With this notice, the Probate Court action is over and the clock (finally) starts ticking on our appeal.
We have not seen anything in writing, but have heard that Judge Sahagian in the Probate Court allowed the Feoffees motion to modify the settlement agreement to allow the sale to proceed before the New Feoffees take control of the Trust. This after the other party to the settlement agreement (the School Committee) had voted to oppose the modification by a 6-1 vote and the judge had openly wondered on what procedural grounds she should even be hearing the motion. There need be no further evidence as to the lengths the Feoffees, Probate Court and Attorney General will go to protect their carefully crafted breaking of William Paine’s will.
This, of course, is why we filed for a stay of the judgment in the first place, so there is nothing particularly surprising in any of this. The stay was denied well before the Town Meeting vote to support the interveners, so while the Feoffees and many cottage owners will again portray this as some kind of watershed event, the fact is that it is nothing more than we have planned for all along. If everyone involved in this transaction is willing to accept the risk that the Supreme Judicial Court may nullify the transaction, that is certainly their choice to make. It will have little bearing on our resolve to get a court of law to make a ruling on the legality of the sale.
We have verbal confirmation that the School Committee’s motion to compel the filing of the master deed (which would have also allowed the “New Feoffees” to assume power) was denied by the court. This post will be updated if and when more details become available.
Here, the Probate Court allows the earlier motion to strike the interveners appeal of the judgment filed by the Feoffees which ended up getting heard on May 11th. There is nothing particularly surprising about this, given that this was the same judge that assented to the judgment and denied the intervener’s motion to intervene. Even the judge herself, in the hearing, seemed to question the point of this motion since it would just be made part of the intervener’s main appeal and, in fact, already has as can be seen here.
The motions to intervene, to stay the judgment and to report matters to the appeals court were all denied today. Given that this judge had already signed off on the settlement, the denials were no great surprise. These motions were a necessary step along the path to a forthcoming appeal.
It was a little disappointing that she did not even give any logic for her rulings, but then she has never actually written down any logic for any of her actions in this case.
The rubber stamped motions can be found here:
Note in particular the opening statement of the School Committee’s counsel, Mr. Perry, starting on page 41. This from back in the “good old days” when the School Committee was on our side. The unseemly history describing how the current Feoffees came to be appointed, and their deep connections to the homeowners on Little Neck, starts on page 43.