MISC 20-000185

SEPTEMBER 11, 2020

DUKES, ss.



Petitioner Stanley Johnson commenced this action on May 21, 2020, as a petition to partition property known as 260 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts (the "Property"), and asking that a commissioner be appointed to make such partition and sale of all of the Property and be ordered to distribute and pay over the net proceeds in such a manner as to make the partition just and equal. Petitioner alleges he holds a fifty (50) percent interest in the Property as tenants in common with Respondent Floyd Carlton Lewis, who holds the other fifty (50) percent interest in the Property.

The Petition to Partition indicates that Respondent Floyd Carlton Lewis is deceased. An initial case management conference was held on July 29, 2020, where the court also took notice of a related Land Court tax lien case involving the same Property, 18 TL 001107 (the "260 Circuit Avenue Tax Case").

On August 19, 2020 the court held a hearing on the matter of Petitioner's Stanley Johnson's Motion for Appointment of a Guardian ad Litem ("GAL") (to determine the interest of Floyd Carlton Lewis), at which time Petitioner, Ms. Webster and Ms. Eddings appeared, as well as Scot Hamburger (GAL for Charlotte Lightner Lewis in 260 Circuit Avenue Tax Case) and David Coppola (counsel for the Town of Oak Bluffs in the 260 Circuit Avenue Tax Case). On August 21, 2020 the court issued its Order Appointing Scot Hamburger, Esq. as GAL for Estate of Respondent Floyd Carlton Lewis with a $1000 retainer to be paid by Petitioner.

At the August 19, 2020 hearing, Ms. Eddings further advised of a concern that the deed from the original co-tenant James Thomas Johnson to Petitioner Stanley Johnson, may not be a valid deed or bear an authentic signature of decedent Johnson. At the suggestion of the court, after agreement from all parties, and in the interest if fairness to both Petitioner and Respondent, the court to also appoint a GAL for the estate of James Thomas Johnson, to include at least the siblings of Petitioner Stanley Johnson, who may have an interest in the subject property.

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to G. L. c. 241, ยง9, Shaun Mccaul, Esq., 130 Liberty St. Unit 1B, Brockton, MA 02301, is hereby appointed as Guardian ad Litem to appear and act on behalf of the estate of James Thomas Johnson in these proceedings by taking actions as may be necessary to protect rights and interests in connection with the relief sought by Petitioner in this action. The individuals the GAL will appear and act on behalf of include, but are not limited to, the heirs of James Thomas Johnson to include at least the siblings of Petitioner, Stanley Johnson. The GAL's responsibilities include, but are not limited to, conferring with counsel for the Town of Oak Bluffs, Petitioner's counsel, and Commissioner Nichols and with Ms. Eddings and Ms. Webster to collect all relevant information which they have gathered related to the heirs of James Thomas Johnson and the validity of the deed. The GAL shall provide a written report to the court on the efforts to determine the validity of the deed including the authenticity of James Thomas Johnson's signature on the deed, the efforts to locate the whereabouts of all heirs of James Thomas Johnson, whether a diligent search has been made to locate the heirs of James Thomas Johnson and those with legal authority to act on their behalf with respect to the Property, and if so, recommendations as to any additional efforts. The GAL shall provide additional written reports to the court from time to time as may be ordered. Although the GAL is an attorney, the court does not appoint him to appear as James Thomas Johnson's attorney-at-law in this proceeding.

Petitioner will pay the GAL from the distribution of sale proceeds for the actual, reasonable value of the services rendered, provided, however, that: (1) in no event will the fees charged as GAL exceed, when calculated on an hourly basis for time appropriately expended, the ordinary and customary fees charged to clients for comparable services, and: (2) at least ten days following commencement of work hereunder, the GAL files with the court, a good faith and reasonably detailed written estimate of the time and charges he anticipates will be required. See Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:07. [Note 2]

The GAL may only incur expenses as are actually and reasonably necessary, and may not engage any third party without permission of the court. The GAL may file a motion with the court substantiating the necessity of any such third party engagement and setting forth a reasonably detailed good faith estimate of the entire cost associate with the engagement.

Upon receipt of this Order of Appointment, the GAL shall review the Order to determine if a conflict of interest or other circumstances exist that would impede his ability to perform under this appointment, and shall immediately notify the court, in writing, if she is unable to accept this appointment.



DUKES, ss. Date: _________________________

I hereby accept the court's appointment as guardian ad litem to the estate of Floyd Carlton Lewis in 20 MISC 000185.

Before me,


Print Name:

Please return original of the signed form to the Court within 10 days.


[Note 1] James Thomas Johnson is the deceased father of Petitioner, Stanley Johnson.

[Note 2] Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:07 provides that:

No payment shall be made or received on account of any appointment required to be recorded in the appointment docket until a statement under the penalties of perjury, certifying the services provided, amount of payment, and itemization of expenses, is filed with the clerk, register, or recorder, to be placed with the papers in the case. No person holding an appointment required to be recorded in the appointment docket under section (5) of this rule shall make any payment to himself or herself until such payment is approved by the court.