South Dartmouth Land Use & Zoning Lawyer, Massachusetts

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Francis P. Balas

Real Estate, Business & Trade, Land Use & Zoning
Status:  Inactive           Licensed:  51 Years

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LEGAL TERMS

EMINENT DOMAIN

The power of the federal or state government to take private property for a public purpose, even if the property owner objects. The Fifth Amendment to the Unite... (more...)
The power of the federal or state government to take private property for a public purpose, even if the property owner objects. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows the government to take private property if the taking is for a public use and the owner is 'justly compensated' (usually, paid fair market value) for his or her loss. A public use is virtually anything that is sanctioned by a federal or state legislative body, but such uses may include roads, parks, reservoirs, schools, hospitals or other public buildings. Sometimes called condemnation, taking or expropriation.

TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE

The causing of harm by disrupting something that belongs to someone else -- for example, interfering with a contractual relationship so that one party fails to ... (more...)
The causing of harm by disrupting something that belongs to someone else -- for example, interfering with a contractual relationship so that one party fails to deliver goods on time.

JUS COGENS

Principles of international law so fundamental that no nation may ignore them or attempt to contract out of them through treaties. For example, genocide and par... (more...)
Principles of international law so fundamental that no nation may ignore them or attempt to contract out of them through treaties. For example, genocide and participating in a slave trade are thought to be jus cogens.

ILLUSORY PROMISE

A promise that pledges nothing, because it is vague or because the promisor can choose whether or not to honor it. Such promises are not legally binding. For ex... (more...)
A promise that pledges nothing, because it is vague or because the promisor can choose whether or not to honor it. Such promises are not legally binding. For example, if you get a new job and promise to work for three years, unless you resign sooner, you haven't made a valid contract and can resign or be fired at any time.

CONSIDERATION

The basis of a contract. Consideration is a benefit or right for which the parties to a contract must bargain; the contract is founded on an exchange of one for... (more...)
The basis of a contract. Consideration is a benefit or right for which the parties to a contract must bargain; the contract is founded on an exchange of one form of consideration for another. Consideration may be a promise to perform a certain act -- for example, a promise to fix a leaky roof -- or a promise not to do something, such as build a second story on a house that will block the neighbor's view. Whatever its particulars, consideration must be something of value to the people who are making the contract.

DIVIDEND

A portion of profits distributed by a corporation to its shareholders based on the type of stock and number of shares owned. Dividends are usually paid in cash,... (more...)
A portion of profits distributed by a corporation to its shareholders based on the type of stock and number of shares owned. Dividends are usually paid in cash, though they may also be paid in the form of additional shares of stock or other property. The amount of a dividend is established by the corporation's board of directors; however, state laws often restrict a corporation's ability to declare dividends by requiring a minimum level of profits or assets before the dividend can be approved.

QUASI-COMMUNITY PROPERTY

A form of property owned by a married couple. If a couple moves to a community property state from a non-community property state, property they acquired togeth... (more...)
A form of property owned by a married couple. If a couple moves to a community property state from a non-community property state, property they acquired together in the non-community property state may be considered quasi-community property. Quasi-community property is treated just like community property when one spouse dies or if the couple divorces.

EASEMENT

A right to use another person's real estate for a specific purpose. The most common type of easement is the right to travel over another person's land, known as... (more...)
A right to use another person's real estate for a specific purpose. The most common type of easement is the right to travel over another person's land, known as a right of way. In addition, property owners commonly grant easements for the placement of utility poles, utility trenches, water lines or sewer lines. The owner of property that is subject to an easement is said to be 'burdened' with the easement, because he or she is not allowed to interfere with its use. For example, if the deed to John's property permits Sue to travel across John's main road to reach her own home, John cannot do anything to block the road. On the other hand, Sue cannot do anything that exceeds the scope of her easement, such as widening the roadway.

APPRECIATION

An increase in value. Appreciated property is property that has gone up in value since it was acquired.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Bjorklund v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Norwell

Prospect Street is winding with elevation changes. To the north of the plaintiffs' property are nine homes containing an average of 2,638 square feet of living area, all located on lots that are at least one acre. To the south of the property are fourteen homes containing an average of ...

Kitras v. Zoning Administrator of Aquinnah

1. Background. On March 29, 1999, the town's planning board nominated the entire town as a DCPC. See St. 1977, c. 831, § 8. The commission voted on April 22, 1999, to accept this nomination for consideration. [8] See id. On June 17, 1999, the commission designated the entire ...

Elles v. ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS OF QUINCY

As a general rule, an aggrieved litigant cannot as a matter of 674 right pursue an immediate appeal from an interlocutory order unless a statute or rule authorizes it. Maddocks v. Ricker, 403 Mass. 592, 597 (1988), and cases cited. One narrow exception to this principle is where ...