Posts tagged "Hartigan"

White, et al. v. Hartigan, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-022-13)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;     SJC‑11072   ALBERT WHITE & others[1]  vs.  ANNE M. HARTIGAN, Second, trustee,[2] & others.[3]     Suffolk.     October 4, 2012.  ‑  February 8, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.         Beach.  Real Property, Deed, Beach, Littoral property, Boundary, Easement.  Deed, Construction.  Easement.  Adverse Possession and Prescription.  Practice, Civil, Findings by judge, Statute of limitations.  Limitations, Statute of.  Statute, Retroactive application.       Civil action commenced in the Land Court Department on October 29, 2004.   A motion for partial summary judgment was heard by Charles W. Trombly, Jr., J., and the case was heard by him.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Mark C. Fleming (Richard A. Johnston, Felicia A. Ellsworth, Leon J. Lombardi & Lawrence P. Heffernan with him) for Andrew H. Cohn & others. Brian M. Hurley (Randelle C. Stephenson with him) for Jeffrey Flynn & others. Peter L. Puciloski (David L. Delaney & James B. McLindon with him) for Andrew Kohlberg & another. Roger D. Matthews for Albert White & others was present but did not argue.     LENK, J.  This case involves a dispute over property rights in a 1.7 mile beach parcel on the south shore of Martha’s Vineyard in Edgartown.  Historically, two families — the Nortons (plaintiffs) and the Flynns (defendants) – have owned the property upland from the beach.  For much of the past century, the two families enjoyed a friendly relationship and both families used the beach.  That relationship deteriorated in the early 1980s, and a dispute arose as to title rights to the beach.  In 2004, the Nortons commenced an action in the Land Court to quiet title, ultimately claiming that they owned a fractional interest in the beach or, in the alternative, enjoyed a prescriptive easement to use it and certain land leading to it. The Nortons’ claimed title interest in the beach dates to an 1841 deed which created the beach parcel.  There is no dispute that, due to the erosion of Martha’s Vineyard’s southern shoreline, the beach as it existed in 1841, and even as late as 1938, is now submerged beneath the Atlantic Ocean.  The Flynns claim that the Nortons have no interest in the beach as it is presently located because their title is only to the beach as it […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 8, 2013 at 11:31 pm

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