2017 Mass.App.Div. 169, Mae v. Higgins

Citation:2017 Mass.App.Div. 169
Opinion Judge:FLYNN, J.
Party Name:FANNIE MAE [1] v. JOHN HIGGINS, JR.
Attorney:No brief filed for the plaintiff. John T. Higgins, pro se
Judge Panel:Present: Coven, P.J., Nestor & Flynn, JJ.
Case Date:October 30, 2017
Court:Massachusetts Appellate Division
 
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2017 Mass.App.Div. 169

FANNIE MAE 1

v.

JOHN HIGGINS, JR.

Massachusetts Appellate Division, District Court Department, Northern District

October 30, 2017

          April 28, 2017

          No brief filed for the plaintiff.

          John T. Higgins, pro se.

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

          FLYNN, J.

          This case arises out of an appeal from the denial of a motion by the defendant, John Higgins, Jr. ("Higgins"), to file an appeal late. The request for the late filing of an appeal was outside of the 180-day time limit permitted by Dist./Mun. Cts. R. A. D. A. 14(b) and therefore properly denied.

          A review of the docket sheet reveals that Higgins was initially defaulted for failing to appear on a summary process trial date. Judgment for the plaintiff, Federal National Mortgage Association, for possession entered on July 29, 2015. On August 5, 2015, Higgins filed a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P. 60(b). That motion asserted that he failed to appear on the original trial date due to his ongoing cancer treatment. Higgins again failed to appear at the scheduled hearing on August 13, 2015, and his motion was denied on that date.

         Some seven months later, on March 31, 2016, Higgins filed a motion for reconsideration, which was treated as a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P. 60(b). At that hearing, Higgins again asserted, inter alia, that he failed to appear previously due to his ongoing cancer treatment. That motion was denied on April 7, 2016. Six days later, on April 13, 2016, Higgins filed a motion to file an appeal late. Attached to that motion was a finding and order in another summary process case between the same parties, Fannie Mae v. Catherine Higgins and John Higgins, Somerville Div. No. 1410SU0386, wherein that prior complaint between that same parties was dismissed in favor of the defendants. In attaching the prior decision in his favor, Higgins was arguably again presenting the merits of his defense to the current case in seeking to appeal late.

         While it is unclear from which particular order the defendant seeks to appeal late, the only orders on the docket that would be ...

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