Home Charles W. Austin Trust, Phil Austin, Trustee v. Melinda Geraci and Shawn D. Savoy


February 6, 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 15 day Notice to Quit primarily for non-payment of rent and other caused based reasons delineated therein. On January 15, 2020 the parties appeared for trial Plaintiff represented by counsel and the Defendants appeared pro se. The Defendants did not file an answer but testified at trial without objection. After mediation failed the parties submitted stipulations and further testified at trial. Based on the credible evidence at trial the following findings, rulings and orders are to enter: 1. Plaintiff is the owner of the subject property located at 3 Fourth Avenue in Pocasset, Massachusetts where the Defendants currently reside ("Premises");

2. The Premises are part of a manufactured home community known as The Park at Pocasset ("Park);

3. The parties entered into an agreement concerning rental of the premises several years ago; (Plaintiffs Exhibit 1)

4. The parties agreed that the monthly rent total is $490.00, which is due and payable on the first of each month;

5. At the time of trial, the Parties agreed the amount past due and payable was $3718.00 and involved a floating balance that had accrued over time commencing in February of 2018;

6. On October 17, 2019 the Plaintiff served and the Defendant received a legally sufficient 15 day notice to quit;

7. A legally sufficient Summary Process Summons and Complaint was served to the Defendants on December 16, 2019;

8. On January 15, 2020 the parties appeared and after attempts at mediation failed, the matter proceeded to trial;

At trial, Plaintiff testified through Phil Austin, Trustee, that the Defendants had not paid their rent for a significant period of time and had maintained an outstanding balance since February of 2018. He submitted the rental statement as proof concerning his testimony. The Court found this testimony and documentary evidence to be credible.

The Defendants testified that, in fact, there was a balance past due and payable but that this was due to a series of illnesses and other physical ailments and under employment. While the Court found the testimony of the Defendants to be credible their testimony does not form the basis of a legally cognizant defense.

The Plaintiff then asserted a series of arguments concerning the appearance of the Defendants premises, whether the Defendants failed to maintain their premises in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Park and whether the Defendants were breaching the quiet enjoyment of the other residents. The Defendants catagorically denied the accusations of the Plaintiff and rebutted that the Plaintiff had denied them the opportunity to use a truck to clear debris.

All of these remaining arguments are unnecessary and the Court need not reach a decision on any caused based issues raised however, as the Plaintiff has made an unrebutted prima facie case on the issue of non payment of the rent due. As a result Plaintiff is entitled to recover possession of the premises.

Order and Entry of Judgment. For the above-stated reasons after taking all evidence into consideration and drawing reasonable infrences therefrom;

1. Judgment shall enter for the Plaintiff for possession of the Premises and for $3,718.00 in damages and the costs related to the prosecution of this matter.

2. Execution issuance shall be stayed until March 2, 2020 however, to provide Defendants with the opportunity to schedule movement of their property.