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Perez v. Boston Housing Authority
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
379 Mass. 703 (1980)
Nine tenants (plaintiffs) lived in various developments of the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) (defendant). The tenants sued BHA, on behalf of themselves and all other tenants as a class, alleging that the housing provided by BHA was substandard. The tenants also alleged that the housing violated the sanitary code. The trial court agreed. After the initial injunctive remedies failed, the parties entered into a consent decree. The trial court rejected the tenants’ request to appoint a receiver at that stage and instead appointed a master to gather information and assist in developing plans. However, the BHA leadership, consisting of a five-member board, failed to take appropriate action to comply with the court’s orders and remedy the housing violations. The master submitted 26 notices of substantial noncompliance with the orders. The tenants requested the consent decree be vacated and repeated the request to have a receiver appointed. The trial court developed a lengthy record and ultimately determined that the failures of the BHA were due to a lack of willing and competent leadership. Therefore, after approximately five years of litigation, the trial court appointed a receiver for the BHA. The BHA appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kaplan, J.)
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