Monday, May 06, 2013

Comments Sought on Proposed Amendments to Criminal Rule 43

The Supreme Judicial Court issued this notice today:

The Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure invites comments on proposed amendments to Rule 43 of the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Committee undertook its review of Rule 43 as a result of the Supreme Judicial Court's decision in Vizcaino v. Commonwealth, 462 Mass. 266 (2012). The Committee unanimously recommends that Rule 43 be clarified to minimize confusion concerning when and how a judge may impose summary punishment for criminal contempt or, alternatively, refer an alleged contemnor for prosecution by complaint or indictment under Rule 44. The Explanation for Proposed Amendments, Proposed Rule 43, Proposed Rule 43 Marked to Show Changes from Current Rule 43 , and Proposed Reporter's Notes to Rule 43 may be reviewed at

The Committee welcomes all comments pertaining to the issues raised and will make recommendations to the Supreme Judicial Court after reviewing the comments submitted. Comments should be directed to SJC Senior Attorney Barbara Berenson at on or before September 15, 2013.