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Trustees of the Cambridge Point Condominium Trust v. Cambridge Point, LLC, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-014-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12327   Trustees of the Cambridge Point Condominium Trust  vs.  Cambridge Point, LLC, & others.[1]       Middlesex.     October 5, 2017. – January 19, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.     Condominiums, By-laws, Management, Common area.  Real Property, Condominium.  Public Policy.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 3, 2014.   A motion for partial summary judgment was heard by Rosalind H. Miller, J.; a motion for reconsideration was considered by her; and motions to dismiss were heard by Peter B. Krupp, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Edmund A. Allcock for the plaintiffs. John F. Gleavy for CDI Commercial Development, Inc., & another. David Aleksic, for Frank Fodera & another, was present but did not argue. David T. Keenan, for Anahid Mardiros, was present but did not argue. Henry A. Goodman & Ellen A. Shapiro, for Community Associations Institute, amicus curiae, submitted a brief. Cailin M. Burke, Julie B. Heinzelman, Diane R. Rubin, Thomas O. Moriarty, & Kimberly A. Bielan, for Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts, Inc., & another, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     GANTS, C.J.  In this action, a condominium trust’s board of trustees has filed suit against the developers of the condominium for damages arising from various design and construction defects in the condominium’s common areas and facilities.  The condominium bylaws, however, provide that the trustees cannot bring any litigation involving the common areas and facilities against anyone other than a unit owner unless they first obtain the consent of at least eighty per cent of the unit owners.  The issue on appeal is whether this bylaw provision is void, either because it violates the Condominium Act (act), G. L. c. 183A, or because it contravenes public policy.  We conclude that it is void because it contravenes public policy.[2] Background.  In 2007, Cambridge Point, LLC, as the declarant of a predominantly residential forty-two-unit condominium in Cambridge, filed in the Middlesex South District registry of deeds a master deed, a declaration of trust, and the bylaws of the Cambridge Point Condominium Trust (trust).  The trust’s board of trustees (trustees) is responsible for administering the affairs of the trust.  Among the powers and duties committed to the trustees is the authority under § 1(o) of […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 19, 2018 at 11:29 pm

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