FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is a Constable?
A: A Constable is the Law Enforcement Arm of the Court
Q. Is a Constable a Law Enforcement Officer?
A. Yes. A Constable enforces civil law and by statute can also enforce criminal law. However when it comes to criminal matters they are by default turned over to the local municipality who are better equipped to deal with such cases.
M.G.L. Chapter 40 Section 37
M.G.L. Chapter 41 Section 94
M.G.L. Chapter 41 Section 95
M.G.L. Chapter 54 Section 74
M.G.L. Chapter 54 Section 75
M.G.L. Chapter 56 Section 57 (Relates to Chapters 50 – 56)
M.G.L. Chapter 90 (When duly authorized by the Chief of Police of the City or Town and issued a citation book) http://www.freetownpolice.org/freetown_police_department_006.htm
M.G.L Chapter 138 Section 30F
M.G.L Chapter 138 Section 56
M.G.L. Chapter 140 Section 201
M.G.L Chapter 266 Section 120
M.G.L. Chapter 268 Section 24
M.G.L. Chapter 272 Section 9
M.G.L. Chapter 272 Section 10
Q: Where does a Constable derive his/her power?
A:The Constable like the Sheriff derives his/her power from Common Law and Statutory Law under Chapter 41 Section 91-95
Q: Is a Constable a Municipal Police Officer?
A: No. A Police Officer derives his/her power from the Constable along with additional powers granted by the Legislature (Chapter 41 Section 96 - 101). The position of Police Officer was statutorily created under the Massachusetts General Law where as the Constable like the Sheriff is Common Law.
Q: What are the powers and duties of a Constable?
A: A Constable's responsibilities are to execute all court orders and are not limited to serving writs and summonses, executing civil arrest warrants, evictions and asset recovery and seizures. A Constable can also arrest any person committing a misdemeanor in his/her presence (Disturbing the peace etc) or felony. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/68281NCJRS.pdf
Q: Is a Constable an employee or contractor?
A: A Constable is not an employee within the meaning of G. L. c. 32B, Section 2(d). RICHARD E. RAMPONI vs. BOARD OF SELECTMEN OF WEYMOUTH & others. However under the following Chapters he/she is. Some Cities and Towns refer to Constables as contractors to avoid paying health benefits.
M.G.L. Chapter 258 Section 1 Definitions ''Public employee'', elected or appointed, officers or employees of any public employer, whether serving full or part-time, temporary or permanent, compensated or uncompensated.....
Q: Does a Constable need any specific training to be appointed?
A: No, but it is recommended. However to work for the Massachusetts Constable's Office there is a minimum training requirement to obtain employment.
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