Home BOARD OF ASSESSORS OF IPSWICH vs. WALTER A. SMITH, JR. & another.

357 Mass. 778

June 3, 1970

The Appellate Tax Board by decision granted abatements of real estate taxes assessed for the years 1965 to 1967, inclusive, on the Smiths' land (the locus) in Ipswich. The assessors appealed and contend that the board should not have permitted Smith, as an owner, to testify concerning the value of the locus. Smith was familiar with the property. In 1961, before he bought the locus (which included some land in Hamilton) after looking around Ipswich, he had caused the whole locus to be appraised by a qualified appraiser. The latter testified as to this appraisal, and a more recent appraisal of only the land in Ipswich, each at a figure somewhat less than what Smith paid for the locus. Smith knew what he had paid for minor improvements and the rent he had received from the building. He was in the real estate investment business. The board was warranted, in its discretion, in receiving his testimony as to the value. Willey v. Cafrella, 336 Mass. 623 , 624-625. Southwick v. Massachusetts Turnpike Authy. 339 Mass. 666 , 668-669. Root v. Commonwealth, 350 Mass. 764 . Cf. Rubin v. Arlington, 327 Mass. 382 , 383-385. No exceptions appear to have been saved to certain questions excluded on cross-examination about which some argument appears in the assessors' brief.

Decisions of the Appellate Tax Board affirmed.

Home COMMONWEALTH vs. CHARLES C. SLOANE.

357 Mass. 778

June 3, 1970

On September 13, 1968, the defendant Sloane, treasurer of the Grafton State Hospital, was indicted on two counts charging larceny from the Commonwealth. The first count alleged larceny on or about June 27, 1967, in the sum of $671.67. The second count alleged larceny on or about August 17, 1965, in the sum of $211.34. On October 24, 1969, Sloane was found guilty by a jury on both counts on evidence tending to show that he received the proceeds of two checks unlawfully indorsed by a person other than the payee. Over objection the judge permitted a witness to testify that she saw the defendant "around" November 28, 1967, and in July, 1965, enter a vault under his control and "remove . . . cash." The evidence was improperly admitted to "establish

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intent" on the counts in the indictment and was otherwise without probative value. These separate and independent acts, if criminal, should themselves be the subject of indictment. They cannot be used as evidence to convict of the crimes charged. Commonwealth v. Stone, 321 Mass. 471 , 473, and cases cited. Commonwealth v. Cutler, 356 Mass. 245 , 248.

Judgments reversed.