Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Logan's Law: Severely Limits Devocalization of Dogs & Cats

On April 22, 2010, Gov. Deval Patrick signed St.2010, c.82: An Act to Prohibit Devocalization of Dogs and Cats, also known as Logan's Law. The Act stipulates that unless the procedure is done to treat disease, injury or birth defects, there is a substantial penalty. "(b) Whoever performs, or causes to be performed, the surgical devocalization of a dog or cat shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 2½ years, or by a fine of not more than $2,500 or by both such fine and imprisonment. In addition to this penalty, the court may order that any person who violates this section shall successfully complete a course of instruction relative to the humane treatment of animals or be barred from owning or keeping a dog or cat or sharing a residence with another who owns or keeps a dog or cat for a period of time as determined by said court. " For more information on animals, see our Law About Animals and Law About Veterinary Practice.

Text of New Court Management Report

We've added the Report of the Court Management Advisory Board to our collection of reports at Mass. Law About the Court System. According to the press release, "The Massachusetts Court Management Advisory Board (CMAB) today called upon the Governor’s office and the state Legislature to enact broad changes to the Administrative structure of the state’s Judiciary, focusing primarily on the Trial Courts and its seven departments.   Citing the “absence of a comprehensive, professionalized, administrative and leadership structure that would enable the Judiciary to full and effectively manage itself," the CMAB recommends legislative changes to several statutes within the court system, including the hiring and tenure practices within the state’s Probation Department."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Real Fish Story

New in 2010 Massachusetts saltwater recreational anglers are now required to register for a saltwater fishing permit. For this year only, the registration is free and is through the National Marine Fisheries Service.

In 2011, the permit fee will be $10 through our state program; whereas the federal program will be charging a permit fee $25. Because Massachusetts has enacted its own registration law, state anglers will be exempt from the higher federal fee next year.

Also exempt will be anglers who are younger than 16, or disabled, or who fish only on permitted for-hire vessels like charters boats, do not have to register in 2010 or obtain a state permit in 2011. Anglers that are 60 years and older will need to obtain a state permit in 2011 but there will be no fee.

Visit the Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries for a Saltwater Permit FAQ

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Home Improvement Time

Spring is often the time homeowners embark on home improvement projects. Here are a few new regulations to keep in mind when you start that project:
  • 40 CFR 745. Lead Paint. Under new federal regulations effective April 1, 2010,  "contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination."
  • 527 CMR 10.15  Floor refinishing. Effective June 1, 2010, provides strict new guidelines for floor refinishing.
And if you are preparing your home for sale,
  • 527 CMR 32  Smoke Detectors. Effective April 5, 2010, details new requirements for smoke detectors with which you must comply in order to sell your home.
The Attorney General has a useful consumer guide to home improvement, and we have links to the home improvement contractor law and regulations, as well as helpful forms and websites, at Law About Home Improvement.