Shortcut to Easementsville

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

For more than 26 years, Anna Wolfe, her family and others used a shortcut across a commercial lot to get to a couple of popular destinations on the other side. When a new buyer purchased the commercial lot, Wolfe, whose property is next door to the lot, filed suit for an easement by prescription across the lot. At trial, the court found in Wolfe's favor, finding that she had obtained an easement by virtue of her use of the lot for so long during the previous ownership. The commercial lot's owner, Gerald Atkins, appealed, arguing that the prior owner gave Wolfe permission to use the shortcut, that Wolfe's use of the shortcut was neither "adverse" nor "notorious," and that the easement's location was not defined with sufficient particularity. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the lower court's ruling. While the previous owner was friendly with Wolfe, the evidence before the lower court showed that the previous owner remained silen...