Tuesday, January 31, 2012

HeinOnline is Working!

Thanks for your patience. Remote access to HeinOnline for our library cardholders is functioning once again.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Databases are Back Up

Remote access to all databases but HeinOnline is functioning. We're working with HeinOnline to figure out the problem.

Immigration Consequences of State Convictions

We've added a new page, Immigration Consequences of State Convictions, which links to sources regarding the consequences of Mass. state criminal convictions on immigration status.

Our Remote Databases are Down

We are having trouble with our authentication service and right now remote access to the databases, including Retrievelaw and HeinOnline, is not available. In-library databases are still available. We'll let you know when the problem is resolved, and apologize for the inconvenience.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New 209A Guidelines and Forms

New c.209A Forms became effective on Tuesday, and Mass. Legal Help has a new page that does a great job of explaining the guidelines issued in September in easy to understand language. They also provide links to the forms in a larger, more readable font. For more information on domestic violence laws and procedures, see our Law About Domestic Violence.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Alimony Page

With the new alimony law effective in less than two months, we've added a new page, Law About Alimony. Please let us know of any great sources we can add.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Use of Hand-Held Mobile Phones by Commercial Drivers Restricted

Effective January 3, 2012, new Federal regulations (76 FR 75470, amending 49 CFR Parts 177, 383, 384, 390, 391, and 392)  prohibit most use of hand-held phones by commercial motor vehicle drivers. In Massachusetts, regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are "incorporated by reference as the regulations of the Registry of Motor Vehicles" under 540 CMR 14.03.

According to the Secretary of Transportation, "The final rule prohibits commercial drivers from using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial truck or bus. Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses. Additionally, states will suspend a driver's commercial driver's license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations. Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000. Approximately four million commercial drivers would be affected by this final rule."

More information on this and other driving regulations is available at Mass. Law About Traffic Violations.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Latest on MUPC

The Legislature's site is now reporting the bill changing the effective date of the Mass. Uniform Probate Code to March 31, 2012 (St.2011, c.224) was signed by the Governor on December 30, 2011.

MUPC Update

This is confusing, but here is what we think we know about the status of the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code:
  • H3780 as amended by H3861 changes the effective date of the Uniform Probate Code to March 31, 2012. The bill was signed by the Governor on December 30, 2011 and is now St.2011, c.224.
  • The new Supplemental Rules of the Probate and Family Court, which replace the former General Rules of the Probate and Family Court and Supplemental Probate Rules are still effective January 2, 2012.
  • On December 29, 2011, the Probate and Family Court amended Standing Order 5-11 regarding the application of G.L. c. 190B, Articles I-IV, VI and VII to Estate Cases Pending on March 31, 2012 or with a Decree Issued Prior Thereto  
  • The MUPC court forms have been removed, and according to the Probate and Family Court, "The Court’s current (pre-MUPC) forms will continue to be used after January 2, 2012 until further notice."