Christine Adams et al.
Santander Bank, N.A.
Providence County Superior Court, PC 14-622 Maureen Keough
Plaintiff: Corey J. Allard, Esq.
Defendant: Matthew A. Kane, Esq.
Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and
FRANCIS X. FLAHERTY ASSOCIATE JUSTICE.
plaintiffs, Christine Adams and George J. Adams, Jr., appeal
from a judgment of the Superior Court in favor of the
defendant, Santander Bank, N.A. This case came before the Supreme
Court pursuant to an order directing the parties to appear
and show cause why the issues raised in this appeal should
not summarily be decided. After considering the parties'
written and oral arguments, and after reviewing the record,
we conclude that cause has not been shown and that this case
may be decided without further briefing or argument. For the
reasons set forth below, we affirm the judgment of the
February 19, 2013, Santander conducted a foreclosure sale on
property located in Pawtucket. According to a complaint filed
in February 2014, that property was owned by Christine Adams.
In that complaint, Christine Adams sued Santander, alleging
that she was the owner of the property and that Santander had
improperly foreclosed on it. The complaint also alleged that
plaintiff had filed for bankruptcy in advance of
Santander's scheduled foreclosure sale, which, she
alleged, should have operated to stay the sale. The plaintiff
also moved for and obtained a temporary restraining order
enjoining Santander from selling or transferring the
months later, plaintiff amended her complaint. In addition to
reasserting her claim that Santander improperly foreclosed on
her property during the pendency of her bankruptcy, plaintiff
alleged that Santander had failed to comply with the notice
requirements set forth in G.L. 1956 §§ 34-27-4(a)
and 34-27-4(b) before it conducted the February 19 sale.
Respectively, she asserted that § 34-27-4(a) required
Santander to give notice of the foreclosure sale by
publication "at least once per week for three
consecutive weeks" and that § 34-27-4(b) required
Santander to give her proper notice by certified mail within
thirty days of the publication of the foreclosure sale. In
plaintiff's view, Santander did neither.
September 2014, plaintiff amended her complaint for a second
and final time. This time, she narrowed the focus of the
lawsuit against Santander. She dropped her claim that
Santander improperly held the foreclosure sale while her
bankruptcy case was pending. That left but a single claim:
that Santander did not comply with the notice provisions set
forth in §§ 34-27-4(a) and 34-27-4(b). However, in
addition to narrowing the focus of the complaint, plaintiff
also added a second plaintiff, her father, George Adams. As
noted in the motion to amend, it was George,  not Christine,
who was "the individual with whom Santander executed a
mortgage" on the Pawtucket property.
2016, Santander moved for summary judgment and filed a
detailed memorandum, attached to which were thirty exhibits
documenting George's default on the promissory note that
was secured by the mortgage on the Pawtucket property, as
well as Santander's efforts to foreclose on that
property. Included in those exhibits were three documents of
particular relevance: a letter dated November 16, 2012, sent
by certified mail to George at the address of the Pawtucket
property; a letter sent on the same date to Christine by
certified mail to the address of the Pawtucket property; and
an affidavit of Santander's foreclosure counsel stating
that notice of the foreclosure sale had been published in The
Providence Journal on December 18, 2012, December 25, 2012,
and January 1, 2013. Based on the evidence it proffered,
Santander argued that it had complied with the statutory
notice provisions of §§ 34-27-4(a) and 34-27-4(b)
before the February 19, 2013 sale.
response, counsel for plaintiffs filed a one-page memorandum
in opposition to the motion for summary judgment. In that
document, plaintiffs' counsel cited two reasons for
opposing the motion. First, he wrote, "the [p]laintiffs
state that there remain genuine issues of material fact such
that [Santander] is not entitled to [s]ummary [j]udgment, as
a matter of law." He did not, however, elaborate on or
even identify the material facts that he claimed were in
dispute. Second, he averred "that discovery is ongoing,
" and that forthcoming depositions of Santander's
employees would "call into question the validity of the
mortgage document * * *." The record reveals that, aside
from filing that cursory memorandum in opposition to
Santander's motion, there were no documents, depositions,
or affidavits produced to counter Santander's evidence of
its compliance with §§ 34-27-4(a) and 34-27-4(b).
it should come as no surprise that, after a hearing in
December 2016, a justice of the Superior Court granted
Santander's motion, and judgment entered shortly