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Drummer Boy Homes Association, Inc. v. Britton

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex

November 7, 2014

Drummer Boy Homes Association, Inc.
v.
Carolyn P . Britton & another. [1]

Argued March 3, 2014.

Civil actions commenced in the Concord Division of the District Court Department on August 6, 2007; February 6, 2008; and October 6, 2008.

After consolidation, the case was heard by Peter J. Kilmartin, J., on a motion for summary judgment, and a motion to alter and amend the judgment was also heard by him.

Thomas O. Moriarty ( Katherine G. Brady with him) for the plaintiff.

Randy A. Britton, pro se.

Henry A. Goodman, Ellen A. Shapiro, Merle R. Hass, Charles A. Perkins, Jr., & Gary M. Daddario, for Community Associations Institute, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.

Stephen C. Reilly & Jennifer E. Greaney, for Bank of America, N.A., amicus curiae, submitted a brief.

Present: Trainor, Brown, & Meade, JJ.

OPINION

[19 N.E.3d 451] Brown, J.

The plaintiff, Drummer Boy Homes Association, Inc. (Association), appeals from a decision and order of the Appellate Division of the District Court in the Association's consolidated actions against the owners of a condominium unit to recover

Page 625

unpaid common expenses. The Appellate Division ruled that, pursuant to G. L. c. 183A, § 6, the Association's statutory lien for those expenses was prior to the first mortgage on the defendants' unit only to the extent of amounts due for the six months preceding the institution of the first of the Association's three consolidated lawsuits, and not for the three successive six-month periods preceding each suit. The defendants, Carolyn P. Britton and Randy Britton, appearing pro se, cross-appeal, claiming the judgment is void due to misnomer of the plaintiff.[2] We affirm.

1. Background.

We summarize the undisputed facts and procedural history from the Appellate Division's July 9, 2010, opinion, supplemented from the record. The Association provides for the common operation of a condominium complex in Lexington known as Drummer Boy Green. The defendants, owners of a unit in the complex, withheld payment of their monthly fees for common expenses in connection with a dispute with the Association over certain parking rules and associated fines. Pertinent here, the Association filed an action in the District Court on July 31, 2007, to recover the unpaid common expenses and to establish a priority lien, as provided in c. 183A, ยง 6, that would be superior to the first mortgage to the extent of the common expense assessments due during ...


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