Skip to Content
The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Chapter 185 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 52, as appearing in the 1998 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 52. The obtaining of a judgment of registration and the entry of a certificate of title shall be regarded as an agreement running with the land and binding upon the plaintiff and his successors in title that the land shall be and forever remain registered land and subject to this chapter and all acts in amendment thereof, unless withdrawn under this section or under section 16 of chapter 183A, and except as provided in section 26 of this chapter.

If all of a parcel of land which is registered under this chapter is acquired by the commonwealth or any agency, department, board, commission, or authority of the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof or any authority of any such political subdivision, such acquisition shall be a sufficient ground for withdrawal of the registered land from the provisions of this chapter and the land shall be so withdrawn upon the filing of a complaint with the court by the public entity which has acquired the registered land and its approval by the court.

All of the owners of the fee simple estate in all of a parcel of land that has been registered under this chapter may voluntarily withdraw the registered land from the provisions of this chapter by filing a notice of voluntary withdrawal, endorsed by a justice of the land court as provided in this section, in the registry district of the land court where the land lies. Such notice of voluntary withdrawal shall be noted on the memorandum of encumbrances for the certificate of title. Upon the filing of such notice, the land shall be deemed withdrawn from the provisions of this chapter and shall become unregistered land, and the owners shall hold title thereto at the time of such filing free of all liens and encumbrances, including adverse possession and prescriptive rights, except those set forth or referred to in section 46 and those noted on the certificate of title or filed for registration before the filing of the notice of voluntary withdrawal, as though a judgment of confirmation without registration had been recorded under section 56A.

As used in this section, "notice of voluntary withdrawal" shall mean an instrument in writing signed and acknowledged by all owners of the land to be voluntarily withdrawn, which contains the following information: names and addresses of all owners; the certificate of title number with the registration book and page numbers; the description of the land in the form contained in the certificate of title; and the street address of such land, if any, and which bears the endorsement of a justice of the land court approving the voluntary withdrawal as provided in this section. Upon filing with the land court of a complaint to withdraw land, the plaintiff shall deposit with the recorder a sum sufficient to cover costs of the proceeding. The court shall then appoint one of the examiners of title, who shall make a report to the court as to the identity of the current record owner and of all mortgagees and lessees with interests of record in the land. A justice of the land court shall approve the application and shall endorse the plaintiff's notice of voluntary withdrawal if: (a) the registered land constitutes less than 50 per cent of the total area of a single parcel or of two or more contiguous parcels in common ownership; (b) the registered land consists of less than 10 per cent of the portion of the land area to which an original certificate of title pertains, the rest of the land area to which such certificate pertains having been conveyed since the original registration under this chapter; (c) the owners of the registered land have submitted the land to the provisions of chapter 183A or 183B or have created interests in the land to which chapter 183B is applicable pursuant to section 3 of chapter 760 of the acts of 1987; or (d) the court finds that the owners of the registered land have demonstrated other good cause for withdrawal under this section, including but not limited to, economic hardship by reason of the land being registered, unless, notice having been given to mortgagees and lessees of record, an outstanding objection has been filed by a mortgagee or lessee of record. Notwithstanding any such outstanding objection, the application may be approved, unless the court determines there is good cause for the objection. The justices of the land court shall establish rules and practices, including an appropriate filing fee for the application as are necessary to implement this section.

Approved January 12, 2001.