Posts tagged "1019016"

Moronta v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-190-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-12042   ELNEDIS A. MORONTA  vs.  NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, LLC, & another.[1]     December 22, 2016.     Consumer Protection Act, Demand letter.     Elnedis A. Moronta commenced this action in the Superior Court, alleging that the defendants, Nationstar Mortgage, LLC (Nationstar), and Fremont Investment and Loan, among other things, violated his rights under G. L. c. 93A.  Summary judgment was entered against Moronta on all his claims.  On Moronta’s appeal, the Appeals Court concluded that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to Moronta’s c. 93A claim and reversed the grant of summary judgment.  Moronta v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, 88 Mass. App. Ct. 621, 622 (2015).  In doing so, the Appeals Court rejected the defendants’ argument that Moronta’s c. 93A claim was barred due to his failure to serve a demand letter, on the ground that no demand letter is required under G. L. c. 93A, § 9 (3), where “the prospective respondent does not maintain a place of business . . . within the commonwealth,” regardless of whether it “keep[s] assets” here.  Moronta, supra at 626 n.11.  We granted Nationstar’s application for further appellate review, and we subsequently limited the scope of review to issues concerning the demand letter.[2]   The underlying facts of the case are set forth in the Appeals Court’s opinion and need not be repeated here.  Moronta, 88 Mass. App. Ct. at 622-625.  Before us is a purely legal question concerning the correct interpretation of G. L. c. 93A, § 9 (3).  The question is whether, as Moronta argues, a plaintiff is excused from serving a demand letter if the defendant lacks either a place of business or assets in the Commonwealth, or whether, as Nationstar argues, a plaintiff must serve a demand letter unless the defendant has neither a place of business nor assets in the Commonwealth.  Put another way, the question is this:  if the defendant keeps assets in the Commonwealth, but does not maintain a place of business here, must the plaintiff serve a demand letter?  We conclude, as did the Appeals Court, that the plaintiff need not do so.   We begin with the “general and familiar rule . . . that a statute must be interpreted according to the intent of the Legislature ascertained from all its words construed by the ordinary and approved usage of the language, considered in connection with the cause of […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 22, 2016 at 8:53 pm

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