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Commonwealth v. Teixera

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
488 N.E.2d 775 (1986)


Facts

Teixera (defendant) met a woman while hitchhiking and they dated for about six months. During that time, they were sexually active. Near the end of the relationship, the woman learned that she was pregnant. She informed Teixera of the pregnancy, and he suggested that she either have an abortion or place the child for adoption. Shortly thereafter, the relationship ended and the woman did not see Teixera for about three years. After the child was born, the woman telephoned Teixera to inform him that he had a son. The mother then applied for welfare benefits for the child. Teixera did not provide any monetary support for the child. Thereafter, the Commonwealth filed suit against Teixera for nonsupport of an illegitimate child. At trial, the Commonwealth provided no evidence regarding the woman’s marital status and no evidence of Teixera’s financial circumstances. At the close of the Commonwealth’s case, Teixera made a motion for a directed verdict, which was denied. Teixera was convicted of failing to support an illegitimate child and he appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Hennessey, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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