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OUI Framingham Middlesex Distric Court Massachusetts Operating Motor Vehicle Suspended License Revoked Failure Identify Police Officer

Author: Atchuthan Sriskandarajah

COMMONWEALTH vs. JUNIOR MARTINEZ-GUZMAN.

APPEALS COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS

76 Mass. App. Ct. 167
January 22, 2010, Decided

Issues:

  • Whether the stamped signature of the registrar of the Department of Motor Vehicles was an attestation sufficient to authenticate the Registry of Motor Vehicle (RMV) documents?
  • Whether the evidence introduced by the Commonwealth sufficient to support the conviction for OAS for OUI?

Whether the stamped signature of the registrar of the Department of Motor Vehicles was an attestation sufficient to authenticate the Registry of Motor Vehicle (RMV) documents?

The Court held that "the documents in this case bear the original stamped signature of the registrar, and thus properly were attested. Therefore, unlike in Deramo, there is no question here about "the accuracy or completeness of a copy that the official has never seen and that the official's agency did not produce." We also note that the court in Deramo did not elaborate on the requirements of the actual mark of attestation, other than to note that it must be a "written and signed certification that it is a correct copy." Rather, given the facts of the case, the court's analysis focused on the purpose and requirements of the substantive component of an attestation, not on the particulars of the signature, itself. Therefore, despite the court's use of the term "written" in describing an attestation, we rely on the long-standing principle set out in Finnegan that the act of signing may be accomplished "by print, by stamp, or by the hand of another," and the failure of the Legislature to specify in the language of the statute any type of signature required, in concluding that the use of a facsimile stamped signature meets the requirements of a proper attestation pursuant to 76.

Whether the evidence introduced by the Commonwealth sufficient to support the conviction for OAS for OUI?

The Court held that "the evidence was also sufficient to prove identification because the defendant gave an address that matched the RMV records and did not contradict the officer when he called the defendant by his correct name. The evidence at trial concerned what happened at the time the defendant was being booked and did not implicate the defendant's post-arrest silence. The Court further held that "the trial court judge did not commit error in denying the defendant's motion to dismiss the OAS for OUI charge. The record shows that the defendant had notice, and the purposes of G. L. c. 90C, 2, were satisfied."

Conclusion: The judgment on the failure to identify conviction is affirmed. The conviction of OAS for OUI is affirmed, and the case is remanded to the District Court for sentencing on that conviction.

Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm's unofficial views of the Justices' opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

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The SRIS Law Group Massachusetts OUI lawyers assist clients charged with OUI offenses In Massachusetts. If you need the skilled help of a Massachusetts OUI attorney, contact the SRIS Law Group for help. The law firm has offices in Boston & Cambridge Massachusetts.