2017 Mass.App.Div. 156, The Cadle Co. v. Scarlett

Citation:2017 Mass.App.Div. 156
Opinion Judge:CRANE, J.
Party Name:THE CADLE COMPANY v. CAROLYN SCARLETT
Attorney:Robert E. Girvan, III and Gary M. Weiner for the plaintiff. Kevin M. Dwyer, Jr. for the defendant.
Judge Panel:Present: Coven, P.J., Crane & Nestor, JJ.
Case Date:October 30, 2017
Court:Massachusetts Appellate Division
 
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2017 Mass.App.Div. 156

THE CADLE COMPANY

v.

CAROLYN SCARLETT

Massachusetts Appellate Division, District Court Department, Northern District

October 30, 2017

August 18, 2017

Robert E. Girvan, III and Gary M. Weiner for the plaintiff.

Kevin M. Dwyer, Jr. for the defendant.

Present: Coven, P.J., Crane & Nestor, JJ.

CRANE, J.

The issue presented in this appeal is whether a judgment expires and is void twenty years after it was issued or remains in force but presumptively satisfied. Plaintiff The Cadle Company ("Cadle") appeals because the trial court granted a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(4) in the original action and ruled, "After full consideration of the written submissions of the parties and the arguments made during a hearing . . ., the court finds that the 1/5/96 judgment became void on 1/5/16 due to the passage of 20 years . . . ."

The current appeal is pursuant to Dist./Mun. Cts. R. A. D. A. 8B, and the parties have agreed to the following facts, which are summarized as follows.

On January 5, 1996, Cadle obtained a judgment against defendant Carolyn Scarlett ("Scarlett") in the amount of $3,836.87 in the Waltham District Court ("original action"). It is the position of Cadle that the judgment went unsatisfied, and Cadle commenced a new action in the same court on November 1, 2016 ("collection action"). Scarlett filed a motion to dismiss the collection action and a motion for relief from judgment in the original action. On January 13, 2017, a hearing was conducted on the motion for relief from judgment. On January 17, 2017, the court allowed the motion for relief from judgment in the original action for the reasons previously recited. It took no action on the motion to dismiss in the collection action. Cadle has appealed.

Cadle contends that the court committed an error of law that must be reversed when it granted relief from judgment in the original action on these grounds. Specifically, it argues that a judgment does not expire after twenty years. Instead, it asserts G.L. c. 260, § 20 creates a rebuttable presumption of satisfaction of the judgment that may be...

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