United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN, DISTRICT JUDGE
Pursuant to 26 U.S.C. §§ 7401 and 7403, with the
authorization and sanction of the Chief Counsel of the
Internal Revenue Service, a delegate of the Secretary of the
Treasury of the United States, and at the direction of a
delegate of the Attorney General of the United States, the
United States has brought this action to enforce the federal
tax liens that encumber a parcel of real property located at
53 Gilboa Street, Douglas, Massachusetts (the
“Property”). Roy M. Goodwin, Jr.
(“Goodwin”), Amy L. Beukema, F/K/A Amy L. Goodwin
(“Beukema”), Unibank For Savings
(“Unibank”), Shaughnessy Crane Service, Inc.
(“Shaughnessy”), Webster Five Cents Savings Bank
(“Webster”), Commonwealth Of Massachusetts (the
“Commonwealth”), Timur Kholodenko
(“Kholodenko”), and PSP, LLC (“PSP”)
have been named parties because they may have an interest in
the Property. The Town of Douglas, Massachusetts
(“Douglas”) has been named as a party because it
may have a lien on the Property.
September 21, 2018, I issued an order denying Beukema's
Motion To Dismiss Timur Kholodenko. See Memorandum
of Decision and Order dated September 21, 2018 (Docket No.
50)(“Prior Order”). This Order addresses
Defendant Amy Beukema's Renewed Motion to Dismiss Timur
Kholodenko As a Party and to Discharge the Interest of Timur
Kholodenko (Docket No. 56). For the reasons set for the
below, that motion is granted.
again asserts Kholodenko should be dismissed from this suit
because the Declaration of Homestead she filed pursuant to
Mass.Gen.L. ch. 188 (“Homestead Exemption” or
“Chapter 188”) applies to bar his claims against the
Property. In the instant motion, she expands on the reasons
that Kholodenko's judgment does not fit within any
exception to the Homestead Exemption. More specifically, she
asserts that neither the complaint asserted by Kholodenko or
the judgment of the state court were on the grounds of fraud
and therefore, the Homestead Exemption applies. Should the
Court find that the Homestead Exemption does not apply then
it would be necessary to address Beukema's and
Goodwin's respective interests in the Property at the
time that Kholodenko filed an attachment thereon. As to the
Court's question as to how Massachusetts courts would
treat the property interests of Beukema and her ex-husband,
Beukema sets forth a comprehensive legal analysis as to why
Kholodenko cannot assert a claim on the Property as a result
of her ex-husband's debt.
the Homestead Exemption Applies
again asserts that because she has filed a Declaration of
Homestead, Kholodenko cannot execute on the Property. In her
renewed motion, she has attached a copy of the state court
complaint to support her argument that the fraud exception to
the Homestead Exemption does not apply; Kholodenko has
attached copies of the default judgment entered against
Goodwin in that action. Kholodenko asserts that the Homestead
Exemption is not enforceable under Chapter 188's fraud
exception because Goodwin, Beukema's ex-husband incurred
the underlying debt to him by use of fraud and false
pretenses and, in any event, Beukema's Homestead
Exemption is void because she failed to include statutorily
mandated language when she filed it.
previously found that Kholodenko had not established that the
fraud exception to Chapter 188 applies in this case because
“nothing in the record, including his self-serving
affidavit, establishes that the execution which he filed
against the Property is to enforce a court judgment
based upon fraud, mistake, duress, undue influence
or lack of capacity.” Prior Order, at p.
At the same time, I found that the parties had not adequately
briefed the issue. I denied the motion without prejudice,
noting that Beukema could refile her motion if, after
investigation, she could establish that Kholodenko's
state court judgment does not fall within the fraud
exception. Beukema has met her burden. The complaint from the
state court, upon which a default judgment was entered, makes
clear that this was nothing more than an action to recover on
a promissory note, which sounds in contract, not fraud.
Therefore, I find that the statutory exception to Chapter 188
does not apply. Kholodenko's argument regarding the
validity of Beukema's Homestead Exemption fairs not
asserts that Beukema's Homestead Exemption is void
because it lacks the affirmation that it was signed
“under seal” which was required by version of
Chapter 188 at the time that Beukema signed and filed her
Declaration of Homestead. Kholodenko is correct that at the
time that Beukema filed her Declaration of Homestead, the
statute required that it be
“sealed.” Kholodenko acknowledges that under
Massachusetts case law the Homestead Exemption is to be
construed liberally in favor of the debtor and the
debtor's family. Nevertheless, he argues that the statute
requires strict compliance and Beukema's failure to file
her Declaration of Homestead under seal is a fatal defect.
However, in 1977, Massachusetts passed a statute providing
that “[n]o instrument purporting to affect an interest
in land shall be void because it is not sealed or does not
recite a seal.” Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 183, § 1A.
This statutory provision belies Kholodenko's contention
that Massachusetts courts would require strict compliance
with the seal requirement.
Property Interests of Goodwin and Beukema
I find that the Homestead Exemption applies, given that the
size of the debt which would not exceed the exemption, it
does not appear to the Court that it is necessary to address
any remaining issues raised by the parties. Accordingly,
Beukema's motion to dismiss Kholodenko is granted.
Amy Beukema's Renewed Motion to Dismiss Timur Kholodenko
As a Party and to Discharge the Interest of Timur ...