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Massachusetts Municipal Law Questions & Answers
Q: Can a Special Town Meeting compel a BOS to allow voters to approve or deny a Housing Production Plan under 40B?

Purusant to MGL Ch 40B, the Selectmen and Town Administrator created an ad hoc subcommittee to create a Housing Production Plan. While the subcommittee held public input sessions with the help of MAPC, much of that public input has been ignored. While trying to rush votes before the Planning Board... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Civil Litigation, Constitutional Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a resident have to prove a hardship for a disability exception request to a local regulation (Massachusetts)?

Town has a dock permitting program (for Massachusetts owned lake) requiring dock be 25 ft from property line extended out into the water. Disabled resident has asked for exception to be closer to property line due to clear disability and related to ease of access to their dock over terrain/sand.... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 6, 2024

In Massachusetts, when seeking a disability exception to local regulations, such as those related to dock permitting, it's often necessary to demonstrate how the exception is directly linked to accommodating your disability. This typically involves showing a specific need that arises from the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How the file general municipal 50-H form notice of claim
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Feb 25, 2024

A Massachusetts attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for two weeks. It could be difficult for attorneys here to offer assistance with the form within the format of this Q & A forum. It isn't set up for reviewing and sending documents back and forth. Whether you seek a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a town in MA charge its public high school students a fee to park in a free public lot off school property?

The parking lot in question is across the street from the high school and is on town property, but not the school's. There is a fee at this lot for beach users to park there from May to August, but it's free to the public the rest of the year. However, while free and open for the general... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Aug 18, 2023

In Massachusetts, public high schools are generally funded by taxes and state funds to ensure equal access to education. Charging students a fee to park in a free public lot off school property might raise concerns about access and legality. The state has regulations regarding student fees and... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I sue a plumber city inspector for not doing his job correctly and I'm losing money because of that?

My plumber requested a rough inspection, inspector came and didn't bother to get out of the car, he saw a pipe outside and asked the plummer to fix it. Plumber fixed it and requested another visit, inspector came and saw pipe on the entrance and asked plumber to fix, plumber fixed and... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jul 28, 2023

There are numerous laws governing the conduct of municipal officials which may be implicated in your situation. It is also possible that your plumber is the problem. Next time the inspector comes to the house, ask him/her to inspect the entire house. If you are acquainted with anyone on the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Municipal Law and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: What are the laws around visitor parking in communities?

My car got towed from visitor parking spot in the “The Chase at Overlook Ridge” in Revere, MA. The spot had a sign stating “Visitor Parking - unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owners expense”. When I went to take my car from the towing company, they said the building management hs a... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Apr 10, 2023

G.L. c. 266 s. 120D covers towing from private parking lots and prohibits towing except in certain circumstances.... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Why would a town restrict occupancy of my home from year round to 6 months if I sell the property? Is there a loophole?

I would like to buy the home but I fear upon purchase, the house would go into a 6 month occupancy (required by the town). I would prefer to keep the house year round. Is there a workaround? Has new legislation opened things up?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 4, 2023

The reasons for a town to restrict the occupancy of a home from year-round to 6 months may vary depending on the specific regulations and zoning laws in that area. However, it is often done to preserve the character of the community, maintain the quality of life for residents, and prevent... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can one town foreclose if the property is in two separate communities and other town's taxes are current?

I bought a home that's 1/2 in 1 town and 1/2 in another - the dwelling is > 80% in Town A. Original mortgagee escrowed & paid property tax only to Town A. The mortgage has been transferred twice & modified once, & still the error wasn't discovered. Now, over 10 years in, I... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Aug 19, 2022

I think Town B probably has a right to foreclose on its lien but my guess is it has not done so because of the issues you raised. Whether Town B does or does not foreclose, I do not see any alternative but your #1. I do not see the value of ignoring Town B. You already have no equity in the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: is it legal to take a bus stop sign off the ground if there's already a replacement up in place?

they're the exact same sign in the same place, this one was just untouched on the ground for a few months & i like it because its a stop right down my street

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney
answered on Apr 4, 2021

Of course it is! You stole a sign that belonged to the city that was doing replacements. Whether it was trash or not or abandoned might be e defense if you are accused or get caught. If it was lying there for months it may have been begging to be taken but it did not belong to you and you did not... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Elder Law, Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What can I do? My bad neighbor dumped junks (big old larger snow plow and more) to my property 4 days ago.

It is impossible to sell my house with all the heavy junks they dumped into my property. I need to sell my house.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Feb 17, 2021

Also sounds like a real estate trespass case.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I'd like to know in your professional opionion what I should do with a criminal case in Maryland.

On October 18th, 2013 I failed to appear in court in Worcester county for a small possession charge (less than .2 grams. I was smoking a joint the summer of 2013 when I was stopped by officers who confiscated a small joint roach (the end of the joint) and arrested me on the spot. I failed to appear... View More

Ismail Mohammed
Ismail Mohammed
answered on Aug 15, 2017

Good afternoon,

If the possession is for under an ounce of marijuana, the case should be dismissed. I would suggest you call an attorney in Massachusetts. You will have to appear in court to get the default removed and hopefully have the case dismissed the same day. You will not be able...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: In a restaurant if patio is closed can they still make us came in and fill other positions as if we were on call? Ty
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth
answered on Apr 19, 2017

An employer has the right to ask a waiter or anyone else to come in to work. The question is whether you are required to go in if you were not scheduled. The fact is that you are not required to go in, but assuming you are an employee at will there is nothing to stop the employer from terminating... View More

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