Home Fall River Housing Authority v. James K. Monsour


January 31, 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 located at 81-E Mitchell Drive Fall River, Massachusetts 02724 ("Premises") for non payment of rent. The Plaintiff was represented by counsel and the Defendant appeared pro se. The parties stipulated before trial that the tenancy was governed by a lease (Plaintiffs Exhibit 3), that the monthly rent was $334.00 and that there was 6 months past due and payable as of the date of trial.

Plaintiff testified and placed its 14 day Notice to Quit into evidence without objection. After reviewing both the Notice to Quit and the Summary Process Summons and Complaint ("SPSC"), I find both the Notice to Quit and SPSC to be legally sufficient for the purposes designated. Plaintiff then submitted evidence in the form of a rent ledger that indicated that the Defendant had not paid his rent for several months and had incurred insufficient check charges as well. The sum past due and payable totaled $2153.00. The Court credits this testimony.

Defendant raised certain counterclaims in his answer. At trial he testified that there was inadequate heat on one hand and then testified that when he raised the thermostat the tempersature was too hot. He further testified that the hot water was inadequate for his purposes but produced no evidence to support this claim. Finally, he testified that the Plaintiff had breached its obligation of confidentiality to him and had also committed unfair and deceptive trade practices. When pressed by the Court for details concerning these claims he was unable to articulate a coherent set of facts or produce any other evidence in support of his assertions. Other than his testimony, he failed to provide evidence sufficient to support any of his counterclaims. The Court credits the sincerity of his testimony but not the factual basis therof.

The Plaintiff denied all of the claims asserted by the Defendant and specifically the claims of inadequate heat and hot water. In rebuttal Plaintiff provided a series of work orders for the Premises that indicated that both the water and temperatures were adequate and in accordance with statutory standards. (Plaintiff's Exhibit 5) The court credits this information.

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

1. Judgment for the Plaintiff for possession, damages of $2,153.00 and costs.

2. Judgment for the Plaintiff on Defendants counterclaims.

3. Execution to issue in due course.