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Court Rules Avis Chase Cottages To Remain With Philadelphia Group

January 5, 2017

The Cape Cod Chronicle
By Tim Wood

CHATHAM – The Avis Chase cottages in the Old Village, vacant for the past two seasons, may once again host visitors from Philadelphia this summer.

In a decision handed down last month, the Massachusetts Appeals Court reversed a Barnstable Superior Court decision awarding the three properties to the Young Women’s Christian Association of Boston. The Boston organization had sued the Young Women’s Christian Association of Philadelphia, now operating as the Avis Chase Women’s Association of Philadelphia, claiming it could no longer carry out the provisions under which Chase left the cottages to the Philadelphia YWCA.

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According to Albert L. Piccerilli, a Philadelphia attorney representing the Avis Chase organization, the Boston Y has filed a petition for further review of the case with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The appeal is not automatic but at the discretion of the court, he added.

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“There is no formal trust in existence and the plaintiff [Boston] has no standing to claim a status as the proposed beneficiary of an implied or resulting trust,” the decision stated. “There is no estate in probate over which the Probate and Family Court can exercise jurisdiction. The amended complaint should have been dismissed in its entirety.”

Piccerilli said in an email that even putting aside the procedural issues, it was clear the property rightly belonged to the Philadelphia organization.

The uncontroverted trial evidence adduced by both Boston and Philadelphia proved that Philadelphia always used the cottages in accordance with the conditions set by Mrs. Chase, and there was no basis to conclude otherwise.

“We are pleased that ownership of the Chase cottages remains in Philadelphia’s hands, which is where it rightfully belongs,” he wrote.

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