Brown, pro se.
J. Santolucito (Matthew J. Carbone with him) for the
C. Ross, pro se, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.
petitioner, Debra Brown, appeals from a judgment of a single
justice of this court denying her petition pursuant to G. L.
c. 211, § 3. We affirm.
respondent, Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA),
acquired title to Brown's home following a foreclosure
sale in May 2010. Shortly thereafter, and stemming from the
foreclosure, Brown commenced an action against FNMA and Bank
of America Corporation (the mortgage servicer at the time of
the foreclosure) in the Superior Court. FNMA and Bank of
America Corporation removed the action to the United States
District Court for the District of Massachusetts. A judge in
that court dismissed the action, and, after Brown appealed,
the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
affirmed the dismissal. Brown's subsequent petition for a
writ of certiorari was denied by the United States Supreme
Court in October 2012. In the meantime, in September 2012,
FNMA commenced a summary process action against Brown in the
Housing Court. In October 2015, judgment entered in that
court in favor of FNMA. Brown appealed. The Appeals Court
affirmed the judgment, and this court denied Brown's
subsequent application for further appellate review. See
Federal Nat'1 Mtge. Ass'n v. Brown, 91
Mass.App.Ct. 1122, S_.C., 478 Mass. 1108 (2017).
recently, in May and June of 2018, Brown filed several new
motions in the Housing Court, including a motion to vacate
the summary process judgment. After the Housing Court denied
the motions, Brown sought review via a petition to a single
justice of the Appeals Court, which was denied on June 15,
2018. On July 23, 2018, Brown filed her G. L. c. 211, §
3, petition in the county court. In the petition, although
Brown did request relief from the foreclosure of her own
home, she focused more generally and almost exclusively on
the recent foreclosure crisis, complaining about the mortgage
industry and its related institutions and the counsel who
represent them. The single justice denied the petition
without a hearing. Brown then submitted several additional
documents in the county court, including a motion for
reconsideration on the basis of "newly discovered and
prepared additional information" and a motion to stay
execution, which the single justice denied.
appeal to this court, Brown has largely changed course, and
now focuses on the Land Court judge's judgment in a
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act proceeding that preceded the
foreclosure of her home. See HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v.
Matt, 464 Mass. 193, 194-195 (2013) (describing
statutory framework and purpose of the act). In Brown's
view, the Land Court judge's judgment is void because
Bank of America Corporation lacked standing to bring the
Servicemembers' action, which, in turn, renders
everything that came after, including the foreclosure, void
as well. However, although it is well settled that claims of
lack of standing are in essence subject matter jurisdiction
claims, see Phone Recovery Servs., LLC v. Verizon of New
England, Inc., 480 Mass. 224, 227 (2018), and that
subject matter jurisdictional issues are nonwaivable and can
be raised at any time, see ROPT Ltd. Partnership v.
Katin, 431 Mass. 601, 605, 607 (2000), that does
not mean that subject matter jurisdictional issues
can always be raised in every context and in every forum. See
Kim v. Rosenthal, 473 Mass. 1029, 1030 n.3 (2016)
(petitioner's claim that District Court lacked subject
matter jurisdiction in underlying postforeclosure summary
process action was not properly before court pursuant to G.
L. c. 211, § 3; rather, she was free to raise and pursue
it in trial court). See also Elliot v. Commonwealth,
478 Mass. 1017, 1017 n.3 (2018) (on appeal from single
justice's denial of G. L. c. 211, § 3, petition,
noting that "the more appropriate course would have been
for Elliot to raise the [subject matter jurisdictional] issue
in a motion for a new trial [and then to appeal in the normal
course from any adverse decision on the motion]); Harker
v. Holyoke, 390 Mass. 555, 558-561 (1983) (Housing
Court's subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate tort
case against city, which was tried to conclusion in Housing
Court, could not be challenged collaterally in separate
subsequent action in Superior Court, even if Housing Court
did not have jurisdiction).
route for Brown to raise her jurisdictional challenge to the
foreclosing mortgagee's standing, the validity of the
foreclosure, and her subsequent eviction would be to move for
relief from the judgment on the ground that it was void ab
initio. See Rule 11(b) of the Uniform Summary Process Rules
(1980); Mass. R. Civ. P. 60 (b) (4), 365 Mass. 828 (1974).
Indeed, Brown is already pursuing that route: she raised the
void judgment issue in a motion in the Housing Court, the
motion was denied, and Brown has filed a timely notice of
appeal from that ruling. See note 1, supra. In light
of this adequate alternative remedy, consideration of the
issue by this court under our extraordinary power of general
superintendence is unnecessary, see Hines v. Superior
Court, 423 Mass. 1005, 1005, cert, denied, 519 U.S. 984
(1996) ("It is axiomatic that relief pursuant to G. L.
c. 211, § 3, is not available where the
[petitioner's claim] can adequately and effectively be
remedied through the normal appellate process or through some
other available method of review"), and we express no
view as to the merits of her claim.
the other issues that Brown raises, which she has raised in
various other courts, that she is unhappy with those results
does not mean that those remedies were inadequate. "Our
general superintendence power under G. L. c. 211, § 3,
is extraordinary and to be exercised sparingly, not as a
substitute for the normal appellate process or merely to
provide an additional layer of appellate review after the
normal process has run its course." Votta v. Police
Pep't of Billerica, 444 Mass. 1001, 1001 (2005).
This case does not, in short, present the type of exceptional
circumstance that requires the exercise of this court's
extraordinary power of general superintendence pursuant to G.
L. c. 211, § 3.
single justice did not err or abuse his discretion in denying
relief under G. L. c. 211, § 3.
 The petitioner also submitted, in the
county court, a photocopy of a "motion to vacate and
void judgments and orders." Although the single justice
purported to deny the motion, alongside his denial of the
motions for reconsideration and to stay execution, the motion
to vacate was merely a copy of a motion that had been