05 April 2007

KingCast invites inquiry into MGL 93A and counterclaim demand requirements.

Based on the four corners of MGL 93A(9)(3) it would appear that a tenant's compulsory counterclaim would not require a 30-day letter because.... well, because that's what the plain language says, right? And the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association concurs, as they state: "the statute eliminates the requirement for a demand letter where the claim is raised as a counterclaim."
VLP goes on to state -- as noted in the comments section -- that a landlord's failure to offer a reasonable counteroffer within a reasonable time could be grounds for increased or trebled damages.

So why then, did a Judge yesterday tell a litigant in open court "well that's your interpretation of the law" after she directly read him the relevant statute section in response to his statement: "Your 93A claims are not valid because you failed to send the 30 day notice letter."

I mean, can anyone see any other interpretation that I'm missing? For related legal quandry, watch the short films at KingCast.net and Justiceforkids.net. The part in "Day in Nashua" is great when I tell Lieutenant Goulden (one chilly pup, I might add) "If you rub the system the wrong way, Tim, they're gonna' getcha'.... they're gonna' gitcha'!

1 comment:

Christopher King said...

Practice Tips

a) While G.L c. 93A, Section 9 requires a "demand letter' with a 30-day period for the opposing party to respond and offer a reasonable tender of settlement before an affirmative lawsuit is filed, the statute eliminates the requirement for a demand letter where the claim is raised as a counterclaim.

Sometimes, however, it may be advantageous to write such a demand letter, in addition to raising the counterclaim: if the landlord fails to make a good faith offer of settlement, this may be a separate basis for the Court to find that the landlord is liable for multiple damages.