Posts tagged "DeCroteau"

DeCroteau v. DeCroteau, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-175-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   15-P-1442                                       Appeals Court   JOSEPH DeCROTEAU  vs.  MICHAEL DeCROTEAU & others.[1]       No. 15-P-1442.     December 16, 2016.     Practice, Civil, Standing, Preliminary injunction.  Corporation, Stockholder.  Lis Pendens.     The plaintiff, Joseph DeCroteau, brings this interlocutory appeal from a Superior Court judge’s orders denying his motions for a preliminary injunction and for approval of a memorandum of lis pendens.[2]  See G. L. c. 231, § 118, second par.  He claims that he holds an equitable ownership interest in the property at issue in the parties’ dispute, such that the judge should have allowed both motions.  We affirm.   Background.  The plaintiff is a fifty-one percent shareholder of DeCroteau Corporation, which owns and operates the Gaffey Funeral Home located at 43 High Street in Medford (the property).  The plaintiff is a licensed funeral home director who runs and manages the funeral home.  The plaintiff’s brothers, Mark and Michael DeCroteau, are minority shareholders in DeCroteau Corporation.  The property is owned by DBR Realty LLC (DBR).  DeCroteau Corporation is the tenant of DBR, and Mark and Michael[3] are the sole members of DBR.  At all times relevant to this action, the plaintiff had no legal ownership interest in DBR.   At the time of its acquisition of the funeral home in 2009, DeCroteau Corporation entered into a five-year written lease with DBR.  The lease expired in 2014, and DeCroteau Corporation became a tenant at will when it failed to exercise an option to renew contained in the lease.  In 2015, DBR listed the property for sale.  In response, the plaintiff filed a verified complaint in Superior Court against Mark, Michael, and DBR (collectively, the defendants) seeking, inter alia, equitable relief to restrain the defendants from any attempt to sell the property.[4]  In addition, the plaintiff filed motions for (1) a preliminary injunction prohibiting the defendants from marketing, transferring, or encumbering the property without prior court authorization, and (2) approval of a memorandum of lis pendens relating to the property.  Following a nonevidentiary hearing, the judge denied both motions.   Discussion.  a.  Preliminary injunction.  The plaintiff sought to enjoin the defendants “from taking any action to market, transfer or encumber” the property, arguing that he has an equitable ownership interest, and that Mark and Michael have breached their fiduciary duty to him in endeavoring to sell the property, thus jeopardizing his livelihood and putting the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 16, 2016 at 9:46 pm

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