Phillips & Angley attorneys, Nick Shapiro and Robbie Hopkins, co-authored and filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of the Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts and the Abstract Club, in the further appellate review proceedings, before the Supreme Judicial Court (the "SJC"), in Murchison v. Sherborn Zoning Bd. of Appeals, SJC-12867. In that brief, Shapiro and Hopkins advocated for the overturning of the Appeals Court's decision in Murchison v. Sherborn Zoning Bd. of Appeals, 96 Mass. App. Ct. 158 (2019); which itself had reversed the judgment of the Land Court, Scheier, J., dismissing the abutter appeal for lack of standing. For background and context on the Appeals Court's decision in Murchison, see Hopkins's blog post of October 16, 2019.
On October 19, 2016, the Massachusetts Land Court issued a Memorandum and Order on Cross Motions for Summary Judgment in Roma, III, Ltd. v. Town of Rockport Board of Appeals, Land Court Case No. 15 MISC 000074 (RBF), granting P & A's client, the plaintiff, Roma, III, Ltd.'s Motion for Summary Judgment, annulling a decision of the Town of Rockport Board of Appeals.
While banks are attempting to take advantage of Boston's commercial real estate market, there are concerns regarding another possible real estate bubble. Lending by the Boston area's 25 largest banks has risen by approximately 40 percent over the past three years. The national average during this same period was 16 percent.
Let's say you and a neighbor are in dispute about whether you've got a valid easement to cross over his property. Suppose the disputed portion of land is a dirt path that you need to use in order to access the boat launch at the pond shared by all the homes in your neighborhood. You assert that you have a right to travel on this dirt path. He disagrees, and even goes so far as to put up a locked gate across the path thereby blocking your access.
To the unwary, it might be surprising that property dating back to the 1870s could, almost 150 years later, fall prey to a boundary line dispute. But it does happen, as the recent case, Bernier v. Fredette, 85 Mass. App. Ct. 265 (2014), reminds us.
Real estate taxes, insurance and utilities comprise expenses that we all have come to expect as necessary incidents of property ownership. Many cities and towns in Massachusetts, however, also impose user fees for municipal services, as part of the development process, or on an ongoing basis once properties have been developed. These fees are not always legal.
On February 8, 2013, the Supreme Judicial Court another land use/real estate decision in White v. Hartigan, 464 Mass. 400 (2013), a case on direct appellate review from the Land Court. At issue in the case (a quiet title action) was whether the plaintiffs owned a fractional interest in a beach located on Martha's Vineyard, or, alternatively, whether they had acquired a prescriptive easement to use the beach and the land leading thereto.
We ran across this news the other day, and thought it was an interesting approach for landowners looking to fund and coordinate the maintenance of private ways.
Chances are that most people are not aware that "waste" is a cause of action that can be brought against life tenants who mismanage real property while it is in their possession.
For the tenth straight month, real estate transactions continue to trend positively in Massachusetts.