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May 2015 Archives

Phillips & Angley Win TCA Case Against the Falmouth ZBA

On May 18, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Burroughs, J., issued its Memorandum and Order on Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, allowing summary judgment to enter for P & A's client, Industrial Tower & Wireless, LLC ("ITW"), and ordering the Defendant Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Falmouth, "within forty-five (45) days" to "issue all necessary permits allowing ITW to construct and operate" its proposed telecommunications facility in Falmouth, MA. See Industrial Tower and Wireless, LLC v. Haddad, 2015 WL 2365560, at *17 (D. Mass. 2015).

Derelict Fee Statute and Easements by Estoppel

We have repeatedly posted about the so-called Derelict Fee Statute, G. L. c. 183, § 58, in the past here at P & A. One aspect of the statute that we have not discussed is the interplay between the statute, which governs ownership of private ways, and the use rights that flow from properties' abutting the same. Many people, even seasoned practitioners, assume that ownership to the midpoint of the way carries with it an easement over the full length of the way. See Brennan v. DeCosta, 24 Mass. App. Ct. 968 (1987) ("[a]s a general rule, the title of persons who acquire land bounded by a street or way runs to the center line of the way, G.L. c. 183, § 58, and carries with it the right to use the way along its entire length").

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