Posts tagged "Newton"

Newton Presbyterian Church, et al. v. Smith, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-015-18)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT. _ ______ ______ ______ _ 1784CV00804-BLS2 NEWTON PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH and THE PRESBYTERY OF BOSTON v. GARRETT SMITH and Others and NEWTON COVENANT CHURCH v. PRESB_Y__T_E_R__I_A_N__ C__H_U__R_C__H_ (USA) MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ALLOWING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION The parties to this lawsuit dispute who is entitled to use and control property belonging to the Newton Presbyterian Church (“NPC”), which is a member of the national Presbyterian denomination known as the Presbyterian Church (USA) (the “PCUSA”). Judge Sanders recently allowed Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment, ruling that they are entitled to enforce a ruling by the Presbytery of Boston that the remaining members of the NPC are entitled to use and control the disputed property, and that the break-away church members that now call themselves the Newton Covenant Church are not. Plaintiffs have now moved for a preliminary injunction that would begin to enforce Judge Sanders’ dispositive ruling by ordering Defendants to vacate the church’s real property, return all other property, and refrain from using the NPC property in a manner inconsistent with the prior determination of the Presbytery. For the reasons discussed below, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs are entitled to such relief. It will therefore ALLOW the motion and issue a preliminary injunction in the form requested by the Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs will remain free to let Defendants continue to worship in and make other use of the NPC building, at least for now. But that is for the Plaintiffs to decide. Defendants have no right to continue their use and occupation of the NPC property, now that Judge Sanders has determined that the Presbytery’s decision must be respected and enforced. – 2 – 1. Background. A majority of the NPC’s members voted in January 2017 to break away from the PCUSA and affiliate instead with the Evangelical Covenant Church. The Presbytery of Boston is the governing body for all PCUSA member churches in this area. It determined that the loyal Presbyterian members of the NPC are the true church, and that the break-away majority were no longer members of the NPC and had no power to take “any action purporting to affect the ownership, possession, use or status of the church property” or to change NPC’s name. The break-away majority, led by the Defendants, ignored these directions, changed the sign outside the church building to read “Newton Covenant Church,” and has occupied, kept possession, and been controlling use of all church property. The NPC and the Presbytery of Boston then brought this suit, seeking declaration “that the ecclesiastical determination of the Presbytery regarding the true NPC and who among its members is entitled to the use and control over the NPC […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 1, 2018 at 1:56 am

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Commonwealth v. Newton N., a juvenile (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-019-18)

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   SJC-12354   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  NEWTON N., a juvenile.       Berkshire.     November 7, 2017. – February 5, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.     Delinquent Child.  Probable Cause.  Insanity.  Mental Impairment.  Juvenile Court, Delinquent child.  Practice, Criminal, Juvenile delinquency proceeding, Complaint, Arraignment, Dismissal.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Berkshire County Division of the Juvenile Court Department on June 2, 2016.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Judith A. Locke, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Kyle G. Christensen, Assistant District Attorney (Joseph A. Pieropan, Assistant District Attorney, also present) for the Commonwealth. Laura Chrismer Edmonds for the juvenile. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Miriam H. Ruttenberg, Jennifer Honig, & Phillip Kassel for Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee & others. Ryan M. Schiff, Committee for Public Counsel Services, & Joseph N. Schneiderman for Youth Advocacy Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Daniel F. Conley, District Attorney for the Suffolk District, & John P. Zanini, Assistant District Attorney, for District Attorney for the Suffolk District.     GANTS, C.J.  This case presents two important issues relevant to a Juvenile Court judge’s consideration of a prearraignment motion to dismiss a delinquency complaint.  First, we hold that a judge, in weighing whether the information contained within the “four corners” of the complaint application and related exhibits constitutes probable cause, may not consider whether a juvenile was criminally responsible for the charged offenses or whether the juvenile’s mental impairment rendered the juvenile incapable of having the requisite criminal intent.  Second, we hold that, where a prosecutor exercises his or her discretion to proceed to arraignment on a delinquency complaint supported by probable cause, the judge may not dismiss the complaint before arraignment on the grounds that dismissal of the complaint is in the best interests of the child and in the interests of justice.  Because the judge in this case dismissed the delinquency complaint before arraignment where the complaint was supported by probable cause and where the prosecutor wished to proceed to arraignment, we vacate the dismissal and remand the case to the Juvenile Court.[1] Background.  On May 25, 2016, a police officer applied for and obtained a delinquency complaint from a clerk-magistrate, charging the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 6, 2018 at 2:56 am

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Newton Presbyterian Church, et al. v. Smith, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-048-17)

