Home FRANK M. DEFINO vs. CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT & others.

365 Mass. 633

June 24, 1974

This is a petition for a writ of mandamus under G. L. c. 213, Section 1A, to compel the Superior Court to revoke its order under G. L. c. 231, Section 102C, remanding to the District Court of Lowell two small claims actions in which the petitioner is the defendant. The petitioner argues that the Superior Court orders deny him his right to jury trials. The matter was heard and denied by a single justice of this court on an application for the issuance of an order of notice. There was no error. The small claims actions in each of which the petitioner is the defendant concern recovery of $234.11 and $374.65 for debts allegedly owed. Originally brought in the District Court of Lowell, they were transferred before trial to the Superior Court, Middlesex County, upon the petitioner's claims for jury trials. The Superior Court remanded both cases to the District Court pursuant to G. L. c. 231, Section 102C, as amended through St. 1967, c. 778, which authorizes the Superior Court to "transfer for trial any action of . . . contract pending in said court to the court from which such action was previously removed" if "there is no reasonable likelihood that recovery will exceed two thousand dollars." In conjunction with the right to retrial by jury after a District Court determination, also provided by Section 102C, the remand provision does not operate to deny the petitioner his right to jury trial. H. K. Webster Co. v. Mann, 269 Mass. 381 , 385 (1929).

Petition dismissed.

Home JAMES F. RONAN vs. CLEMENT A. BRIGGS & another.

365 Mass. 633

June 27, 1974

The dispute underlying this case began in 1964 when the petitioner (Ronan) claimed appeals from certain adoption decrees of the Probate Court for Plymouth County. The appeals were routinely dismissed, however, when Ronan, after receiving notice, failed to pay the estimated cost of printing the required papers. G. L. c. 231, Section 135. Turgeon v. Turgeon, 330 Mass. 402 , 408 (1953). Subsequent to the dismissal of his appeals Ronan filed in the county court a "Petition to stay proceedings" in which he requested that the adoption decrees be suspended. In March of 1966 a single justice of this court denied Ronan's application for an order of

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notice. Ronan entered a claim of exceptions to the single justice's denial of his application. No further action was taken in this case until 1973, when, pursuant to a Supreme Judicial Court standing order (entered February 8, 1972), Ronan was notified that, because no action had been taken for at least six months, the case would be dismissed unless good cause for continuing it could be shown. Ronan entered a "Request for case to remain on the docket." After a hearing, a single justice ordered that the request be denied. Ronan excepted. The only issue before us is the propriety of the order denying Ronan's request that his case remain on the docket. Ronan demonstrated no special circumstances which might justify exempting this case from the policy of the standing order requiring dismissal of inactive cases. The single justice's ruling was clearly within his discretion.

Exceptions overruled.