Kenneth T. Nelson
Town of Wayland Board of Health et al.
(with first initial, no space for Sullivan, Dorsey, and
Walsh): Inge, Garry V., J.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFFâS
MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
V. Inge Justice
action arises out of a property dispute between the plaintiff
Kenneth T. Nelson (" Nelson") and the defendants
Town of Wayland Board of Health (" Board"); Town of
Wayland Conservation Commission (" Conservation
Commission"); and Charles and Despina Samiotes
(collectively, " the Samiotes"). Nelson brings
claims against the defendants challenging the Boardâs
issuance of a well permit to the Samiotes. This matter is
before the court on Nelsonâs motion for a preliminary
injunction to prevent the Samiotes from installing a well.
The court held a hearing on December 5, 2017. For the reasons
set forth below, Nelsonâs motion is DENIED.
following facts are drawn from Nelsonâs complaint and the
materials the parties submitted either in support of or in
opposition to this motion.
and Karen Perodeau (" the Perodeaus") own an
undeveloped parcel of land located at 8 Hill Street, Wayland,
Massachusetts (" property"). Nelson and the
Perodeaus entered into a purchase and sale agreement under
which Nelson agreed to purchase the property. Nelson, wishing
to develop the property, acted as the Perodeausâ agent in
proceedings before the Conservation Commission in May 2015.
Litigation ensued, and the Appeals Court ultimately affirmed
this courtâs (Tuttman, J.) October 6, 2017 order, vacating a
Conservation Commission decision that would have prohibited
Nelson from developing the property. See Nelson v.
Conservation Commân of Wayland, 92 Mass.App.Ct.
1108 (2017) (Rule 1:28). Notably, the Samiotes objected to
Nelsonâs proposed development at the Conservation Commission
in October 2015, the Samiotes applied for and received a
permit to construct a well on their property. The Samiotesâ
property is located at 65 East Plain Street, Wayland,
Massachusetts, and abuts the property Nelson is attempting to
develop. The Samiotes assert that until October 2017, they
were unaware that the well permit was valid for only two
years. As a result, the Samiotes re-applied for a well permit
on October 27, 2017, approximately three weeks after the
Appeals Court decision referenced above. Waylandâs Director
of Public Health, Julia Junghanns, approved the well permit
that same day. Nelson asserts that if the Samiotes are
allowed to install a well, he will be unable to develop the
filed this action on November 13, 2017, bringing claims for
certiorari review of the Boardâs issuance of the well permit
under G.L.c. 249, Â§ 4 (Count I);  violation of due process
(Count II); violation of the open meeting law, G.L.c. 30A, Â§
18 (Count III); and declaratory relief (Count IV). Nelson now
moves for a preliminary injunction to prohibit the Samiotes
from installing the well.
Standard of Review
prevail on a motion for a preliminary injunction, a plaintiff
must demonstrate that it is likely to succeed on the merits
and that in the absence of an injunction it will suffer
irreparable harm sufficient to outweigh the harm that an
erroneous injunction would impose on the defendants. GTE
Prods. Corp. v. Stewart, 414 Mass. 721, 722-23 (1993);
Packaging Indus. Grp., Inc. v. Cheney, 380 Mass.
609, 617 (1980). A preliminary injunction is a significant
remedy that should not be granted unless the plaintiff
clearly demonstrates that it is entitled to such a remedy.
Student No. 9 v. Board of Educ., 440 Mass. 752, 762
(2004). In balancing the risk of harm, the court considers
not so much " the raw amount of irreparable harm the
party might conceivably suffer, but rather the risk of such
harm in light of the partyâs chance of success on the merits.
Only where the balance between these risks cuts in favor of
the moving party may a preliminary injunction properly
issue." Packaging Indus. Grp., Inc., 380 Mass.
argues that he is entitled to a preliminary injunction
because, among other reasons, he is likely to succeed on the
merits of his claims challenging the validity of the well
permit the Board issued. This court concludes that Nelson
failed to meet his burden of demonstrating a likelihood of
success on the merits; and is therefore not entitled to a
Nelsonâs claims for certiorari review (Count I) and
declaratory relief (Count IV) appear to rest on his assertion
that the Board violated his due process rights (Count II) and
the open meeting ...