This is a petition to remove a cloud on the title of a certain parcel of land located on the northerly side of Curve Street in Carlisle. The Complaint was originally brought in the Superior Court and later transferred to this Department.
Plaintiffs and at least Defendants Szeto and Andover Savings Bank ("Andover") differ as to the location and extent of Plaintiffs' northerly boundary line, Plaintiffs claiming that said boundary is the actual historic location of land now or formerly of one Anderson. Defendants claim said boundary is as shown as the northerly line of Lot B on a Plan dated January 21, 1965 recorded with Middlesex North District Deeds [Note 1] in Plan Book 101, Plan 135 (the "Plan").
Plaintiffs have moved for summary judgment in this matter. The only opposition is from Defendants Archie and Julia Szeto, and the Andover, all other Defendants having been defaulted for failure to answer.
This matter came on to be argued on October 16, 1991. After considering arguments of counsel, memoranda, pleadings and documents I find and rule that as to the claims of Plaintiffs and Defendants Szeto and Andover, there are no issues of material fact, and that as to these parties the matter is ripe for summary judgment pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P. 56. Community National Bank v. Dawes, 369 Mass. 550 , 559 (1979).
Determinative of this matter is the interpretation of a deed dated January 14, 1980 from Edward N. Chase to Plaintiffs recorded in Book 2404, Page 14. This deed repeats the language of the deed into Chase recorded in Book 1692, Page 525.
The pertinent language reads:
grants to . . . with quitclaim covenants the land on the Northerly side of Curve street in Carlisle . . ., being shown as Lot "B" on a plan entitled "Plan of Land in Carlisle, Mass." dated July 21, 1965 . . . recorded . . . Plan Book 101, Page 135, bounded and described as follows:
NORTHERLY by land of Anderson as shown on said plan Five Hundred Eighteen and fifty-nine hundredths (518.59) feet; . . .
CONTAINING an area of 10.3 acres, more or less, as shown on said plan. Hereby conveying Lot "B" on said plan however otherwise bounded, measured or described.
The omitted description accurately outlines and defines Lot "B" except as to the northerly abutter.
The Plan clearly shows Lot "B" containing 10.3 acres with a northerly boundary as above stated. Northerly of said boundary are inscribed the words "Land of Anderson". It would appear, however, that the grantor, or his predecessors, owned additional land between the northerly boundary of Lot "B" and the Anderson land.
Such possibilities notwithstanding, I find that the clear intent of the deed is to convey Lot "B", the measurements and area of which are clearly shown on the Plan. The bounding description following the "grant" of Lot B adds nothing additional. This is not an instance where a boundary runs "to land of X"; rather, it's "by land of Anderson as shown on said Plan". This interpretation follows the general rule that when a deed contains two inconsistent descriptions of a parcel of land (if in fact the descriptions in the instant deed are inconsistent), the more specific will govern. Bernard v. Nantucket Boys Club, Inc., 391 Mass. 823 (1984); Morse v. Kelley, 304 Mass. 504 (1990).
Accordingly, Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment is denied. I find further that Plaintiffs have established no title beyond that shown as Lot B on the Plan and accordingly award summary judgment to Defendants Szeto and Andover. As noted various Defendants have been defaulted herein for failure to answer, but in a proceeding of this nature default does not automatically award Plaintiffs an interest in such Defendants' alleged land. Should Plaintiffs wish to present additional evidence as to any interest they may have in the defaulted Defendants' land, they may do so within sixty days of this order of judgment of any appeal therefrom.
By the Court
[Note 1] All recorded items are at this registry.