Posts tagged "1109915"

Touher, et al. v. Town of Essex (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-099-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   14-P-796                                        Appeals Court   BRIAN M. TOUHER[1] & others[2]  vs.  Town of Essex. No. 14-P-796. Essex.     March 24, 2015. – August 10, 2015.   Present:  Kantrowitz, Blake, & Massing, JJ.   Real Property, Lease.  Contract, Lease of real estate, Unjust enrichment.  Personal Property, Ownership.  Landlord and Tenant, Fixture.  Unjust Enrichment.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on May 11, 2012.   The case was heard by Richard E. Welch, III, J., and motions to alter or amend the judgment and for a new trial or to amend the judgment were considered by him.     Christopher Weld, Jr. (Suzanne Elovecky with him) for the plaintiffs. Gregg J. Corbo for the defendant.      MASSING, J.  This appeal arises from a series of disputes between the seasonal residents of Conomo Point and the town of Essex (town), which owns and rents them the land on which they reside.  Four sets of plaintiff residents filed a complaint seeking a declaration that they owned the buildings they had erected on the town’s land.  After a jury-waived trial, a Superior Court judge entered a declaration that two sets of plaintiffs owned their cottages as personal property, but that the more substantial homes that the two other sets of plaintiffs had built were fixtures that belonged to the town.  The latter ‑- the decedent Paul Touher (Touher), and Sarah Wendell and David R. Wendell, Jr., as trustees of the David R. Wendell 1993 Revocable Trust (the Wendell Trust) (collectively, plaintiffs) — appeal from that judgment, as well as the judge’s posttrial decision that they had no equitable claim against the town to recover the value of the houses.[3]  Largely for the reasons that the trial judge set forth in his detailed memorandum and order, we affirm. Background.  1.  Historical perspective.  For more than one century, the town has been leasing desirable plots of waterfront or near-waterfront property on Conomo Point — once the location of the town’s “poor farm” — to seasonal residents.  The lessees, at their own expense, built seasonal cottages on these properties.  In addition to the rent they paid to lease the land, the residents were assessed and paid real estate taxes on the cottages. At various times the town[4] has sought to alter its economic relationship with the Conomo Point residents.  In 1987, the town took steps […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 10, 2015 at 5:27 pm

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