Home RLM ASSOCIATES, INC. vs. CARTER MANUFACTURING CORP.

356 Mass. 718

June 2, 1969

The plaintiff (RLM) became manufacturer's representative of the defendant (Carter) in a territory including Philadelphia. RLM was entitled to commission on all Carter's sales in the territory. Either Carter or RLM could terminate the arrangement on thirty days notice. After thirteen months of slight RLM success, Carter terminated RLM's representation only a few days before bids were to be opened by a Navy office in Philadelphia on an invitation to bid, discovered by RLM and brought by it to Carter's attention. On it RLM had expended some sales effort. Carter received the award. In this action by RLM to recover a commission the trial judge correctly refused to direct a verdict for Carter and to give certain instructions requested by Carter. The evidence permitted the conclusion that Carter's termination of the arrangement was in part based upon a desire to avoid paying a commission to RLM. The existence of such a motive would permit an inference that the termination was in bad faith. The charge and the denial of Carter's requests were consistent with principles stated in Malloy v. Coldwater Seafood Corp. 338 Mass. 554 , 561-564. RLM, entitled to a commission on any sale in the territory, was not bound to show to what extent it had contributed to obtaining the award, although the evidence warranted the conclusion that RLM's efforts were as significant in this respect as could reasonably have been possible in this type of government procurement.

Exceptions overruled.

Home COMMONWEALTH vs. JOHN P. QUISH.

356 Mass. 718

June 19, 1969

At a trial without jury, Quish was convicted on three complaints charging him with receiving stolen goods. G. L. c. 266, Section 60. His motion to suppress evidence and his request in each case for a ruling that he was not guilty as matter of law were

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denied, subject to exception. The taproot question is whether there was probable cause for his arrest. At 6:15 A.M. on March 4, 1965, at Dudley Street, Roxbury, where no business establishments were then open, Officer Melanowski who was on cruiser patrol observed Quish and one Evans, both of whom he had known before, walking along the sidewalk. Earlier in the day Melanowski and another officer had talked about Evans and a "break" two weeks before. Quish was carrying a carton from the top of which a typewriter protruded. Melanowski got out of his car and spoke to Quish who put down the carton. All articles in it were clearly visible: typewriter, radio, clock, adding machine, dictaphone, and a book of trading stamps. Melanowski talked to the two men. Evans said he found the goods in a barrel. Quish said he found them in an alley behind a tavern. The two men were arrested. At the station house Quish was booked for "suspicion of receiving stolen goods." See Commonwealth v. La Bossiere, 347 Mass. 384 , 386; Commonwealth v. Lawton, 348 Mass. 129 . There was no error in denying the motion to suppress the goods as evidence. The observed circumstances and the officer's prior knowledge warranted initial inquiry. Commonwealth v. Dottin, 353 Mass. 439 , 441-442, and cases cited. The explanation given by either man for the possession of the goods, if believed, reasonably justified the conclusion that he knew that such items so left had been freshly stolen and cached to be picked up. See Commonwealth v. Matheson, 328 Mass. 371 , 374. If disbelieved, the incongruity of the circumstances justified the deduction by the officer that the goods had been unlawfully acquired by the possessors. In either event there was reason to believe that a felony had been committed and that Quish had participated in it. The arrest was lawful and so was the seizure of the goods. Nothing turns on G. L. c. 278, Section 10. At the trial there was evidence that the goods were the product of three different breaks. Although the record does not show the date of the thefts, the judge could infer from the conglomerate nature of the goods and their condition, and the circumstances in which Quish was apprehended with the goods, that he knew the goods were stolen. This inference from circumstantial evidence does not require, as the defendant contends, proof that the goods were recently stolen. Commonwealth v. Peopcik, 251 Mass. 369 , 371-372.

Exceptions overruled.