Posts tagged "Skawski"

Skawski, et al. v. Greenfield Investors Property Development LLC (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-017-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   SJC-11926   MICHAEL SKAWSKI & others[1]  vs.  GREENFIELD INVESTORS PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT LLC.       Hampden.     January 7, 2016. – February 11, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Jurisdiction, Land Court, Housing Court.  Land Court, Jurisdiction.  Housing Court, Jurisdiction.  Statute, Construction, Repeal.       Civil action commenced in the Hampden Division of the Housing Court Department on June 7, 2011.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Dina E. Fein, J., and the ruling was reported by her.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Thomas Lesser (Michael E. Aleo with him) for the plaintiffs. Marshall D. Senterfitt (David S. Weiss with him) for the defendant. Isaac J. Mass, for Citizens for Growth, amicus curiae, submitted a brief. Ashley Grant, for Massachusetts Fair Housing Center, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     GANTS, C.J.  On August 2, 2006, the Legislature enacted G. L. c. 185, § 3A, which established the permit session of the Land Court department and provided that “[t]he permit session shall have original jurisdiction, concurrently with the superior court department,” over civil actions adjudicating the grant or denial of permits for “the use or development of real property” where “the underlying project or development involves either [twenty-five] or more dwelling units or the construction or alteration of 25,000 square feet or more of gross floor area.”  St. 2006, c. 205, § 15.  At the time § 3A was enacted, G. L. c. 40A, § 17, authorized “[a]ny person aggrieved by a decision of the board of appeals or any special permit granting authority” to appeal to the Land Court, the Superior Court, the Housing Court, or the District Court.[2]  The issue before us is whether the Legislature, by enacting G. L. c. 185, § 3A, intended to grant exclusive subject matter jurisdiction to the permit session of the Land Court and to the Superior Court to hear this subset of major development permit appeals, or intended simply to create a permit session in the Land Court to hear these cases without eliminating the subject matter jurisdiction of the Housing Court to adjudicate this subset of appeals.  We conclude that the Legislature intended that major development permit appeals should be adjudicated only in the permit session of the Land Court or in the Superior Court.  We […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 11, 2016 at 5:29 pm

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Skawski, et al. v. Greenfield Investors Property Development, LLC (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-018-15)

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   13-P-1947                                       Appeals Court MICHAEL SKAWSKI & others[1]  vs.  GREENFIELD INVESTORS PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT, LLC.[2] No. 13-P-1947.     February 27, 2015. Jurisdiction, Land Court, Housing Court.  Land Court, Jurisdiction.  Housing Court, Jurisdiction.      Upon a joint motion by the defendant, Greenfield Investors Property Development, LLC (Property Development), and the plaintiffs (abutters), a judge of the Western Division of the Housing Court Department reported, for further review and determination pursuant to Mass.R.Civ.P. 64(a), as amended, 423 Mass. 1403 (1996), her order denying Property Development’s motion to dismiss.  Property Development challenges the Housing Court’s jurisdiction over the abutters’ claim.  Relying on our holding in Buccaneer Dev., Inc. v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Lenox, 83 Mass. App. Ct. 40 (2012) (Buccaneer), Property Development argues that with the enactment of G. L. c. 185, § 3A, establishing an expedited permit session in the Land Court for large-scale development projects and grant of concurrent jurisdiction to the Superior Court,[3] the Legislature divested the Housing Court of jurisdiction over such matters.  It asserts, therefore, that the judge erred in denying its motion to dismiss the abutters’ claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  We agree and reverse the order denying Property Development’s motion to dismiss.   Background.  The planning board of Greenfield issued a special permit approving Property Development’s plan to develop a 135,000-square-foot retail facility within the town of Greenfield.[4]  The abutters filed an appeal pursuant to G. L. c. 40A, § 17, in the Western Division of the Housing Court Department, challenging the issuance of a special permit to Property Development.  Property Development and its codefendants (see note 2, supra) subsequently filed a joint motion with the Chief Justice for Administration and Management of the Trial Court (CJAM)[5] to have the matter transferred pursuant to G. L. c. 185, § 3A, to the permit session of the Land Court.  The abutters opposed the transfer.  The CJAM denied the motion, and litigation proceeded in the Western Division of the Housing Court Department.   Following our decision in Buccaneer, supra, Property Development moved to dismiss the abutters’ action, asserting that the Housing Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the action.  The Housing Court judge denied Property Development’s motion to dismiss and conditioned that denial upon approval from the Chief Justice of the Housing Court Department to transfer the matter to the Superior Court.  To obtain that approval, the judge sent a letter requesting that the case “be […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 27, 2015 at 9:30 pm

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