Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts. Jurisdiction, Personal.
The petitioner, Salomon S.A. (Salomon), appeals from a judgment of a single justice of this court denying its petition pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3. We affirm.
Salomon, a defendant in the underlying action in the Superior Court, moved to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P. 12 (b) (2), 365 Mass. 754 (1974), for lack of personal jurisdiction. After a hearing, a Superior Court judge denied the motion. Salomon then moved for reconsideration, which the judge denied.
Following the Superior Court's ruling, Salomon petitioned a single justice of the Appeals Court for relief, pursuant to G. L. c. 231, § 118, first par. The single justice denied the petition. Salomon then filed its G. L. c. 211, § 3, petition in the county court, which the single justice of this court denied.
The case is now before us pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 2:21, as amended, 434 Mass. 1301 (2001), which requires a showing that "review of the trial court decision cannot adequately be obtained on appeal from any final adverse judgment in the trial court or by other available means." S.J.C. Rule 2:21 (2). Nothing in the petition under G. L. c. 211, § 3, required relief. As Salomon correctly acknowledges, it could appeal from any final adverse judgment in the underlying action and pursue its claim of lack of personal jurisdiction in that context. That route is not per se inadequate to vindicate a claim of lack of personal jurisdiction. See, e.g., Intech, Inc. v. Triple "C" Marine Salvage, Inc., 444 Mass. 122 (2005).
The single justice did not err or abuse her discretion in denying extraordinary relief from this interlocutory order.
The case was submitted on the papers filed, accompanied by a memorandum of law.
Christopher P. Flanagan & Kara Thorvaldsen for the petitioner.
Robert Aldrich appeals from a judgment of a single justice of this court denying his petition for relief in the nature of mandamus brought under G. L. c. 249, § 5. We affirm.
This matter arises from an application filed by Aldrich in the Somerville Division of the District Court Department for a criminal complaint against a Cambridge police officer. The first assistant clerk of the court denied the application and referred the matter to the Middlesex County district attorney. Aldrich sought review of that action before a judge and requested a hearing. See Standard 3:21 of the District Court Standards of Judicial Practice: The Complaint Procedure (2008). The judge denied the request for a hearing without prejudice pending the district attorney's review. Aldrich then filed a petition under G. L. c. 249, § 5, in the county court, seeking an order compelling the clerk-magistrate of the District Court to conduct a show cause hearing and issue a criminal complaint.
It is well-settled that "the denial of [an application for] a [criminal] complaint creates no judicially cognizable wrong." Bradford v. Knights, 427 Mass. 748 , 751 (1998). A private individual simply has no constitutional or statutory right to challenge the denial of an application for a complaint, whether in a mandamus action or otherwise. See Victory Distribs., Inc. v. Ayer Div. of the Dist. Court Dep't, 435 Mass. 136 , 141 (2001). Aldrich's rights as a complainant were limited: he was only entitled to file an application for a complaint, which he did, and to have the District Court act on the application, which it did by denying the application and referring the matter to the district attorney's office. See Scott v. Dedham Div. of the Dist. Court Dep't, 436 Mass. 1004 , 1005 (2002), and cases cited. See also Standard 3:00 of the District Court Standards of Judicial Practice, supra ("Any individual is entitled to file an application for criminal complaint and to have a magistrate act on it. However, a private party has no right to a show cause hearing on such an application, no right to have a criminal complaint authorized, and no right to appeal its denial").
The case was submitted on briefs.
Robert Aldrich, pro se.
Natassia Kelly, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendant.