Home Greta L. Martin a/k/a Greta Laferriere Martin and Vincent D. Drennan, Plaintiffs v. Olga Marden, Defendant


January 24, 2020

Housing Court, Southeast Division

Joseph L. Michaud, Associate Justice


This is a summary process action brought to recover possession of the subject rental premises via a Notice to Quit. The Defendant had initially been defaulted on December 9, 2019 but that default was vacated by the Court on December 27, 2019. The parties then appeared for trial on December 27, 2019 and after attempts at mediation failed presented their respective cases to the Court. The Defendant, appearing pro se, had earlier filed an answer in conjunction with two other co-defendants who had since been dismissed from the action, testified at trial without objection. The Plaintiff, represented by counsel appeared and presented information on behalf of his clients.

Prior to trial the Plaintiff renewed their motion to strike and/or Dismiss the Defendants Defenses and/or Counterclaims. In their motion, Plaintiff asserted that the Defendant had failed to comply with the Court's Order of December 6, 2019. After oral argument the Court ruled in favor of the Plaintiff and struck the Defendant's counterclaims and defenses. The parties further stipulated to the remaining aspects of Plaintiffs' prima facie case for possession. The only remaining issue for the Court's consideration was mitigation of the Court's judgment due to the age and physical infirmities of the Defendant.

Based on all credible evidence presented at trial the following findings, rulings and orders are to enter:

1. Plaintiff/Landlord is the owner of the subject rental premises located at 8 Nestle's Lane, Acushnet, Massachusetts ("Premises") where the Defendant/Tenant resides.

2. The Defendant has resided at that location since approximately 2015.

3. There was no written rental agreement between the parties.

4. The Defendant had never paid rent to the Plaintiff.

5. On June 7, 2019 the Plaintiff served and the Defendant received a 90 day notice to quit.

6. A Summary Process Summons and Complaint was served upon and received by the Defendant on October 21, 2019.

7. The Court finds both documents to be legally sufficient for the purposes intended.

8. On December 6, 2019 Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike or Dismiss Defendant's Defenses and Counterclaims or in Alternative Compel Responses to Discovery was allowed by the court (Salvidio J.) The Defendant was ordered to file any responses to discovery no later than December 13, 2019 or be precluded introducing discovery matters pertaining to her defenses and counterclaims at trial.

9. The Defendant failed to comply with the December 6, 2019 Order of this Court and as a result the Court dismissed any defenses and counterclaims of the Defendant.


This is a matter in which the Plaintiff seeks to recover possession of premises that the Defendant had recently occupied. The Plaintiff seeks possession only and has waived any use and occupancy from the Defendant. Defendant has presented no defense to the prima facie case of the Plaintiff and seeks only additional time to find alternate accommodations due to her age and disability.

M.G.L. c. 239, §9 states in relevant part: "In an action of summary process to recover possession of premises occupied for dwelling purposes . . . where a tenancy has been terminated without fault of the tenant, either by operation of law or by act of the landlord, . . . a stay or stays of judgment and execution may be granted, as hereinafter provided, for a period not exceeding six months or for periods not exceeding six months in the aggregate, or, for a period not exceeding twelve months or for periods not exceeding twelve months in the aggregate in the case of premises occupied by a handicapped person or an individual sixty years of age or older, as the court may deem just and reasonable...."

M.G.L. c. 239, §10 states in relevant part: "Upon application for such a stay of proceedings, the court shall hear the parties, and if upon the hearing it appears that the premises of which possession is sought to be recovered are used for dwelling purposes; that the applicant cannot secure suitable premises for herself and his family elsewhere within the city or town in a neighborhood similar to that in which the premises occupied by her are situated; that she has used due and reasonable effort to secure such other premises; that her application is made in good faith and that she will abide by and comply with such terms and provisions as the court may prescribe; or that by reason of other facts such action will be warranted, the court may grant a stay as provided in the preceding section, on condition that the terms upon which such stay is granted be complied with."

The Defendant has requested of the Court additional time to move pursuant to M.G.L. c. 239, §§9 and 10 due to Defendant Olga Marden's age and health. The Court shall stay the execution until March 30, 2020 and allow the Defendant to move on or before March 30, 2020 pursuant to M.G.L. c. 239, §9, conditioned on the Defendant's payment of use and occupancy at the rate of $500.00 per month in certified funds, as follows: 1) use and occupancy in the amount of $500.00 for January, February and March 2020, respectively. 2) Use and occupancy shall be payable in certified funds to the Plaintiff within ten (10) days of the date this Judgment enters for January and on or before the 5th of February and March. If the Defendant fails to make the required payments, the Plaintiff may request that the execution issue prior to March 30, 2020. If the Defendant vacates prior to March 30, 2020, use and occupancy paid shall be appropriately pro-rated for that month. In any event, the Defendant shall suffer no waste to the Premises and will deliver the Premises, and the keys to the Premises, to the Plaintiffs when she vacates. Further, the Defendant shall permit the Plaintiffs, their agents, employees and contractors, access for the purposes of inspection, showings to potential purchasers and/or tenants, and for repair upon reasonable notice.

Order and Entry of Judgment. For the above-stated reasons

1. Possession of the subject rental premises and the costs related to the prosecution of this matter for the Plaintiff.

2. Execution to issue on March 30, 2020 or upon motion of Plaintiff.