DM, an 80 year old male resident at an elderly housing facility in Haverhill was accused of assaulting DI, a 72 year old female resident at the same facility. DM was walking in the hallway of the facility and opened a window in the hallway to get some fresh air into the hallway. DI, whose room was slightly down the hallway from the window, did not want the window open and closed the window. DI claimed that DM then choked her to get her away from the window which he then reopened. DI went to her room and called 911. The police responded to the facility and interviewed both parties. DM denied choking DI. DM told the police that DI had assaulted him. DM did tell the police that after DI closed the window he reopened the window purposely to aggravate DI. The police filed an application for a criminal complaint against DM at Haverhill District Court seeking a complaint of Assault & Battery on an Elderly Person. DM has a daughter who assists DM with his affairs. DM’s daughter contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin set up a zoom conference with DM and his daughter and took a complete statement of the facts from DM and thoroughly discussed the case with them. DM and his daughter retained Attorney Lewin.
DM’s daughter and DM himself were both extremely helpful to Attorney Lewin in preparing a defense to the charge. DM’s daughter furnished Attorney Lewin with photographs of the window and hallway and of DM (and his walker). These photographs would prove to be very helpful later. DM himself furnished Attorney Lewin with his medical records showing that DM had only a 2% use of his right hand and a 22% use of his left hand making it almost impossible for DM to have “choked” DI. In addition DI had been involved in two similar incidents in which DI had exhibited aggressive behavior toward another resident. Attorney Lewin was able to secure the paperwork on those prior incidents.
On September 14, 2022 all the parties appeared via zoom for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing before the Clerk-Magistrate at Haverhill District Court. Present on the zoom were Attorney Lewin, DM, DM’s daughter, the Haverhill Police Prosecutor, DI, and DI’s sister. Attorney Lewin presented (electronically) to the Clerk-Magistrate the photographs of the window, the hallway, and of DM himself with his walker. Attorney Lewin also presented to the Clerk-Magistrate DM’s medical records showing his disability. Attorney Lewin also presented to the Clerk-Magistrate the incident reports showing that DI herself had on prior occasions acted belligerently towards another resident at the facility.
Attorney Lewin explained to the Clerk-Magistrate that two months had passed since the alleged incident and although the two residents saw one another in the facility, there had been no verbal or physical contact between them. At the conclusion of the hearing the Clerk-Magistrate declined to issue a criminal complaint against DM and the matter was dismissed.
Attorney Lewin explained to DM that as a result of the Clerk-Magistrate’s denying of the police application for a criminal complaint DM should be aware of the following:
- NO criminal complaint was issued DM.
- DM was NOT charged with any criminals offense.
- DM would NOT have to return to court and go before a judge.
- NO criminal record would be created.
- NO entry would be made in the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system against DM.
DM (and his daughter) were extremely grateful to Attorney Lewin for getting the best possible result. This case is a good example of a client (and his family) being pro-active in getting information for the lawyer. The family’s assistance was invaluable in making sure the case was fully prepared.