Supreme Court Victory for the Town of Dennis

Attorney Jonathan Silverstein has obtained a significant victory in the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Dennis. At issue was whether the grant of a mortgage constituted a “conveyance” or “transfer” of land.

The case concerned a parcel of land owned by the Town of Dennis. Pursuant to a Town Meeting Vote, the Board of Selectmen deeded the land to the Dennis Housing Authority for nominal consideration of one dollar for the construction of affordable housing. In the deed to the Housing Authority, the Town included a reverter clause that prohibited a conveyance or transfer of the land without the consent of the Board. When the Housing Authority secured a mortgage on the land without the Board’s consent, the Town invoked the reverter clause and revested title to itself. The plaintiff, Faneuil Investors Group, Limited Partnership, the assignee of the Authority’s mortgage, challenged the Town’s action in the Land Court, claiming that the granting of a mortgage was not a conveyance that triggered the reverter clause.

Kopelman and Paige, P.C. obtained a victory for the Town, first in the Land Court, then in the Appeals Court, and finally in the Supreme Judicial Court, which held that the mortgage did constitute a conveyance, and that the Town lawfully exercised its right of reverter.