A dispute over parking may become a legal issue if it interferes with the property rights of one or more individuals. For many condo residents, legal claims pertaining to their building may only be asserted by the owner, which is typically a condominium trust. In such cases, the interests of the condominium trust must be represented by a Massachusetts real estate attorney during the legal proceedings.
In a January 7, 2018 case, the Land Court determined whether the plaintiff had the right to park on abutting property owned by the defendant. The plaintiff in the case was an individual owner of a residential condo unit. She was also a trustee of the condominium trust that owned the condo building. She filed her action in Land Court, without the representation of an attorney, in both her individual capacity and her capacity as a trustee.
In Massachusetts, while a person may represent oneself in most legal proceedings, only a member of the bar may represent another person or entity before a court. Therefore, as an initial matter, the Land Court ruled that the plaintiff could not bring claims on behalf of the trust pro se, and that those claims must be dismissed. The court then went on to address her individual claims against the defendant.