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Courtroom Drama

May 26, 2009

Suffolk County Court

Court Case
At three Pemberton Square near the Massachusetts’ State House lies Suffolk County Superior. Various defendants and plaintiffs sat on the wooden benches as Judge Cratsley, presided over six different cases in his first hour on the bench on April 10, 2009.

In the case of, Hayes vs. Conway, Sindy Hayes and Principal Kate Conway of the Kennedy-Longfellow Public School in Cambridge, Mass., Judge Cratsley determined that Hayes did have parental rights of her 15-year-old grandson. Hayes, who had previously not been allowed access into her grandson’s classroom because she was not thought by the school, or Conway, to be Curtis’s legal guardian was elated by the news. After looking at the records that Hayes had submitted to the court Conway’s lawyer explained that Conway was “simply looking for clarity on who was the legal guardian.”

Although Hayes was deemed to be Curtis’ legal guardian the judge did explain that that did not give her the right to unilaterally attend all of Curtis’ school sessions. As Conway’s lawyer explained “Parents are allowed in the classroom as long as they do not interrupt the educational process,”

Judge Cratsley suggested that Hayes and Conway work on a feasible compromise that would allow Hayes to visit her grandson while not interfering with student learning. To help with this Judge Cratsley recommended speaking with a court mediator if they were not able to come to some sort of compromise amongst themselves. If within one month no agreement is reached between the parties Judge Cratsley deemed that he would make a judicial decision on May 22, 2009.

Another case that landed upon Judge Crastsley’s desk involved Stanley Hackett, a Mass. funeral worker, who petitioned the court for an extension of a restraining order against Merritt. Hacket alleged that Merritt has a history of violent behavior and of carrying weapons.

According to Hackett, Merritt threatens and is disrespectful to him when he visits his girlfriend, Hackett’s younger sister, in Hackett’s family home. Merritt, who denied all accusations, said that he not only has no history of incarceration but that he is not a drug dealer, another allegation that Hackett alleged to the court.

Judge Cratsley granted Hackley an extension his restraining order against Conway for six months, until Oct. 9. Both Hackett and Merritt were asked to leave at separate times under the supervision of a court warden.

Note: I didn’t catch Merritt’s first name and the docket isn’t online yet.

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