Conservation Commission of Norton v. PesaAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the order of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants and dismissing a complaint brought by the Conservation Commission of Norton, holding that the Wetlands Protection Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 131, 40, did not bar this action.
The Commission issued an enforcement order to owners of property on which unauthorized fill had been placed by a prior owner, ordering the current owners (Defendants) to remove the fill. The Commission brought this action seeking injunctive relief and civil penalties when Defendants failed to comply with the order. The superior court concluded that that the Act created a statute of repose that prevented the Commission from bringing the enforcement action more than three years following the first transfer of ownership in the property after the alleged violation occurred. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the order below, holding that the Act did not bar the action because the Commission commenced this enforcement action against Defendants within three years of the recording of the deed by which they acquired title.