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Robert J McCarthy

Robert McCarthy’s Legal Guides

61 total


  • Bonding between a pre-adoptive parent and a child in a termination of parental rights case

    The bonding of a child with adoptive parents may bea factorin a judge's decision to terminate parental rights in Massachusetts. Adoption of Nicole, 40 Mass. App. Ct. 259, 262-263 (1996). But,bonding cannot be the only factor a judge considers because the very fact of placing a ch...

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  • Massachusetts Policy is to Strengthen Families

    The written policy of the Commonwealth of Massachusettsis to strengthen and encourage family life so that every family can care for and protect its children. G.L. c. 119, 1; 110 C.M.R. 1.01; and Adoption of Nicole, 40 Mass. App. Ct. 259, 263 (1996). The Massachusetts Department o...

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  • Summary guide to the court ordered administration of anti-psychotic medication to minors

    In Massachusetts the administration of anti-psychotic medication is extraordinary medical treatment. 110 C.M.R. section 11.14. The Department of Children Families (DCF) cannot make medical decisions which involve extraordinary medical treatment for children in their custody. 110...

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  • Avoiding self incrimination in Massachusetts civil cases

    Article XII, of the Declaration of Rights to theMassachusetts Constitution states: No subject shall be... compelled to accuse, or furnish evidence against himself. Massachusetts has long held that a party in a civil case seeking shelter under the privilege against self-incriminat...

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  • Notice requirements for a juvenile court motion

    Rule 5A of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court Rules states that the party serving a motion by mail shall give ten days notice of the motion. In addition, Rule 5B states that any motion shall be accompanied by an affidavit signed by the person with personal knowledge of the factual ...

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  • Complaint for grandparent visitation in MA. Must be detailed & meet the initial burden of proof.

    Before a parent can be called upon to litigate fully a grandparent visitation complaint with all the attendant stress and expense, the grandparent should make an initial showing that satisfies a judge that the burden of proof can be met. Blixt v. Blixt, 437 Mass. 649, 666 (2002)....

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  • Summary guide to matters invovling grandparent visitation.

    The custodial parent in Massachusetts has a fundamental liberty interest in child rearing and may oppose a complaint for grandparent visitation. Dearborn v. Deausault, 61 Mass. App. Ct. 234, 238 (2002). A grandparent seeking visitation with a child over the objections of a fit pa...

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  • Six factors considered in a mental health substituted judgment matter

    At least six factors must be considered by courts in Massachusetts in arriving at a substituted judgment decision. (1) Expressed preferences of the person involved; (2) Strength of religious convictions to the extent they would contribute to a refusal of treatment; (3) The impact...

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  • Effective assistance of counsel in a termination of parental rights case

    In Massachusertts parents are entitled to effective assistance of counsel when faced with termination of their parental rights. Care and Protection of Stephen, 401 Mass. 144, 149 (1987). In evaluating the performance of counsel a two part inquiry is undertaken. Care and Protectio...

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  • Opposing an appeal from a motion for a new trial

    A denial of a motion for new trial based on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel in Massachusetts is reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard. Commonwealth v. Wheeler, 52 Mass. App. Ct. 631, 635 (2001); see, Commonwealth v. Hudson, 446 Mass. 709, 715 (2006) (noting ...

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