Real Estate & Lease Litigation: February 2014 Archives

Massachusetts Partition Actions: An Overview

A partition action is a legal proceeding to force the sale of real estate that is held by multiple owners, and to fairly divide the sale proceeds among the owners. A partition action is often used a last resort when one or more owners want to sell, but cannot agree with the other owners on the terms of the sale. Partition actions are governed entirely by Chapter 241 of the Massachusetts General Laws. "Any person, except a tenant by the entirety [a married couple], owning a present undivided legal estate in land, not subject to redemption" has a right to partition under Chapter 241. M.G.L. c. 241, § 1.

Easement Dimensions Are Not Necessarily Set in Stone

In a recent decision handed down in January 2014, the Supreme Judicial Court (the "SJC") has expanded on its well-known holding in M.P.M Builders, LLC v. Dwyer, 442 Mass. 87 (2004), to decide that an owner of registered land burdened by an easement can modify the dimensions of the way over his land "so long as the purposes for which the easement was created are not frustrated, and the utility of the easement is not lessened."

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