455 Mass. 1003

October 30, 2009

Supreme Judicial Court, Appeal from order of single justice, Superintendence of inferior courts. Practice, Civil, Costs, Waiver.

Lawrence Watson appeals from a judgment of a single justice of this court denying his petition for relief under G. L. c. 211, § 3. Watson commenced an action in the Superior Court, purportedly against the police department of Boston, [Note 1] and submitted a request for waiver, substitution, or State payment of normal costs and fees under G. L. c. 261, § 27C. A judge in the Superior Court waived such costs and fees in part and directed Watson to pay a reduced filing fee. Watson appealed pursuant to G. L. c. 261, § 27D. A single justice of the Appeals Court affirmed the decision. Watson's petition in the county court followed. The single justice of this court properly denied relief. "General Laws

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c. 261, § 27D, 'plainly states that the decision of the single justice of the Appeals Court [reviewing a judge's denial of funds] "shall be final with respect to such request." ' " Ballard v. Commonwealth, 450 Mass. 1013, 1014 (2007), quoting Hurley v. Superior Court Dep't of the Trial Court, 424 Mass. 1008, 1009 (1997). Watson "sought and received such review, and he is not entitled to anything further." Ballard v. Commonwealth, supra. "Rarely should we employ our superintendence power to review rulings in matters in which the Legislature has expressly stated that the decision of another court or judge 'shall be final.' . . . The single justice did not err or abuse [her] discretion in declining to exercise the power in this case" (citation omitted). Hurley v. Superior Court Dep't of the Trial Court, supra. Judgment affirmed. Lawrence Watson, pro se. Dawn M. Beauchesne, Assistant Corporation Counsel, for the defendant, was present but did not argue.


[Note 1] The police department of Boston maintains, among other things, that it is not an independent entity that is subject to suit.