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  • Acts
  • 2002
  • Chapter 393 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE CONCURRENT JURISDICTION OF THE LAND COURT.

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


SECTION 1. The third paragraph of section 7 of chapter 40A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "court", in line 47, the following words:- and the land court.

SECTION 2. The first paragraph of section 17 of said chapter 40A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "said", in line 10, the following words:- land court or,- and by inserting after the word "said", in line 13, the first time it appears, the following words:- land court or.

SECTION 3. Section 81B of chapter 41 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "equity", in line 32, the following words:- and the land court.

SECTION 4. Section 81V of said chapter 41, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "court", in lines 3, 9, and 10, the following words:- or the land court.

SECTION 5. Section 81Y of said chapter 41, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "lies", in line 51, the following words:- and the land court.

SECTION 6. Section 81BB of said chapter 41, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 7 and 8, the words "pursuant to the provisions of clause (k) of section one of chapter one hundred and eighty-five".

SECTION 7. The first paragraph of section 1 of chapter 185 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out paragraphs (k) to (p), inclusive, and inserting in place thereof the following 10 paragraphs:-

(k) All cases and matters cognizable under the general principles of equity jurisprudence where any right, title or interest in land is involved, including actions for specific performance of contracts.

(l) Actions under clauses (4) and (10) of section 3 of chapter 214, where any right, title or interest in real estate is involved.

(m) Actions under clause (8) of said section 3 of said chapter 214 or under section 9 of chapter 109A, where the property claimed to have been fraudulently conveyed or encumbered consists of rights, titles or interest in real estate only.

(n) Proceedings transferred to it under the provisions of section 4A of chapter 211.

(o) Civil actions of trespass to real estate involving title to real estate.

(p) Actions brought pursuant to the provisions of sections 7 and 17 of chapter 40A.

(q) Actions brought pursuant to sections 81B, 81V, 81Y, and 81BB of chapter 41.

(r) Actions brought pursuant to section 4 or 5 of chapter 249 where any right, title or interest in land is involved, or which arise under or involve the subdivision control law, the zoning act, or municipal zoning, subdivision, or land-use ordinances, by-laws or regulations.

(s) Actions brought pursuant to section 1 of chapter 245.

The land court department also shall have original jurisdiction concurrent with the probate courts of the following:-

(t) Petitions for partition under chapter 241.

SECTION 8. Section 26A of chapter 212 of General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- The superior court may, upon the application of either party, order a jury-waived civil action where any right, title or interest in land is involved, including actions for specific performance of contracts, removed to the land court for trial and disposition.

SECTION 9. Chapter 241 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 2, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 2. Probate courts and the land court shall have concurrent jurisdiction of all petitions for partition. Any petition for partition may be filed in the probate court for any county where any part of the land included in the petition lies, or in the land court for any land within the commonwealth. The petition may include any or all of the common land within the commonwealth.

SECTION 10. Said chapter 241 is hereby further amended by striking out section 3, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 3. If a case is begun in a probate court and the land is within the jurisdiction of the probate court in 2 or more counties, the court in which proceedings are first begun shall retain jurisdiction thereof, which shall exclude the jurisdiction of probate courts of other counties; but this shall not prevent the probate court in any other county where a part of the common land lies, not included in the original petition, from making partition thereof.

SECTION 11. Said chapter 241 is hereby further amended by striking out section 4, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 4. The court may make partition of all or any portion of the land included in the petition of which the parties thereto are co-tenants; but if all of the common land is not included in the petition, the court may, upon request of any party thereto, seasonably filed, cause any other part of the common land to be included, unless a petition for partition thereof is pending in another county or in the land court.

SECTION 12. Section 7 of said chapter 241, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the second sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- If the proceedings are at any time amended, either by the inclusion of more land or by adding new parties, a further notice thereof shall be filed forthwith in the registry district where the land lies.

SECTION 13. Section 16 of said chapter 241, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- If the partition is by division, the commissioners shall record a certified copy of the decree in the registry of deeds for each district where any of the land lies, together with so much of the return, as finally confirmed, as relates thereto; or if any part of the land is registered land, they shall in recording the same comply with section 92 of chapter 185.

SECTION 14. Section 19 of said chapter 241, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- If partition is made by sale, the claimant may recover the share of the proceeds to which he is entitled by action against the persons to whom the proceeds were paid, or, before the payment, by a petition in equity in the court in which the partition was made, to which the commissioner or commissioners and all known claimants of the share shall be made parties defendant.

SECTION 15. Section 25 of said chapter 241, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first and second sentences and inserting in place thereof the following 2 sentences:- The court in which a petition has been brought under this chapter shall have jurisdiction in equity over all matters relating to the partition, and, in case of sale, over the distribution of the proceeds thereof; also to hear and determine all matters of accounting between the parties to the petition in reference to the common land, and to appoint 1 or more receivers to take possession of the common land or any part thereof, and collect the rents and profits therefrom. The jurisdiction may be exercised upon petition according to the usual course of proceedings in that court.

SECTION 16. Section 31 of said chapter 241, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the second sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- The sale shall be made by public auction, after like notice as is required for the sale of land by an administrator, and the evidence thereof may be perpetuated in like manner by returns filed with the court in which the proceedings are had; or the sale may be a private sale, upon the terms as the court orders, if it finds after notice, as provided in section 8, and a hearing, or after receiving the written assent of all parties in interest, that the interests of all parties will be promoted thereby.

SECTION 17. Section 34 of said chapter 241, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- If the proceeds of a sale, or any share thereof, cannot be paid to the persons entitled thereto, the commissioners shall deposit the same in the name of the judge of probate for the county where the proceedings are had, or, in the case of the land court, the chief justice, in a savings bank or other like institution, or in a savings accounts in a trust company, or in paid-up shares and accounts of and in co-operative banks, or purchase with it in the name of the judge or justice a share account of a federal savings and loan association or a savings and loan association located in the commonwealth, as the court orders, to accumulate for the persons entitled thereto.

SECTION 18. Section 35 of said chapter 241, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- The trustee shall, before entering upon the duties of his trust, give to the judge of probate and his successors or, in the case of the land court, the chief justice and his successors, a bond, with sufficient surety and in a penal sum as the court orders, conditioned for the faithful performance of his duties, and, upon breach of the condition, an action may, by order of the court which holds the bond, be brought for the use of the persons interested in the trust property, as upon a bond of an administrator.

SECTION 19. Section 1 of chapter 245 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "county", in line 4, the following words:- or in the land court.

SECTION 20. Section 4 of chapter 249 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "court", in line 4, the following words:- or, if the matter involves any right, title or interest in land, or arises under or involves the subdivision control law, the zoning act or municipal zoning, or subdivision ordinances, by-laws or regulations, in the land court.

SECTION 21. Section 5 of said chapter 249, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "court", in line 2, the following words:- or, if the matter involves any right, title or interest in land, or arises under or involves the subdivision control law, the zoning act, or municipal zoning, or subdivision ordinances, by-laws or regulations, in the land court.

SECTION 22. The failure of this act to refer to or enumerate subject matter jurisdiction already existing and established by law in the land court or in any other department of the trial court shall not be construed to deny, alter, repeal or diminish the subject matter jurisdiction. The failure of this act, in establishing or describing subject matter jurisdiction in the land court, to refer to or include any other department of the trial court, shall not be construed to deny, alter, repeal or diminish the subject matter jurisdiction in the other department to the extent the other department has the subject matter jurisdiction in accordance with existing law.

SECTION 23. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2003.

Approved December 5, 2002.