Plaintiff Thomas A. Ramos (Plaintiff) commenced this action by filing an unverified complaint on August 12, 2013, in which he seeks, pursuant to G. L. c. 240, § 1, to compel Defendants to try title to property located at 30 Adams Street in New Bedford, Massachusetts (Locus), which he claims to own by adverse possession. [Note 1] The complaint also requested, among other relief, a decree of this court [that] it be declared and adjudged that the Plaintiff is the owner of [Locus], without stating the statutory basis for such relief.
A case management conference was scheduled for October 16, 2013, but neither side appeared. As such, the court issued a fifteen day Nisi Order directing all parties to explain their failure to appear. Neither party responded. Therefore, on November 13, 2013, the court issued a Default Judgment and dismissed the case. On November 21, 2013, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking relief from the dismissal of this case, stating that he was incarcerated and that he did not receive the courts Nisi Order until November 7, 2013. In view of this representation, the court issued a Revocation of Judgment on November 26, 2013 and reinstated the case. On January 27, 2014, Defendant Charles Jones, Jr. (Jones) was defaulted pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P. 55(a). On February 24, 2014, Plaintiff filed a document that he entitled Affidavit of Adverse Possession and Memorandum of Ownership (the Adverse Possession Memorandum). Notwithstanding its title, this document was not actually a sworn statement, as there is no indication that Plaintiff was placed under oath by a notary or any other person authorized to do so.
On June 4, 2014, MERS filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs first amended complaint and for its statutory costs; this motion was supported by a memorandum of law, statement of material facts, and affidavit of Hale Yazicioglu. This motion became moot when Plaintiff filed his second amended complaint on June 30, 2014. On July 29, 2014, MERS and HSBC (together, the Banks) jointly filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs newly-filed second amended complaint, which also included a request for MERSs statutory costs. Plaintiff filed its opposition to this Motion to Dismiss on September 25, 2014, as well as a request to voluntarily dismiss the case as against MERS (without statutory costs). A hearing was held on the parties motions on October 22, 2014, and, at that time, the matter was taken under advisement.
The court has issued a decision (the Decision) as of todays date. In accordance with the Decision, it is hereby:
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Plaintiff does not meet either of the two requirements of the Try Title Statute, G.L. c. 240, § 1 (i.e., possession of and record title to Locus); accordingly, the Banks Motion to Dismiss is ALLOWED, and Plaintiffs complaint is DISMISSED; and,
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that an award of MERSs statutory fees against Plaintiff is DENIED.
By the court.
[Note 1] On the same day Plaintiff filed a Determination Regarding Fees and Costs to be waived, which was allowed; Plaintiff renewed this form on July 14, 2014.
On December 9, 2013, Plaintiff filed a verification of his complaint. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint (which was not verified) on April 7, 2014, in which he added as defendants Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), as nominee for Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (Countrywide); MERS, as nominee for Fremont Investment & Loan (Fremont); and Mortgage Pros USA (MPU). He filed a second unverified amended complaint on June 30, 2014, which added as defendants HSBC Bank USA, N.A. (HSBC) and the City of New Bedford (the City).