Plaintiff John W. Melone, as Trustee of the Ponakin Vale Realty Trust, initiated this action on October 29, 1996, seeking to remove a cloud on title to an undeveloped nine acre parcel (Nine Acre Parcel) in Lancaster. Plaintiff claims the Nine Acre Parcel was among several parcels of land conveyed to his predecessors-in-title, James L. Woodward and Deborah M. Woodward (Woodward), by a 1968 deed from Frank J. Bateman and Mary Bateman (Batemans). Alternatively, Plaintiff claims he has acquired title of the Nine Acre Parcel by adverse possession.
Defendant Town of Lancaster (Defendant or Town) alleges the Batemans did not convey their interest in the Nine Acre Parcel to Plaintiffs predecessor-in-title, but retained it, allowing Defendant to obtain title to the Nine Acre Parcel through a tax taking against Bateman in 1983. Defendant also alleges the tax taking defeats Plaintiffs alternative claim of adverse possession.
Two days of trial took place on September 24 and October 16, 2015. The court viewed the property in the presence of all parties counsel on September 11, 2016. A decision of todays date has issued. In accordance with that decision, it is hereby:
ADJUDGED and ORDERED the Nine Acre Parcel was part of the North Parcel shown on a plan of land titled Plan of Land in Lancaster, Mass. Owned By: Frank J. Bateman December 8, 1959 (MacCarthy), subsequently recorded with the Registry in Plan Book 630, Plan 88 and it was conveyed by the Batemans to the Woodwards as part of Lot 2 on the MacCarthy Plan by deed dated May 20, 1968, recorded with the Worcester Registry of Deeds in Book 4853, at Page 196, it is further
ADJUDGED and ORDERED that Defendants foreclosure of the Nine Acre Parcel (Taking) [Note 1] was defective and insufficient to divest title from Plaintiffs predecessor-in-title, due to lack of notice, and therefore Plaintiffs record title to the Nine Acre Parcel is not affected by any claims of Defendant pursuant to the Taking; and it is further
ORDERED that an attested copy of this judgment may be recorded with the Worcester County Registry of Deeds upon payment of applicable recording fees.
By the Court.
[Note 1] Pursuant to an Instrument of Taking recorded in Book 7684, at Page 105, and Decree of Foreclosure recorded in Book 11046, at Page 134.