Here are the materials in DeCoulos v. Town of Aquinnah (D. Mass.):
Here are the materials in Kitras v. Town of Aquinnah:
Excerpts from the opinion:
In this case, we are asked to determine whether easements by necessity were created as a result of an 1878 partition of Native American common land in the town of Gay Head (now known as Aquinnah).4 Gay Head is located on the western coast of Martha’s Vineyard, connected to the rest of the island by an isthmus. At the time of the 1878 partition, Gay Head was inhabited solely by members of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Tribe).5 When two commissioners appointed by the probate court pursuant to statute partitioned the common land into hundreds of lots to be held in severalty6 by members of the Tribe, they did not include express easements providing rights of access, leaving the lots landlocked. The plaintiffs are owners of several lots created by this partition and are seeking, over one hundred years later, easements by necessity over the lots of the defendants. We conclude that the defendants presented sufficient evidence to rebut the presumption that the commissioners intended to include rights of access and, therefore, no easements by necessity exist.7
The Land Court judge assumed that the plaintiffs satisfied the elements of a presumption of an intent to establish an easement by necessity but concluded that the defendants submitted sufficient evidence to rebut the presumed intent of the parties. The judge concluded that (1) tribal custom and usage of the land, (2) other rights granted, and (3) the condition of the land at the time of partition provided sufficient evidence to rebut the presumed intent. We agree.
Here is the opinion in Abdow v. Attorney General (Mass. Sup. Jud. Ct.).
We posted links to briefs here.
The issue presented on appeal is whether an initiative petition meant to prohibit casino and slots gambling and abolish parimutuel wagering on simulcast greyhound races meets the requirements set forth in art. 48 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution and, therefore, may be considered by voters at the November Statewide election. The Attorney General concluded that it did not and, accordingly, declined to certify it for inclusion on the ballot. The plaintiffs, ten Massachusetts voters who submitted the proposed initiative for certification, filed a complaint challenging the Attorney General’s decision and sought an order requiring the Attorney General to certify the petition. We conclude that the Attorney General erred in declining to certify, and grant the requested relief so that the initiative may be decided by the voters at the November election.
The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts will soon decide whether a state-wide referendum to ban gaming can go forward.
Here are the briefs in Abdow v. Attorney General (Mass. Sup. Jud. Ct.):
Here is the opinion in Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility v. Beaudreu (D.D.C.):
Here are the materials in KG Urban v. Patrick (D. Mass.):
News coverage here.