Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
850 N.E.2d 513 (2006)
James Mason (plaintiff) and Betsy Coleman (defendant) divorced in Massachusetts and shared joint legal and physical custody of their two minor children. Both Mason and Coleman remarried. Sometime later, Mason relocated to New Hampshire, but his new home was only approximately 17 miles from Coleman’s residence in Massachusetts. Weeks later, Coleman gave notice that she also intended to move to New Hampshire. Mason objected and filed a complaint for modification, seeking sole physical custody and a temporary order enjoining Coleman from relocating the children to New Hampshire. Mason was particularly concerned due to the fact that the original custody order provided that the children would attend school in the district of Coleman’s residence. The children were thriving in the Massachusetts school district, which was highly regarded as a successful school system. To the contrary, the proposed school system in New Hampshire was rated as below average. Coleman filed a counterclaim, requesting sole physical custody and a temporary order permitting the requested relocation to New Hampshire. A probate judge granted Mason’s request for a temporary order enjoining Coleman from relocating. Following a trial, the trial judge weighed the best-interest factors and determined that relocation was not in the children’s best interests. The judge did not award sole physical custody to either party but instead ordered that the parties continue the shared legal and physical custody arrangement. Coleman appealed, arguing that the refusal to authorize her request to relocate violated her right of freedom of movement pursuant to the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cowin, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 220,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.