1 COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT SUCV2017-0804-BLS 2 NEWTON PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH and THE PRESBYTERY OF BOSTON Plaintiffs vs. GARRETT SMITH, et al.1 Defendants and NEWTON COVENANT CHURCH, Third Party Plaintiff, vs. PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (USA), Third Party Defendant MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT This action arises from a dispute over the ownership of property of the Newton Presbyterian Church (“NPC”), a member of the national Presbyterian denomination known as the Presbyterian Church (USA) (the “PCUSA”). In January 2017, a breakaway faction within the NPC led by the individual defendants conducted a vote purporting to effect the departure of NPC from the Presbyterian Church in order to affiliate with a conservative evangelical organization called the Evangelical Covenant Church (“ECC”). Calling themselves the “Newton Covenant 1 Carmen Aldinger, Anders Brownworth, Thomas Devol, Harold Jones, Doris Kellom, Kristen Lucken, Roger Mark, Rosalind Picard, Daniel Romaine, Beatrice Yankey and the Newton Covenant Church. 2 Church” (“NCC”), the defendants assumed control over NPC’s bank accounts and other property, including the church building located at 75 Vernon Street in Newton. The Presbytery of Boston is the governing body for all PCUSA member churches in the greater Boston area, including the NPC. Pursuant to PCUSA’s Constitution (which includes provisions to deal with schisms within congregations), the Presbytery has determined that the loyal Presbyterian members of the NPC are the “true church” and that the NCC members controlled by the breakaway faction are no longer members of the NPC, with no power to control NPC property. This lawsuit seeks enforcement of this determination together with damages. The matter is now before the Court on plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Count I seeking declaratory relief. This Court concludes that the motion must be Allowed, for following reasons. BACKGROUND In support of their motion, plaintiffs primarily rely on documents, the authenticity of which is not in question. Those documents together with other undisputed facts reveal the following. 2 A. The PCUSA Hierarchical Structure The PCUSA is a Protestant Christian denomination consisting of congregations and a hierarchy of four governing councils that make up “one church.” The four governing councils are — in ascending order–the session, the presbytery, the synod, and the General Assembly. A session, elected by a congregation, governs at the congregational level. A presbytery, made up of clergy and elders from congregations in a specific geographical area, governs the churches in 2 Although purporting to dispute most of the facts cited in the Rule 9(A)(b)(5) statement proffered by the plaintiffs, the defendants do not cite to any facts in the summary judgment record nor do they allege any particular facts to show that a genuine dispute indeed exists. […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 7, 2017 at 12:03 am

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Yarpah v. Bowden Hospitality Newton LLC, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-061-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT. 1684CV02746-BLS2 ____________________ ROLAND YARPAH, and all others similarly situated v. BOWDEN HOSPITALITY NEWTON LLC d/b/a Crowne Plaza Hotel, and INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP RESOURCES, INC. ____________________ MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON INTERNATIONAL HOTELS GROUP RESOURCES, INC.’S MOTION TO DISMISS and PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO AMEND HIS COMPLAINT TO ADD NEW DEFENDANTS Roland Yarpah worked for several years at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Newton, Massachusetts. He claims that the Hotel violated the Massachusetts Tips Act (G.L. c. 149, § 152A) by levying an eight percent “administrative charge” for functions where food or alcohol are served, not telling customers that this charge is not a tip paid to servers, and nonetheless keeping monies collected for this charge instead of paying them to wait staff and service bartenders. Yarpah sued Bowden Hospitality Newton LLC, which owns and operates the Hotel. He has also sued Intercontinental Hotels Group Resources, Inc. (IHGR). IHGR has moved to dismiss the claims against it with prejudice on the ground that the facts alleged do not plausibly suggest that IHGR charged, received, or had any control over the disputed charge. IHGR also showed that it has no contractual relationship with Bowden, and that Holiday Hospitality Franchising, LLC (“HHFL”) is the entity that gave Bowden license to do business as a Crowne Plaza Hotel. Yarpah then moved to amend the complaint to delete IHGR as a defendant and instead sue HHFL and its parent Six Continent Hotels, Inc. (“SCH”); both of these entities assert that Yarpah has no standing to sue them. Yarpah also seeks to add as a defendant Ward Childs, who manages the hotel for Bowden. The Court will allow the motion to dismiss the claims against IHGR with prejudice because Yarpah made clear at oral argument that he does not oppose that request. It will also permit Yarpah to add Childs as a defendant, without opposition. The Court will deny the request to add HHFL and SCH as defendants, however. Neither of them had any control over or received any revenue from the – 2 – administrative charges. As a result they owe no duty under the Tips Act, and Yarpah lacks standing to sue them. It would therefore be futile to amend the complaint to add them as defendants. See generally Johnston v. Box, 453 Mass. 569, 583 (2009) (“Courts are not required to grant motions to amend prior [pleadings] where ‘the proposed amendment … is futile.’ ” (quoting All Seasons Servs., Inc. v. Commissioner of Health & Hosps. of Boston, 416 Mass. 269, 272 (1993)); Thermo Electron Corp. v. Waste Mgmt. Holdings, Inc., 63 Mass. App. Ct. 194, 203 (2005) (affirming denial of motion for leave to assert counterclaim that […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 31, 2017 at 11:26 pm

