Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Westfield Magistrate Lets Driver Walk in Hit-Run

Nathan A. Byrnes
Assistant Clerk-Magistrate
Westfield District Court, Westfield, Massachusetts
"There was no probable cause found to go a step further."

Meredith Nilan's attorney, Timothy J. Shugrue
Reprinted from The Berkshire Eagle:
'No charges filed in December car, pedestrian accident'

By Andrew Amelinckx, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Wednesday January 18, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- No criminal charges will be filed against a 24-year-old driver in connection with a December accident that left a city man with severe injuries, according to the driver's lawyer.

Meredith Nilan's attorney, Timothy J. Shugrue, said a 2 1/2-hour "full evidentiary hearing" before Assistant Clerk Magistrate Nathan A. Byrnes from the Westfield District Court was held on Thursday.

"There was no probable cause found to go a step further," Shugrue said on Tuesday.

The Pittsfield Police filed applications for criminal complaints in district court against Meredith Nilan, the daughter of
Clifford Nilan, who is the chief of probation at Berkshire Superior Court in Pittsfield.

Police planned on charging her with two misdemeanors: leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

According to police, Meredith Nilan, driving her father's 2001 Subaru Forester, swerved into the other lane and struck Peter Moore while he jogged with his dog on Winesap Road near East Street in Pittsfield on the evening of Dec. 8.

Meredith Nilan told police she was on her way to meet her boyfriend for dinner when she hit either a dog or a deer. She stopped, but didn't find anything she hit. She then returned home and went out with her father looking for evidence of what she may have hit, but couldn't find anything, according to her attorney. Clifford Nilan later called police to report the accident.

Moore, who left the scene after being hit and didn't seek medical attention until early the next morning, suffered a fractured calf bone and a broken vertebra, a bruised colon, trauma to the left side of his body, a concussion and abrasions "from head to toe."

"It was an accident," Shugrue said, adding that his client "feels bad someone was hurt."

Pittsfield Police Capt.
John Mullin declined to comment on the case.

The hearing was held Thursday morning, but show-cause hearings are off-limits to the press and public.

The clerk who heard the case was not familiar with anyone involved, according to Shugrue.

Shugrue said it would be up to a district court judge whether to allow an appeal of not.

"Nothing has been filed as of this [Tuesday] afternoon to my knowledge," said Shugrue. "This should be the end of it." <<<<<

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Anonymous Mike Franco said...

What a terrible shame for Mr. Moore, the victim. I hope he gets well soon, and is able to walk or run his dog at will. By the way, there are thousands of victims created by the MA judiciary each year in each division. Our state judges & magistrates ought to be voted on by the people after a designated term of office. It's called “re-certification”. This would ensure better service and accountability. Regarding the magistrate in this case, it was only a matter of time. Many of us know him. Nathan A. Byrnes does not follow the law, nor is he diligent with regard to rules and process, especially when he is distracted.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 4:37:00 PM  

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