653.

A statute cannot be attacked in the courts on the ground that it was enacted in violation of a procedural rule of one of the branches of the Legislature. St. 1964, c. 653, amending G. L. c. 111,

Section 70, does not violate art. 5 of the Declaration of Rights of the Massachusetts Constitution.

PETITION filed in the Superior Court on September 17, 1965.

The case was heard by Pillsbury, J.

Bernard Bane, pro se.

Willie J. Davis, Special Assistant Attorney General, for the respondent.


WILKINS, C.J. The prayer in this petition for a writ of mandamus is that the respondent superintendent of the Boston State Hospital be commanded to permit the petitioner to examine, and to obtain copies of, the records of the petitioner's involuntary "admission and detention" at that hospital in 1963. The petitioner appealed from a denial of the petition.

The Boston State Hospital is under the control of the Department of Mental Health. G. L. c. 19, Section 5. Its records are subject to G. L. c. 111, Section 70. The petitioner relies upon Section 70, as amended by St. 1945, c. 291. That statute in its present form, however, is as amended through St. 1964, c. 653, which contains an exception expressly excluding from inspection by a patient or his attorney the records of "a

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hospital or clinic under the control of the department of mental health."

The petitioner contends that St. 1964, c. 653, was enacted in violation of Senate Rule 50, [Note 1] but the violation is not conceded. In any event, the statute cannot be thus impugned in a court of law. Field v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 672. Sears v. Treasurer & Recr. Gen. 327 Mass. 310 , 321. Weeks v. Smith, 81 Maine, 538, 547. 81 C. J. S., States, Section 39.

There has been no violation of art. 5 of the Declaration of Rights of the Constitution of the Commonwealth.

Order denying petition affirmed.


FOOTNOTES

[Note 1] "No motion or proposition of a subject different from that under consideration shall be admitted under the color of an amendment."