MISC 76810

December 20, 1977

Randall, J.


This matter comes before the Court on plaintiff's petition for redemption pursuant to G. L. c. 60, §76 and G. L. c. 185, §1(b). A trial was held on October 6, 1977 in Nantucket. Fifteen exhibits were introduced, which are incorporated herein for the purpose of any appeal, one witness, the town assessor, testified, and the parties entered into the following statement of agreed facts, which the Court finds to be the facts:

1. The property (the "property") which is the subject of the above-entitled action is located beyond the second milestone on Milestone Road, in the Town and County of Nantucket, Massachusetts, contains approximately 625 acres of land, and is bounded and described as follows, according to certain instruments hereafter described:

"On the EAST by the land shown on Land Court Plan 9487-A; SOUTH by State Highway to easterly line of Plan 13777 and owners unknown to Intersect Plan 5388-A; thence EASTERLY by Plans 5388-A and 12702-A, to northwest corner of Lot D, Plan 9487-A, excluding therefrom land of Maria Mitchell Association at Taupausha Swamp of land now or formerly of Franklin E. Smith, shown on Plan 5388-A, as L. C. No. 15987."

2. The property is a portion of the North Pasture, a large parcel of vacant and undeveloped land shown on a plan dated October 27, 1821 filed with the Nantucket Registry of Deeds, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A.

3. Undivided common interests in the Property have been held by the Plaintiff and his ancestors (the "Everett Family") for several generations. Records of the Everett Family ownership appear in the Nantucket Registry of Deeds and Registry of Probate. An undivided interest in the Property was held by Henry Coffin Everett, the plaintiff's grandfather, and an interest was conveyed by devise to the plaintiff's father, Henry C. Everett, Jr., in 1945. Upon the death of the plaintiff's father in 1963, an undivided interest was conveyed to the plaintiff by devise.

4. On or about January 1, 1965, the Property was assessed to John Doe, because the Board of Assessors of the Town of Nantucket was unable at that time to determine the identity of the successors in interest to the joint tenants who originally held title to the Property.

5. On or about March 1, 1966, the Collector of Taxes, Town of Nantucket took the property to satisfy a lien for the failure to pay taxes for 1965, by instrument of taking recorded, March 1, 1966 with the Nantucket Registry of Deeds, in Book 128, Page 581.

6, On or about April 11, 1966, the Treasurer of the Town of Nantucket assigned the tax title to Marcia Hoverson of Washington, D. C. ("Hoverson"), by instrument of assignment recorded on April 11, 1966 with said Deeds in Book 129, Page 95.

7. On March 27, 1968, Hoverson filed a petition for foreclosure of the tax title with the Land Court pursuant to G. L. c. 60, Sec. 65. This was entered as Land Court Case No. 44497.

8. On February 17, 1972, the petition for foreclosure of the alleged tax title in Land Court Case No. 44497 was withdrawn by the petitioner.

9. On or about June 10, 1971, Hoverson transferred the tax title to Lucille Sanguinetti, Trustee under Declaration of Trust dated March 1, 1962, ("Sanguinetti") by deed recorded with said Deeds in Book 136, Page 87.

10. By deed dated January 30, 1975 delivered to the Nantucket Board of Selectmen on March 4, 1975, but not yet recorded by the Selectmen, Sanguinetti made a gift of all her right, title and interest, if any, in and to the Property.

11. Following the institution of this action, the parties hereto agreed to ask Schofield Brothers, Inc., Registered Land Surveyors, which was already in the process of preparing tax maps for the Town and County of Nantucket, to determine whether or not the Property was within the confines of the North Pasture.

12. Schofield Brothers, Inc. confirmed to the Town that the Property was within the confines of the North Pasture. Schofield Brothers, Inc. has prepared a composite true copy of certain tax maps of the town and County of Nantucket dated March 17, 1977, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit B.

13. Schofield Brothers, Inc. has further confirmed, to the complete satisfaction of the Defendants, that the Property was bounded approximately as is shown in red on Exhibit B.

14 The parties hereto agree that the Property falls entirely within the North Pasture and is bounded approximately as shown on Exhibit B.

15. Prior to instituting the above-captioned action, Plaintiff caused Robert Doane, Esq., of Boston, Massachusetts, a Land Court Examiner who has had extensive experience with Nantucket title examinations, to examine title to Shares 16 and 17 of the North Pasture. Mr. Doane reported that "Henry C. Everett III is the owner of undivided interests" in Shares 16 and 17 of the North Pasture.

16. Portions of Shares 16 and 17 of the North Pasture are within the Property.

17. Subsequent to instituting the above-captioned suit, Plaintiff caused Robert Doane, Esq. to examine title to amendment Shares 7f and 8g of the North Pasture.

18. Mr. Doane concluded that Henry C. Everett III was the record owner of the entire interest in Shares 7f and 8g.

19. All of Shares 7f and 8g are within the Property.

20. Plaintiff is the owner of other undivided interests in several North Pasture shares that fall within the confines of the Property.

21. On July 3, 1975, Plaintiff informed Defendants that he was prepared to pay all back taxes and other required interest and costs in order to redeem the property. Defendants refused at that time to allow the redemption.

22. For over fifty years, Plaintiff and his predecessors in title have paid an annual tax bill to the Town covering interests in land presently described as "Out lands set off undivided 500 ac".

23. Plaintiff has always believed that a significant portion of the taxes paid was on account of his setoff and undivided interest in the Property.

24. The property was assessed for tax years 1964 through 1970. It has not been assessed since 1970.

25. The Town received payment for the 1964 and 1965 back taxes from Hoverson at the time of the tax title assignment in 1968.

26. The Town did not receive payment for taxes for the years 1966 through 1970, which in total amounted to $867.00. The interest due thereon from October 1 of each respective year to approximately the date the Town refused Plaintiff's tender of back taxes is $387.86. Other statutory costs which are required to be paid equal $28.

27. Plaintiff is prepared to pay and the Town is willing to accept the total sum of $1,782.86, of which $500.00 is allocable to the Town's reasonable legal fees incurred in connection with this petition for redemption; Plaintiff shall receive a nominal credit of $750 against the total sum to be paid in recognition of the fact that the Everett Family has paid many thousands of dollars over many years on account of the tax bills rendered by the Town as set forth in item 22 above.

28. Since the commencement of the Plaintiff’s Petition for Redemption, the following personnel changes have occurred in the official positions of the named Defendants:

(a) Roger A. Young and George M. Buckingham are presently members of the Board of Selectmen instead of Robert G. Haley and Bertrand S. Johnston;

(b) Richard C. Barrett, Jr. is presently Collector of Taxes instead of Benson C. Chase; and

(c) Christian D. Schell is presently Assessor of Taxes instead of John S. Conway.

The parties having agreed to a total redemption amount of $1,165. 02 (Exhibit No. 11 as modified by the parties' agreement at trial), judgment is entered in accordance with the parties' agreement.