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This profile was last updated on 7/16/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Robert E. Powers

Wrong Robert E. Powers?

Court Clerk - Magistrate

Barnstable District Court

Employment History

  • Clerk Magistrate
    Barnstable District Court
  • Barnstable District Court Clerk Magistrate


  • New England School of Law
17 Total References
Web References
SJC to clerks: Do your job - CommonWealth Magazine, 16 July 2013 [cached]
In an unanimous opinion in May, the state Supreme Judicial Court set a precedent by terminating Barnstable District Court Clerk-Magistrate Robert Powers for failing to perform to expected standards and, when he did show up for work-often late-bullying staffers and members of the general public who had to appear before him.
When CommonWealth was investigating clerk-magistrates for its story, Powers was a focus of the reporting. Several court employees said he had a spotty attendance record and was constantly tardy for work. Over the course of several weeks, we spot-checked Powers's home in Hyde Park and his office at Barnstable court. On three of those days, Powers's two cars were in his Hyde Park driveway while his parking space behind the court was empty or occupied by another employee. At least twice Powers's blue Honda with a distinctive three-digit license plate pulled into the court parking lot between 9:30 and 10 a.m., an hour or more after the court had already opened for business. One of those times, Powers parked in an adjacent spot because his designated spot was taken. Several minutes later, a court employee dashed out and moved his vehicle.
The CommonWealth article did not include any reference to Powers's name or habits because it could not be verified if he was on vacation or had other authorized days off when he was away from the court. Powers at the time did not return several calls and Common­Wealth's request for attendance and time documents was denied because court records are not subject to the state's Public Records Law. The report on Powers indicates court officials began their own investigation of him in early 2011 and, later that year, transferred him to Taunton District Court to learn how to be a good clerk-magistrate, which be­came moot when the SJC terminated him.
The bar that the SJC set in removing Powers from office was "the public good," an undefined standard that will now have clerk-magistrates on alert and looking over their shoulders. "We conclude, after considering the totality of the circumstances, that the public good requires his removal," Gant wrote in the opinion.
But Powers and any other clerks who lose their jobs for doing them poorly won't have to fear for their retirement. Jon Carlisle, a spokesman for state Treasurer Steven Grossman, says because Powers was removed for his job performance, and not because of any criminal conviction, he will retain his pension. Powers will receive about $76,000 a year in retirement, based on his nearly 35 years in state government as a probation officer and assistant district attorney and his three largest-earning years, which came as clerk-magistrate at about $110,000 a year.
Barnstable Clerk Magistrate Fired By Supreme Judicial Court | The Law Office of Patrick T. Donovan, Massachusetts Criminal Attor, 10 May 2013 [cached]
Robert Powers the clerk magistrate of the Barnstable District Court has been removed from his position by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Early this year Clerk Magistrate Powers was brought up on formal charges of being unfit for duty. Specifically Powers was chronically late to work, often arriving after 9:30 when court opened an hour earlier, being rude to litigants and failing to routinely and diligently perform his duties as a clerk.
In removing Robert E. Powers as the clerk of the Barnstable District Court, a special tribunal was convened and testimony was heard. A prosecutor was appointed and Powers was defended. Testimony was given. After the hearing the judge in the tribunal decided that Powers needed to be removed from his position but need the approval of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
In removing Powers, the Supreme Judicial Court stated that the clerk is the public's first interaction with the court system and the public must have trust in the system. Clerks are important to the function of justice and are being held to a higher standard. It should be noted that the Administer of the Trial Court opposed this decision and urged the court not to remove Powers from the position. Yet, the Court felt that variety of complaints against Powers justified his removal.
The Supreme Judicial Court's ..., 1 May 2014 [cached]
The Supreme Judicial Court's Committee on Professional Responsibility for Clerks of the Court is currently considering whether Barnstable District Court Clerk-Magistrate Robert E. Powers should be removed from office. Subscribe
Worcester Telegram & Gazette AP State News, 20 Dec 2006 [cached]
Romney nominated Robert C. Cosgrove to the Superior Court, Michael A. Uhlarik to the District Court, Robert E. Powers as Clerk Magistrate of Barnstable District Court and Mark R. Jeffries to the Southeast Division of the Housing Court.
Powers, of South Boston, served as an assistant district attorney for Suffolk, Plymouth and Norfolk County District Attorneys from 1991 to 1998 and is an assistant district attorney in Bristol County in New Bedford.He graduated from the New England School of Law., Gloucester, MA - Romney appoints four to bench despite vow of no 'lame duck' picks, 22 Dec 2006 [cached]
Romney nominated Robert C. Cosgrove to the Superior Court, Michael A. Uhlarik to the District Court, Robert E. Powers as clerk magistrate of Barnstable District Court and Mark R. Jeffries as clerk magistrate to the Southeast Division of the Housing Court.Read this article in full with a
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