DEAR BOB: When my townhouse was built about 25 years ago, the developer planted a hedge on about 30 feet of land owned by the city. He said he had permission to do so, but no paperwork exists. The city now wants the hedge removed. You have referred to the concepts of adverse possession, prescriptive easements and laches. Can these arguments be used against the city? --Paul H. DEAR PAUL: No. The laws of adverse possession and prescriptive easements do not apply to government agencies, public utilities and railroads. The legal term "laches" is not applicable because it refers to an unreasonable delay in bringing a lawsuit to the detriment of the defendant. That is not your situation. If the hedge is on city property, the hedge belongs to the city and it can remove the hedge if desired. CAN HOME SELLER CANCEL LISTING BEFORE IT EXPIRES? DEAR BOB: Is there any way I can cancel my listing without a penalty before the date it expires? --George B. Purchase Bob Bruss reports on...
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