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Dorrian v. LVNV Funding, LLC; Newton v. LVNV Funding, LLC (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-034-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS   SUFFOLK, ss.                                                                       SUPERIOR COURT                                                                                                 CIVIL ACTION                                                                                                 No. 14-2684 BLS2   TARA DORRIAN, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiff   vs.   LVNV FUNDING, LLC, Defendant                                                                           CONSOLIDATED WITH                                                              No. 14-4072 BLS 2     VIRGINIA NEWTON, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiff   vs.   LVNV FUNDING, LLC Defendant   MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION AND ON CROSS MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT     These two consolidated cases allege unlawful debt collection activity by defendant LVNV Funding, LLC (LVNV).  Specifically, plaintiffs claim that LVNV has used courts of this Commonwealth to collect consumer debts and otherwise engaged in collection activities   without having obtained the requisite license from the Division of Banks. The Complaints in the two cases allege a violation of the Massachusetts Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, G.L.c. 93 24 et. seq. (MDCPA) and Chapter 93A.[1] Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief together with damages, attorney’s fees and costs. Now before the Court are plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification and the parties’ Cross Motions for Summary Judgment in each of the two cases.  Although the underlying facts are not in dispute, the motions raise a host of legal issues which are not easy to resolve. After careful review of the parties’ submissions, this Court concludes that the plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification must be ALLOWED.    As to the cross motions, LVNV’s Motions for Summary Judgment as ALLOWED as to Count Three and DENIED as to Count One.   Plaintiffs’ Cross   Motions for Summary Judgment are ALLOWED as to Count One but DENIED as to Count Three.  As to the relief appropriate, this Court defers that to another day. BACKGROUND[2] LVNV’s Business LVNV is a Delaware limited liability company registered to do business in Massachusetts. In its Application for Registration filed with the Secretary of State, LVNV described the general character of its business as “consumer debt collection.”  In a letter to the Division of Banks dated August 3, 2012, LVNV’s attorney described these debts as “previously defaulted consumer account portfolios.”  Although LVNV acquires these debts in order to collect on them and not for resale to others, it has never been licensed with the Division of Banks as a debt collector pursuant to the MDCPA.    LVNV has stipulated that it uses instrumentalities of interstate commerce and the mails in conducting its business in Massachusetts. Between August 2009 and the present, at least 99 percent of LVNV’s gross revenue has been derived from collecting on unpaid consumer debts owned by it.  LVNV itself has no employees, however.  To perform the tasks necessary to collect […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 3, 2017 at 11:40 pm

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254 Newbury, LLC v. Wabora Newton LLC, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-026-17)

1 COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT CA No. 16-1855-BLS1 254 NEWBURY, LLC vs. WABORA NEWTON LLC and JAE CHOI1 MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER FOLLOWING JURY WAIVED TRIAL INTRODUCTION This case arises out of a dispute concerning a commercial lease for a restaurant. The plaintiff, 254 Newbury, LLC, is the landlord (Landlord) and the defendant, Wabora Newton LLC (Waboro) is the tenant. The Landlord filed this action on June 13, 2016 and an amended complaint on December 16, 2017 (the Complaint). The Complaint is pled in four counts: Count I seeks injunctive relief, but does not allege a separate cause of action; Count Two alleges a Breach of Contract; Count Three asserts a claim for nuisance; and Count IV requests an order of eviction, but does not assert a separate cause of action. Wabora has filed a two count counterclaim against the Landlord: Count I alleges a Breach of Contract against the Landlord and Count II asserts a claim under M.G.L. c. 93A, § 11. The case was tried to the court without a jury on February 15 and 16, 2017. Six witnesses testified and 92 exhibits were admitted in evidence. 1 Jae Choi was dismissed as a defendant at the plaintiff’s request just prior to trial and did not participate. 2 FACTS In consideration of the testimony of the witnesses and the exhibits, and the reasonable inference drawn from this evidence, the court finds the following facts. The Landlord is a limited liability company which is a part of the Copley Group, a real estate investment and management company owned by Norman Levenson and members of his family. The Copley Group owns and/or manages over 1500 residential units and 300,000 square feet of commercial space in the Boston area, including other buildings on the same block as the property which is the subject of this case. Levenson formed the Landlord to acquire the property located at 254 Newbury Street in Boston (254 Newbury) in 2012. The property consists of a basement (or in Back Bay speak “Garden”) unit, which is 1300 interior square feet with a patio in front, and four above ground floors, the first of which has three large windows in a bay area typical of the town houses on Newbury Street (the Commercial Space). There are stairs to the right of the patio which lead to the front entry way to 254 Newbury. The front door opens into a foyer with direct access to the Commercial Space, stairs to the floors above, and a door that leads to stairs down to a rear exit at the restaurant level. 254 Newbury lies in the Boston geographic district subject to oversight by the Back Bay Architectural […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 1, 2017 at 12:09 am

