Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds wins lawsuit against County Commissioners

November 21, 2023

Dear Registry Stakeholder and/or Massachusetts Taxpayer,

Please be advised that the Norfolk Superior Court ruled that Norfolk County Director John J. Cronin and the County Commissioners, Peter H. Collins, Joseph P. Shea and Richard R. Staiti violated state law. A copy of the Judge’s ruling and decision is available here:

There has been unlawful interference into the operation and management of the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds which deals with the biggest asset most of us have – the real estate title to our home. The taxpayers should be aware that I commenced the above lawsuit pro-se – or on my own without the assistance of legal counsel. So, while the Norfolk County Commissioners spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer monies on legal fees the Registry of Deeds spent zero (0) dollars in legal fees to get this favorable ruling from the Norfolk Superior Court.

Please read the attached article about the Registry of Deeds win published in The Dedham Times which is available by clicking the image below.

Another article published in a statewide publication Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly is available here:

The 28 communities that make up Norfolk County receive and pay a yearly assessment to support the Norfolk County Government. Many actions including questionable spending and management decisions done by the Norfolk County Government are concerning. These actions and unsound management would not be tolerated if done by our local government in our hometown communities. Lynch Marini and Associates, Inc. Certified Public Accountants wrote in a recent Norfolk County Government audit “For the current fiscal year, this leaves a potential range of misstatements between $645,000.00 and $2.3 million between respective fund balances…” Would a finding like this be accepted in your hometown community by those with oversight responsibilities?

There is one more lawsuit involving the Registry of Deeds against the Norfolk County Commissioners. This lawsuit deals with the conversion of millions of dollars in deeds excise monies that is dedicated for the Registry’s use under state law. This taking of deeds excise monies outlined in state law by County Director John Cronin and the 3 County Commissioners changed over 30 years of financial practice interpreting state law by the Norfolk County Government dating back to 1989. I have a fiduciary duty to Registry of Deeds users including every property owner that owns a home or business as well as the taxpayers to get the Norfolk Superior Court to rule. (Please note the Norfolk County Commissioners sued the Town of Walpole which is still going on. Also, the Norfolk County Commissioners are involved in another lawsuit against a neighborhood group.) These two lawsuits involving the Norfolk County Commissioners are in addition to the 2 lawsuits involving the Registry of Deeds against the Norfolk County Commissioners discussed in this letter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely yours,

William P. O’Donnell
Norfolk Register of Deeds

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