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Feldberg, Et Al. v. Coxall ORDER on Plaintiff's Emergency Motion for Endorsement of Memorandum of Lis Pendens (01717406)

Feldberg, Et Al. v. Coxall ORDER on Plaintiff's Emergency Motion for Endorsement of Memorandum of Lis Pendens (01717406)

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Published by Richard Vetstein
Superior Court Justice Douglas Wilkins ruled that a series of e-mail exchanges between the buyer's and seller's attorney, the last one attaching a revised, but unsigned, offer to purchase, arguably created a binding agreement entitling the buyer to a lis pendens (notice of claim).
Superior Court Justice Douglas Wilkins ruled that a series of e-mail exchanges between the buyer's and seller's attorney, the last one attaching a revised, but unsigned, offer to purchase, arguably created a binding agreement entitling the buyer to a lis pendens (notice of claim).

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Published by: Richard Vetstein on Jun 30, 2012
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08/11/2013

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COMMONWEALTHOFMASSACHUSETTSMIDDLESEX,
ss.
SUPERIORCOURTCIVILACTION
NO.12-1649-A
IANFELDBERGANDMICHAELROGERS,Plaintiffs,v.HAROLDCOXALL,Defendant.ORDERONPLAINTIFF'SEMERGENCYMOTIONFORENDORSEMENTOFMEMORANDUMOFLISPENDENS
AfterhearingonPlaintiffsEmergencyMotionforEndorsementofMemorandumofLisPendens("Motion")onApril30,2012,atwhichbothPlaintiffsandDefendantwererepresentedbycounselandheard,theCourtenteredatemporaryrestrainingorder,aslaterextendedbytheparties.TheCourtalsoallowedfurtherbriefing.OnMay15,2012,thedefendant,HaroldCoxall("Coxall")submittedhisMemoranduminOppositiontoPlaintiffs'EmergencyMotionforEndorsementofMemorandumof
LisPendens
("Memorandum"),whichincludedaSpecialMotiontoDismissAfterreviewofallwrittenandoralargumentsandevidence,theCourt
ALLOWS
theMotionand
DENIES
theSpecialMotiontoDismiss.TheComplaintinthiscaseallegesthatCoxallownsvacantundevelopedlandshownasLots2and3onthePlanofLandtitled"PlanofLandinSudbury,MA",preparedbyThomasDipersio,P.L.S,recordedintheMiddlesexSouthRegistryofDeedsasPlanNo.66of2010("Property").
It
alsoallegesthat,throughaseriesofemails,
1
 
CoxallandtheplaintiffsenteredintoanagreementfortheplaintiffstopurchasethePropertyfor$475,000.ThepartiesdisputewhethertheemailsattachedtothecomplaintamounttoawrittenagreementforthepurchaseoftheProperty.Coxalldeniesthattheemailsreflectanofferandacceptancesufficienttoshowapresentintenttobeboundtothepurchaseandsale.Healsodeniesthattheemailsconstituteasufficientwritingtosatisfythestatuteoffrauds.
I.
TheLisPendensstatute,G.L.c.194,§15(b),providesinrelevantpart:(b)Anypartyseekingamemorandumoflispendensunderthissectionshallcommencetheunderlyingproceedingbymeansofaverifiedcomplaintorothercomplaintasisrequiredundertherulesofcourttoincludeacertificationbytheclaimantmadeunderthepenaltiesofperjurythatthecomplainanthasreadthecomplaint,thatthefactsstatedthereinaretrueandthatnomaterialfactshavebeenomittedtherefrom.Thecomplaintshallnameasdefendantsallownersofrecordandanypartyinoccupationunderawrittenlease.Uponmotionofaparty,ifthesubjectmatteroftheactionconstitutesaclaimofarighttotitletorealpropertyortheuseandoccupationthereoforthebuildingsthereon,ajusticeofthecourtinwhichtheactionispendingshallmakeafindingtothateffectandendorsethefindinguponthememorandum.Notwithstandingtheprecedingsentence,thecourtonitsownmotionmaydeclinetoendorsethememorandumoflispendens,ifthecourtdoesorderthetemporaryequitablereliefaswillpreservethestatusquopendingfurtherproceedings.Thecomplaintinthiscasemeetstheproceduralprerequisitesofthefirsttwosentencesofthissection.Theplaintiffshavemadethenecessarymotion.Theyhavecommencedthisactionbymeansofaverifiedcomplaint,signedunderpenaltiesofperjurybyplaintiffsIanFeldbergandMichaelRogersonApril30,2012.TheCourtfindsthatthesubjectmatteroftheactionconstitutesaclaimofarighttotitletorealproperty.Inparticular,thecomplaintclaimsthatCoxallmustconveytitletothePropertytotheplaitniffs.Despitethedisputeoverwhetherabinding,written2
 
contractforpurchaseandsaleofthePropertyexists,thereisnoquestionthatthe"[p]laintiffsseekadeclaratoryjudgmentthatCoxalliscontractuallyboundtosellthePropertytothePlaintiffsonthetermsagreedupon."Complaint,
'J
40.Thatclaimmayormaynotbevalidandmaybevulnerableonamotiontodismissormotionforsummaryjudgment,butthoseissuearenotbeforetheCourtonamotionforendorsementofamemorandumof
lispendens.
Wereject[defendant's]argumentthat,indecidingwhethertoendorseamemorandumoflispendenssoastomakeitpropertyrecordable,ajudgemustdeterminethatthecomplaintwouldsurviveamotiontodismissunderMass.
R.
Civ.P.12(b)(6)....Ratherthanstatingthatthejudgemustrulewhetherthecomplaintstatesavalidclaim,
§
15speaksofafinding(presumablyoffact)andpermitsanaggrievedpartytochallengeanyfindinginthejudge'sorder,ifleavetorecordthememorandumwasobtainedexparte.Section15doesnotstatewhat"finding"ajudgeproperlycouldmakebeyondtheonethestatuterecites("thesubjectmatteroftheactionconstitutesaclaimofaright"toaninterestinrealproperty)....Theissuesarewhatis'thesubjectmatteroftheaction,"anddoesitconsistofaclaimofarighttotitleoruseandoccupationofrealproperty.Thequestionwhetherthecomplaintwouldsurvivearule12(b)(6)motiontodismiss,withoutleavetoamend,andquestionsconcerningthedischargeofthememorandumoflispendenscomeatalaterstageintheproceedings.Withthemandatethatthejudge"shall"findandendorse,
§
15giveslittlediscretiontothejudgeoncethejudgedeterminesthatthesubjectmatteroftheactionconcernsaninterestinrealestate.Sutherlandv.AoleanDevelopmentCorp.,399Mass.36,40(1987).Coxall'sMemorandumdoesnotaddressthishighlyrestrictivestandard.Hisargumentsabouttheallegedinsufficiencyofthepartiesemailcommunicationstomeetthestatuteoffraudsandtoshowanintenttobeboundaresubstantialandmaywellprevail.ButthatisnotthetestbywhichtheCourtmustmeasuretheMotion.While
§
15appearstoallowtheCourtdiscretiontodeclinetoendorsethememorandumoflispendensifitenterstemporaryequitablereliefthatwillpreservethe3

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