368 Mass. 814

September 5, 1975

We agree, in our further appellate review of this case, with the conclusions expressed by the Appeals Court in its opinion in Selectmen of Sterling v. The Governor, 2 Mass. App. Ct. 597 (1974). It was the duty of the board of selectmen to establish with precision in the Superior Court the record which was before the respondents, as the authority cited by the Appeals Court amply shows. The board of selectmen failed to establish that record. We agree with the Appeals Court that in particular circumstances payment of past due monthly mortgage obligations on a veteran's home may be made under G. L. c. 115, Section 5. Because the record does not show that there were no such circumstances here, the Superior Court should not have quashed the decision of the respondents.

Order for judgment of the Superior Court reversed.

Petition dismissed.


368 Mass. 814

October 2, 1975

The plaintiff's husband delivered her motor vehicle to the defendant for service and repair one morning in 1970. When he returned that evening to pick it up, the motor vehicle was missing from the defendant's

Page 815

premises. This action was brought to recover the value of the automobile and its contents. A finding for the plaintiff was entered in the District Court. The Appellate Division of the District Court concluded that there was no prejudicial error and ordered that the report be dismissed. The defendant argues here that the judge was in error in ruling that the defendant had the burden of proving that it had exercised due care to prevent the loss of the vehicle. It also challenges the judge's failure to find, as matter of law, that the defendant was in the exercise of due care. Our opinion in Knowles v. Gilchrist Co. 362 Mass. 642 (1972), involving the loss of furniture delivered for reupholstering, is dispositive of the first issue. We said there that, in all bailment for hire cases, if the bailor delivers property in good condition which the bailee fails to return on timely demand, the burden "is irrevocably fixed upon the bailee to prove by a fair preponderance of the evidence that he has exercised due care to prevent the property's loss or destruction." Id. at 652. On the second issue, the judge was not compelled, as matter of law, to rule that the defendant was in the exercise of due care. This was a question of fact. No separate question has been argued concerning the defendant's liability for the loss of the contents of the motor vehicle.

Order dismissing report affirmed.