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Land Use Litigation: Adverse Possession And Prescriptive Easements

Adverse Possession

Under Massachusetts common law, an individual can acquire the fee interest (complete ownership) in a parcel or portion of land if it can be established that the individual (or their predecessors in interest) has actually used the property continuously for 20 years and that such use was open, notorious, adverse and exclusive. Where these elements are established, title the land of another can be acquired by adverse possession.

Prescriptive Easements

Similarly, prescriptive easements (the right to pass over or use another’s land) can also be established by adverse use, but without the need to prove exclusive use. Prescriptive easements are governed by Massachusetts statute (G.L. c. 187, § 2) as interpreted by the courts.

A party seeking to establish a claim of adverse possession or prescriptive easement must obtain a court judgment to declare the parties’ rights. The attorneys at Phillips & Angley frequently represent parties in adverse possession and prescriptive easement cases, both to assert and to defend against such claims.

The Knowledge to Help Landowners and Developers

Our experience as real estate, zoning and land use practitioners provides us with a broad perspective on representing our clients’ interests. For an initial consultation with a Massachusetts adverse possession attorney. One toll-free number connects you to our primary law office in Boston: 866-675-2109. You can also contact us using the online form. Remote consultation options are available.