In a satisfying win for Rackemann, the Appeals Court today upheld a Land Court decision that inland lot owners hold no easement rights over our clients’ waterfront property.

Loiselle v. Hickey concerns a large subdivision in Dennis with a number of ways leading to Cape Cod Bay.  An earlier case between many of the same parties established that the inland lot owners had easement rights in all of those ways.  In Loiselle, many of the same the inland lot owners argued that they also had the right to use the private beach between those ways for recreational purposes.

The Appeals Court rejected that claim.  While the decision does not break new legal ground, it does serve as a helpful review of the basic legal principles governing waterfront land.


Continue Reading

beach (A1250777)

A Massachusetts appellate court has ruled for the first time that new land which accretes to registered waterfront land is treated as registered land automatically, without the registered landowner filing additional proceedings.

In Brown v. Kalicki, decided earlier this week, neighbors sought to establish an easement by prescription to use for recreational purposes a

roadblock

Earlier this month the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued an important decision in the case of Martin v. Simmons Properties, LLC.  Mr. Martin holds an easement over the land of the defendant, Simmons.  Simmons had blocked part of Martin’s easement.

Land in Massachusetts can be registered or unregistered.  Registered land has some special protections not afforded to

In its 2012 decision in Cater v. Bednarek, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) upheld a Land Court decision that the plaintiffs’ easement had not been extinguished by abandonment or estoppel, even though it had not been cleared or used since its creation in 1899.  However, the SJC remanded the case to the Land Court to consider whether it had been too restrictive in

It’s been a hot summer in the world of easement law.  Our appellate courts have issued three decisions which, collectively, reinforce the following important lessons:  (1) easements can be created by implication, (2) once created, most easements last forever unless extinguished, and (3) proving that an easement has been extinguished isn’t easy.Gold Key

In mid-June, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) decided Cater v. Bednarek (pdf), in which it ruled

Theoretically, owners of registered land are entitled to rely on the information contained in their certificates of title.  To the chagrin of many, however, that is no longer the case.  In its decision this week in Williams Bros. Inc. of Marshfield v. Peck (pdf), the Appeals Court affirmed a Land Court ruling that an appurtenant easement is extinguished when the dominant

Along with the Red Sox and Patriots’ Day, one of the unique features of Massachusetts is that modern property rights can be ruled by 370-year-old statutes.  The Colonial Ordinance of 1641-1647 declared that owners of land adjoining the shore also own the tidal flats – the land betweenBeachpath.JPG the high and low water marks (out