Robert P. MARLEY
BANK OF NEW YORK  & others.
N.E.3d 1197] Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of
inferior courts. Mortgage, Foreclosure. Notice, Foreclosure
of mortgage. Massachusetts Soldiers & Sailors Civil Relief
Marley, pro se.
ONeill for Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing LLP & another.
P. Calandrelli, for Korde & Associates, was present but did
C. Ross, pro se, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.
petitioner, Robert P. Marley, filed a petition in the county
court, pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3, challenging orders
issued by the Land Court in connection with a servicemember
[136 N.E.3d 1198] proceeding under the Massachusetts
Soldiers and Sailors
Civil Relief Act (MSCRA). Marley also asserted affirmative
defenses to foreclosure of his property and claims against
the respondents under various statutes, rules of professional
conduct, and the common law. A single justice of this court
dismissed the petition, including all requests for relief. We
case arises out of a promissory note and mortgage that Marley
signed in 2004 encumbering property in Lynnfield. In 2018,
The Bank of New York Mellon (bank) filed a complaint in
equity in the Land Court under the MSCRA to determine whether
Marley is entitled to foreclosure protections under the
Federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), 50 U.S.C. § §
3901-4043. See St. 1943, c. 57, as amended through St. 1998,
c. 142. The bank also filed a mortgagees affidavit. See
HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Matt, 464 Mass. 193, 197 n.7,
981 N.E.2d 710 (2013) (Matt ) ("Land Court
requires all parties filing a servicemember complaint to
submit a mortgagees affidavit").
accordance with the MSCRA, the Land Court issued an order of
notice to Marley and "to all persons entitled to the
benefit of the [SCRA]" that, according to the docket,
was to be served, recorded, and published in the Lynnfield
Villager, the Lynnfield Weekly News, and The Daily Item. The
notice instructed Marley that if he is or recently has been
in active military service, and if he objects to the
foreclosure on that basis, he should appear and file an
answer. As the MSCRA provides:
"The publication of a copy of said notice once not less
than twenty-one days before the return day in a newspaper
designated by the court, and the mailing of a copy thereof by
registered mail not less than fourteen days before the return
day to each defendant named in the [servicemembers
complaint], shall be sufficient service of said notice,
unless the court otherwise orders, provided however that
prior to the return day fixed in said notice a copy thereof
shall be recorded in each registry of deeds and city or town
clerks office in which such mortgage is recorded."
St. 1943, c. 57, § 1. The SCRA protects both servicemember
mortgagors and mortgagees. "As to foreclosures involving
nonservicemember mortgagors, the [SCRA] contemplates a
benefit to mortgagees through the issuance of a judicial
decree that such a mortgagor is not entitled to the
protections of the SCRA[,] ... ensuring that a foreclosure
will not subsequently be rendered invalid for failure to
provide the ...