Petition Hastens Court Action in Arboretum Case

A special petition, designed to block the University's proposed transfer of the Arnold Arboretum to Cambridge, has speeded court action on the case.

Judge Henry T. Lummus of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court referred the petitions to the full bench and the controversy will probably be presented to the Court at one of its first meetings in October.

Robert G. Dodge '93, attorney for the plaintiff, said that the petition called the proposed transfer of the Arboretum serious enough to require the Attorney General to enter the case.

Attorney General George Fingold had previously refused to act as plaintiff in the suit. Under Massachusetts law suits against a charitable trust, such as the Arnold bequest, may be brought only in the name of the Attorney General.

Signed by Contributors


The petition, which was presented this week to Lummus, was signed by ten of the chief contributors to the Arboretum. They contend that the move intended by the University would be breaking faith with the terms of James Arnold's will.

Dodge has been trying since last fall to compel Fingold to change his decision not to bring suit against the University. Fingold acted on an opinion prepared for him by Harris Booras, State Special Assistant for Trusts. Booras advised Fingold that the Corporation's plan to remove material from the Arboretum does not violate the terms of the Arnold trust.

The new Herbarium, being built next to the Botanical Museum at the end of Divinity Ave, will be completed later this spring. Included in the building are sections designed for part of the Arboretum's 700,000 specimens.