Mass. appeals judge to decide fate of 351-year-old

AP News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2012 7:52 PM
Mass. appeals judge to decide fate of 351-year-old

A Massachusetts appeals court judge has pledged to issue a quick ruling on efforts to tear up a 351-year-old will that was intended to raise funds for Ipswich public schools.

William Payne's will left a 35-acre seafront property to benefit the schools on the condition that the land should never be sold. Rent from 167 cottages built on the land has helped fund the schools.

Tenants sued the trustees over rent increases in 2006. The trust then agreed to sell the land to tenants for nearly $32 million to settle the case.

Fourteen parents representing opponents of the deal argued Friday they should be allowed to join the case and thwart the sale.

Attorneys for the trustees and a representative of Attorney General Martha Coakley disagreed, citing previous court rulings.

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Rodrique Ngowi can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/ngowi