Posts tagged "1102117"

C.E.R. v. P.C., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-021-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   16-P-525                                        Appeals Court   C.E.R.  vs.  P.C. & another.[1]     No. 16-P-525.   Essex.     December 1, 2016. – March 6, 2017.   Present:  Milkey, Massing, & Sacks, JJ.     Civil Harassment.  Harassment Prevention.  Protective Order. Words, “Intimidation.”       Complaint for protection from harassment filed in the Ipswich Division of the District Court Department on December 28, 2015.   A hearing to extend harassment prevention orders was had before Peter F. Doyle, J.     Ryan D. Sullivan for the defendants.     SACKS, J.  The defendants, who were roommates, appeal from the District Court’s extension of harassment prevention orders obtained by their then-landlord pursuant to G. L. c. 258E.[2]  We conclude that the evidence was insufficient to support a finding that either defendant had engaged in three or more acts of harassment, and we therefore vacate the extension orders.[3]  We also take the opportunity to emphasize that when a landlord seeks a c. 258E order against tenants, a judge should examine the allegations of harassment carefully, to ensure that c. 258E is not being used as a substitute for eviction through a summary process action under G. L. c. 239. Background.[4]  The plaintiff owned a single-family home which included an “in-law” apartment over the attached garage.  Following her divorce, the plaintiff was ordered by the Probate and Family Court to place her home on the market, which she did in April, 2015.  In mid-2015, the plaintiff rented the apartment to the defendants, while she continued to live in the rest of the home.  The defendants agreed to allow the plaintiff access to the apartment in order to show the home to potential buyers.  One of the defendants, R.C., owned a dog, which also occupied the apartment.  The defendants paid rent and contributed to utility costs, and the living arrangement continued more or less uneventfully until the fall of 2015. Following the events discussed infra, the plaintiff obtained ex parte harassment prevention orders against both defendants on December 28, 2015, requiring them to stay away from the premises and from her.[5]  After an evidentiary hearing on January 7, 2016, the judge extended both orders for one year, requiring the defendants to vacate the premises immediately and stay away from them thereafter. Standard for issuance of harassment prevention orders.  As relevant here, G. L. c. 258E, § 1, inserted by St. 2010, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 7, 2017 at 2:39 am

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