Clerk Magistrate Hearing - Boston Massachusetts

Steven John Topazio

Case Conclusion Date:August 21, 2012

Practice Area:White Collar Crime

Outcome:Case dismissed.

Description:The client, a 32 year old professional with a part time job with Nordstrom, was caught on camera at Nordstrom taking merchandise without paying for it as well as crediting her credit card account with returns she made but without returning the merchandise. When the client was confronted by loss prevention officers in the presence of police, she admitted to her theft. Despite offering to pay Nordstrom back in full for the items taken which totaled over $4000.00, she was told that she would be pursued both civilly and criminally. Without being able to resolve the matter on her own, the Client hired Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend her. Attorney Topazio attempted to negotiate a settlement with Nordstrom but was informed that they were pursuing this matter criminally. The Peabody police filed an application for criminal complaint to be heard by a Clerk Magistrate. The primary role of the magistrate when she hears a complaint is to determine whether probable cause exists to require the accused to answer to a criminal charge. Magistrates, however, may decline to authorize complaints where the law allows the conflict to be fairly resolved in a different manner. In Gordon v. Fay, 382 Mass. 64, 69-70, 413 N.E.2d 1094, 1097-1098 (1980), the Supreme Judicial Court noted that the “implicit purpose of the [G.L. c. 218, §] 35A hearings is to enable the court clerk to screen a variety of minor criminal or potentially criminal matters out of the criminal justice system through a combination of counseling, discussion, or threat of prosecution.” Today, after establishing that the client made full restitution to Nordstrom, Attorney Topazio was able to persuade the Magistrate to dismiss all charges against his client. Contact Attorney Topazio online today by visiting or call 617-422-5803 to schedule a free consultation.