Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sales of Alcohol on Sunday Mornings

On July 23, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law House Bill 228, "An Act Permitting Sales of Alcohol on Sunday Mornings."  Chapter 182 of the Acts of 2014, amends Chapter 136, Section 6, Paragraph 52 by striking out the words "12:00 noon" and inserting the following words: "10:00 a.m."

The bill allows Massachusetts liquor store owners to sell alcohol to patrons before noon on Sundays.  However, it won't take effect for another three months.

Steve Annear, staff digital writer at Boston Magazine, posted on their Boston Daily blog on July 25, 2014, an overview of the law in an article entitled, "Massachusetts Liquor Stores Can Soon Sell Alcohol Before Noon on Sundays: Homemade Bloody Marys and Mimosas Have Never Sounded So Enticing".

For additional information, see the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) website.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Police K9 Siren

It might be considered widely known that provisions under the law for the protection and safety of our beloved pets and domesticated animals  have been in place for some time.
Violation of MGL Ch. 272 §77 'Cruelty to Animals'  is punishable both by imprisonment and/or a fine of not more than $2,500.
Perhaps a little less known is that an additional layer of legal protection is afforded police horses and K9 officers.  Violation of MCL Ch. 272 §77A 'Willfully Injuring Police Dogs and Horses' is also punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.
In addition to risking their lives while protecting our cities and towns, these animals often
become targets for retaliation as noted by WCVB's  Reward Offered in Poisoned K9's Death.
Siren, a 5 year old Westport Police K9, had to be put down after ingesting rat poison which his handler believes was planted in his yard for retaliation for his own years as a police officer.  The Westport Police Department is seeking help from anyone who has information that might lead to a suspect. Siren's partner is offering a $1,000 reward for information that helps track down the person behind the alleged poisoning.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Masschusetts Enacts Strict Compounding Pharmacy Oversight

Gov. Patrick recently signed Ch. 159 of the Acts of 2014, "An Act Relevant to Pharmacy Practice in the Commonwealth".  It was passed unanimously by both Houses to regulate compounding pharmacies in Massachusetts, after a 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 64 and sickened hundreds across the U.S., was traced to a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts.  The now closed Framingham pharmacy was found to be actually operating as a drug manufacturer, rather than a pharmacy filling individual prescriptions.   These large scale operations will now have to register with the federal Food and Drug Administration and follow regulations for drug manufacturers.

The legislation is extensive and charges the Board of Registration in Pharmacy with creating new regulations to implement changes regarding licenses, education, labeling and inspections.  It requires these pharmacies to have staffed consumer hotlines during working hours.  Compounding pharmacies must also eventually report certain information on the Department of Public Health website for viewing by consumers.  The law also cites mandatory compliance with  U.S. Pharmacopeia and National Formulary standards.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

New Amendments to Deleading and Lead-safe Renovation Regulations

 454 CMR 22.00 applies to the activities of employers, employees and others engaged in deleading of residences containing dangerous levels of lead, except for the activities of: owners of residential premises and owners' agents who perform deleading work in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Director of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program pursuant to M.G.L. c. 111 s. 197(d); and contractors who, pursuant to 105 CMR 460.175(A) or the activities in accordance with 105 CMR 460.15(A) or the activities set forth at 105 CMR 460.100(D) in or on short-term vacation or recreational rentals.   Lead Safe Renovation 454 CMR 22.00 also applies to all renovation work conducted for compensation in Target Housing and Child-Occupied Facilities.

More information can be found at Massachusetts Law About Lead Poisoning and Control 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summertime and the Fishing is Easy

Whether you are a catch and release angler or enjoy dining on the fruits of your labor, you might want to check out the 2014 Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Guide to Hunting, Freshwater Fishing and Trapping as well as the 2014 Massachusetts Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide.  In addition to giving helpful fishing tips, both guides provide a summary of the regulations on size and catch limits.  Don't forget to get your fishing license before you head out.  A license is required for both fresh and salt water fishing.  You get your license online or find a list of locations at http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/licensing/where-to-buy-a-license.html.  For additional information, see out Law About Recreational Hunting and Fishing.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Criminal model jury instructions update

  On May 30, 2014 the District Court release six new jury instructions and revised eight others. The new instructions are:  (1) Failure to have ignition interlock device; (2) Disabling an ignition interlock device; (3) Willful interference with a fire fighting operation; (4) Cruelty to animals; (5) Furnishing alcohol to a minor; (6) Improper storage of a firearm. One can see all the instructions online here, or one can borrow the MCLE book, Criminal model jury Instructions in the District Court from any Trial Court Law Library.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Summer Food Service Program Provides Free Food for Low Income Children

Thanks to the Federally Funded Food Service Program, over 900 Massachusetts organizations around the state have joined the cause to distribute free food to eligible children ages 18 and under. There are camps, libraries, housing complexes, etc. that provide up to two nutritious meals a day. To find distribution locations and times click on the following link: http://meals4kids.org/downloadable-site-lists
For more information, take a look at the Massachusetts Department of Education page: http://www.doe.mass.edu/cnp/nprograms/sfsp/