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Norcisa v. Board of Selectmen of Provincetown

Massachusetts Supreme Court
368 Mass. 161 (1975)


Facts

In 1973, Pamela Norcisa (plaintiff) opened a retail clothing business in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Norcisa was told by an agent for the Board of Selectmen of Provincetown (Board) (defendant) that she would not be permitted to own and operate her business unless she paid a license fee of $200 to Provincetown, furnished a bond of $500 to Massachusetts, and applied for a Transient Vendor’s License from both Provincetown and Massachusetts. Norcisa opened her business without a license. A criminal complaint was issued, charging Norcisa with violating local law. Norcisa brought suit against the Board, seeking an injunction against the pending criminal prosecution. The trial court issued injunctive and declaratory relief. The Board appealed. In support of the trial court’s decision, Norcisa argued that the local law was unconstitutional or, if properly construed, would not apply to her because she was not and had never been a transient vendor.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Quirico, 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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