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Police: Man Pulled Knife in Argument on West Newton Street, Had Drugs on Him

The following information was supplied by the Boston Police Department. Charges listed do not indicate convictions.  An argument lead to an altercation involving a knife on Monday.Boston Police responded to a report of a person w South End Patch News

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm

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What Sold in the South End: West Newton St. Single Family for $2.75M

Realtors: Add your photos of recently sold homes to this gallery! It's easy—just sign into your Patch account (or sign into Patch using your Facebook account). Click the "Upload Photos and Videos" button and follow the directions. The proper South End Patch News

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 28, 2013 at 3:07 am

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What Sold in the South End: West Newton St. Single Family for $2.75M

Realtors: Add your photos of recently sold homes to this gallery! It’s easy—just sign into your Patch account (or sign into Patch using your Facebook account). Click the “Upload Photos and Videos” button and follow the directions. The property’s address, sale price, listing agent and other details can be included in the photo’s caption. We’ve provided a sampling of five home sales this week. Look at the photo gallery or the easy-to-scan chart below. Don’t forget to check out our Real Estate section. Looking to buy a home? Check out our updated list of homes for sale in your neighborhood or this list of upcoming open houses. Neighborhood Address Details Sale Price List Price Listing Agent Charlestown 42 Eighth Street #1509 Condo, 2 Beds/2 Baths, 1308 sq. ft. $ 520,000 $ 534,000   Century 21 Elite Realty, Jennifer Schneider North End 102 Commercial Street #1 Condo, 2 Beds, 1 Bath, 925 sq. ft. $ 480,000 $ 489,000 Otis & Ahearn – 142 Commercial, Jeffrey Goldman Beacon Hill   45 Province Street #710 Condo, 1 Bed/1.5 Baths, 1316 sq. ft. $ 965,250 $ $ 949,000 RESIS, R. Wayne Lopez Back Bay   184 Marlborough #7 Condo, 3 Beds/2.5 Baths, 1912 sq. ft. $ 2,697,500 $ 2,695,000 Coldwell Banker, Ellen Meyers South End 172 W Newton St Single Family, 6 Beds/4 Baths,  4136 sq. ft $ 2,750,000 $ 2,695,000 Keller Williams Realty International – Boston – Back Bay, Ken Snyder “Sold!” is a weekly column featuring the latest real estate sales in and around Boston. Photos and information compiled using MLS data, courtesy of Century 21 North Shore and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 26, 2013 at 11:52 am

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Police: Fight on West Newton Leads to Drug Arrest

The following information was supplied by the Boston Police Department. Charges listed do not indicate convictions. Police who responded to a fight in the South End ended up arresting two men, one on drug charges and one for disturbing the peace.  Boston Police officers responded to a fight in the area of West Newton Street and St. Botolph Street at about 4:25 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5, according to police.  Officers stopped a group of 10 men on the Southwest Corridor at Newton Street and began to frisk each person.  Police reported that one of the men frisked had a lump in his left pants pocket, which he reportedly told police was a “bag of rice.” The officer told the man to take the bag out of his pocket. According to police, the suspect pulled out a large bag of rice packaged with smaller bags of heroin. Officers also found a digital scale and $ 208 in cash. Officers placed Lamar Joel Stanford of 430 Columbus Ave. under arrest and charged him with possession of a Class A substance with intent to distribute. While interviewing the suspect, another man began to yell and cause a disturbance. Police said they told the man to keep his voice down, but he refused. Officers then placed Reginald Kemp of 88 Hazelton St., Mattapan under arrest for disturbing the peace.  SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates  South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 7, 2013 at 10:45 am

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