Casner & Edwards

Victory in Appeals Court, affirming Land Courts decision

The Appeals Court affirmed a Land Court decision in which the court agreed with Douglas K. Mansfield as to the effect of a contract on the opposing party's property. Under a 1917 agreement, the opposing party was required to convey to Mr. Mansfield's client all of its property, real and personal, when the client determined that the property was no longer being used for its original purposes. Such a determination was made in 2003, but the opposing party refused to convey the property. It argued that the agreement was null and void for several reasons, including that it had not been recorded as a restriction on land, the client's rights under the contract had been extinguished when the Commonwealth took by eminent domain the party's property held in the 1980's, and the contract represented a cloud on title. The opposing party also argued that the description of the affected property as "all property, real and personal" was too vague for enforcement under the Statute of Frauds. The Appeals Court agreed with the Land Court and Mr. Mansfield that these arguments were unpersuasive. It therefore affirmed the judgment of the Land Court that dismissed the lawsuit as not falling within the specialized jurisdiction of the Land Court. Donna M. Brewer and Richard C. Allen were with Mr. Mansfield on the brief. To read the decision, click here.

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