On December 31, 2008, Plaintiff Richard A. Sacca, II (Richard) filed a petition for partition of property located at 86 Hull Street in Belmont (Locus), which is owned of record by the parties, as equal co-tenants, under a deed dated May 16, 2008 (Co-Tenancy Deed).
The circumstances surrounding the execution of the Co-Tenancy Deed are the focus of this partition action, tried before the court. Richard and Michelle claim Kristin willingly agreed to and did convey Locus to all three siblings, in exchange for Richard and Michelle paying the costs of their mothers funeral service and burial, and helping to finance repairs and cleaning of Locus, among other things, in order to ready the house for sale. Kristin denies entering into such an agreement, and alleges that she signed the Co-Tenancy Deed under duress, coercion and undue influence by her siblings. The court and parties determined that the counterclaims and cross-claims would be tried first and, if the court held the Co-Tenancy Deed was valid, the partition case would proceed.
A three-day trial was held on October 29, 30 and 31, 2014. A decision of todays date has issued. In accordance with that decision, it is hereby:
ADJUDGED and ORDERED that Kristin executed the Co-Tenancy Deed under duress, and the Co-Tenancy Deed hereby is VOIDED; it is further
ADJUDGED and ORDERED that Kristin did not enter into a either a written or oral contract with Richard and Michelle regarding the conveyance of Locus; it is further
ADJUDGED and ORDERED that Plaintiff Richard Saccas petition for partition is DISMISSED, with prejudice; it is further
ADJUDGED and ORDERED that Kristin Sacca shall reimburse Michelle Sacca for Michelles payment of funeral expenses in the amount of $10,922.00, with statutory interest, to be paid from the proceeds of the sale of Locus, or August 31, 2015, whichever is earlier. Neither Michelle not Richard bears any continuing responsibility for other costs related to the maintenance, cost of repair, or preparation for sale of Locus: it is further
ADJUDGED and ORDERED that Kristin is not entitled to any damages equal to the diminution of value of Locus as a result of this partition action; and it is further
ORDERED that an attested copy of this judgment may be recorded with the Middlesex South Registry of Deeds upon payment of applicable recording fees.
By the Court.
[Note 1] Parties are referred to by their first names for ease of reference in this decision.