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Snow v. Van Dam

Supreme Court of Massachusetts
197 N.E. 224 (1935)


Facts

Snow (plaintiff) owned property within a larger tract originally owned by a single grantor. The original owner subdivided the tract into multiple lots and later revised the subdivision plans to change lot lines and further subdivide original lots. As the original owner sold parcels, each deed contained restrictions limiting development of the parcel to one residential house. Robert Clark purchased a low lying, swampy parcel that was incorporated within the boundaries of the subdivision plans, but was not identified as a lot. Clark’s deed contained the same restrictions as other lots previously conveyed. Van Dam (defendant) purchased Clark’s lot pursuant to a deed that incorporated the original restrictions of Clark’s deed. Van Dam used the lot to construct a commercial retail building. Snow and other subdivision lot owners petitioned the state supreme court directly to enjoin Van Dam’s use of the property for business purposes.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Lummus, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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