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Attorney General v. Dime Savings Bank of New York
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
413 Mass. 284, 596 N.E.2d 1013 (1992)
The Dime Savings Bank of New York (Dime) (defendant) had mortgages on various residential properties. The mortgagors defaulted, Dime commenced foreclosures, and Dime purchased the properties at the ensuing foreclosure sales, obtaining title. At the time of the foreclosures, the mortgagors-in-default or their tenants who occupied the properties (the occupants) refused to relinquish possession. Dime sued the occupants for trespass, seeking injunctions ordering the occupants to vacate the properties. The court granted the requested injunctions. Thereafter, the attorney general (plaintiff) sued Dime, claiming that Dime’s practice violated the state’s general law, which prohibited anyone from recovering possession of real property unless a specified procedure was used (the summary-process statute) or as otherwise “authorized by law.” Dime had not used the summary-process statute, and the attorney general argued that Dime could not maintain actions for trespass against the occupants. The matter was considered by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on stipulated facts.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Abrams, J.)
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