Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

Real-Time News & Commentary on Massachusetts Land Use & Real Estate Law

Tag Archives: SJC

Supreme Judicial Court Voids Condominium Bylaw as Against Public Policy

Posted in Condominiums
In a November article I discussed the pending Supreme Judicial Court case Trustees of Cambridge Point Condominium Trust v. Cambridge Point, LLC.  You can read the full article here, but the essential issue is whether condominium bylaw provisions limiting a condominium board’s ability to initiate litigation should be void, either because such provisions violate the… Continue Reading

SJC Explains that Municipalities May Prohibit Construction of Heliports on Private Property

Posted in Zoning
If your plans for the upcoming weekend include building a heliport in your backyard, I have terrible news for you: the Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that, pursuant to their zoning powers, municipalities may prevent construction of private, non-commercial heliports. The decision in Roma, III, Ltd. v. Board of Appeals of Rockport,[1] ends a dispute… Continue Reading

Pending SJC Case Could Change Condominium Litigation in Massachusetts

Posted in Condominiums
My colleague at Rackemann, Jonathan Hayden, has been watching this pending SJC decision and the following is his take on the case: The Supreme Judicial Court’s upcoming decision in Trustees of Cambridge Point Condominium Trust v. Cambridge Point, LLC has the potential to change significantly the landscape for condominium litigation in Massachusetts.  The decision also… Continue Reading

Regis College Pulls Plug On “Educational” Senior Housing

Posted in Zoning
In May 2012 we reported on Regis College’s effort to shoehorn into the Dover Amendment an eight-building, 766,000 square-foot residential facility for senior citizens.  See our prior post here.  Having lost in the Land Court, Regis filed a further appeal, and the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) took the case on direct appellate review.  In Regis College v. Town of Weston, the… Continue Reading

SJC Revisits Affordable Housing, Chapter 40B

Posted in Affordable Housing
The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) recently turned its attention back to affordable housing under the state’s comprehensive permit law, M.G.L. c. 40B, §§ 20-23 (Chapter 40B).  Since a high point in 2008, when it decided four Chapter 40B cases, the SJC has been relatively quiet on this subject.  Quiet, that is, until the past few weeks, when the… Continue Reading

SJC Remands Important Dover Amendment Case

Posted in Miscellaneous, Zoning
The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) today issued a decision in Regis College v. Town of Weston (pdf), a case that (someday) will add to the existing body of Massachusetts law under the so-called Dover Amendment – the provision in the state’s Zoning Act that exempts qualifying educational and religious uses from most local zoning regulations. In 2005, Regis College, located in Weston, Massachusetts, proposed “Regis East,” an eight-building, 766,000 square-foot residential… Continue Reading

Cape Wind Wins Battle, But Not War . . . Yet

Posted in Renewable Energy
In a year-end decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) approved a deal between Cape Wind and National Grid allowing National Grid to purchase, for 15 years, half the power generated by the controversial proposed wind farm.  The deal was approved by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) in 2010.  Opponents of the deal asserted that the purchase price (18.7… Continue Reading

Superior Court Weighs In on Need for Unified Ownership of Mortgage and Note

Posted in Foreclosure, Title
In the Superior Court case Adamson v. MERS, the plaintiff foreclosed-on borrower is challenging the foreclosure on several grounds.  The defendant mortgage lender and its loan servicer recently moved to dismiss the case, and in an interesting decision (pdf), Rackemann alum Judge Raymond Brassard allowed the motion to dismiss in part.  Most interestingly, Judge Brassard addressed the plaintiff’s claim that the… Continue Reading

SJC’s Ibanez Ruling: Apocalypse Now or No Big Deal?

Posted in Foreclosure, Title
On January 7, 2010, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued its much-anticipated decision in U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez  (pdf).  The SJC affirmed a trial court ruling that, to validly foreclose a mortgage, the foreclosing party must actually hold the mortgage at the time of foreclosure. Ibanez is really two cases with almost identical facts and legal issues, which were consolidated… Continue Reading