For immediate release, May 14, 2019 Contact: WAFT, 508-614-9238
“We have a Massachusetts Constitutional right that may no longer be enforceable” explains Debra McCarthy, one of the 46 homeowners/petitioners who, collectively, have 2 cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). Those cases are: Adjartey vs. Central Housing Court (CHC) and Hilton vs. Central Housing Court. “Article V of our Constitution guarantees us a right for relief from any arm of our government that is violating our rights,” McCarthy continues. “In our two cases, court rules imposed upon us procedural hoops that seem to bar relief no matter how discriminatory or unjust the systemwide behavior of a lower court is in Massachusetts. Our ability to receive redress may have been written out of our books.”
On April 10, the initial decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) came down via these two unique and historic cases – unique because multiple, self-represented petitioners came together to address the discrimination and systemic dysfunction of the Central Housing Court, formerly known as Worcester Housing Court. This Court has been stripping hundreds of homeowners and tenants, living in supposedly foreclosed homes, of their rights; the Judges have not even fulfilled the obligation to prove that they have authority to rule in these cases.
“We have experienced in what any other industry is called an ‘illegal hostile environment,’” explained Christine Hilton, one of the lead litigants, “We thought what we were submitting was a very straight-forward, yet highly unusual petition. In any place I have ever worked, this level of discrimination and rule violation would have been ruled illegal. We sued in the only court that can review the behavior of the lower court, the SJC. We simply ask that the lower courts follow the Constitution. The evidence, we hope, is chilling for anybody who reads through the thousands of pages of documents.”
“In OUR quest for relief, fairness, JUSTICE and general adherence to the procedures, rules, regulations and statutes, all of which are unattainable in the Central Housing Court of Massachusetts, we exercised our right in seeking Redress,” Petitioner Bourassa explains. “We sought guidance and clarification within the judiciary from the ultimate authority, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts itself. We did this only after having tried everything else including contacting the Chief Justices of the Trial Court and the Housing Division of the Trial Court only to be disregarded.”
“We are seeking redress (to remedy or set right) the actions of the CHC from the SJC. Although the concept may have been written out of the “books”,” Sherry Stanley, “it is still the function and duty of the SJC to guide, supervise, maintain authority and provide the interpretative jurisprudence to the lower courts of Massachusetts.”
On May 13, 2019, Petitioners completed filing 19 motions for reconsideration — including this alarming gap — raising for both the SJC and the public that without correction to the court rules and the law, the People of Massachusetts may have lost access to relief from the illegal, discriminatory and, in this case, hostile environment (or any other violation of Constitutional Rights) created by the leadership of a lower court.
“We have here a situation where our Constitutional Rights’ are not being enforced, thus denying us of the unbiased Justice we are afforded as, first, inhabitants, secondly, owners of property and, third, self-represented litigants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We call on our top Court to protect these rights,” said Petitioner Tracy Tobin.
“We are humbled and appreciative of the SJC’s efforts to accommodate our unusual compilation of 46 pro se litigants whose concerns and laments were heard in an historic oral presentation this past Dec. 6, 2018.” Ruth Adjartey, one of the lead Petitioners. “It is with dismay, however, that we find a procedural rule and a single line of statute may have discounted the means of accessing Constitutional protections against the discriminatory and rogue actions of the CHC.”
Petitioners’ Motions for Reconsideration to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in SJC-12380, Adjartey vs. Central Housing Court (CHC) and SJC-12406, Hilton vs. Central Housing Court (CHC) available at: http://maapl.info/information/legalinfo/reconsideration-motions-4-10-2019/
WAFT (Member organization of the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending)
c/o 70 James St., Suite 129B, Worcester, 01603, 508-614-9238