Massachusetts Adverse Possession & Boundary Disputes
We have developed an expertise in adverse possession and boundary line disputes, having litigated and tried scores of these cases. We have tried adverse possession cases in both Superior Court and Land Court, and on appeal. Click here to read about our most recent adverse possession trial victory in the case of Winiker v. Bell.
Adverse possession cases in Massachusetts are factual intensive and require a substantial amount of historical research and preparation prior to trial. The trial lawyer must establish the historical use of the disputed area over the 20 year adverse possession period and often many more years. The key to every adverse possession case is what and how the parties actually used the disputed area. The parties’ knowledge or lack thereof of the true boundary line is really not the important issue. Generally, the more intense the use and the more the claimant takes action to exclude the other party from using the disputed land, the better the claim for adverse possession. Conversely, the less intense the use, the less successful the claim. Still, adverse possession is a very difficult claim to win as the law does not favor taking someone’s land.
Some important questions in any Massachusetts adverse possession case are: Did the plaintiff mow the lawn? Did they maintain any landscaping? Did they install a fence or other barrier? Did they demarcate where they used the land? Did they make any permanent improvements to the disputed area? Did they plant anything or install a garden? Did they clear brush? Did they cut down trees or plant new trees? Did the defendant grant permission to use the disputed area. (Permissive use destroys an adverse possession case).
Litigating a Massachusetts adverse possession case can be quite expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, there are a number of strategic and practice steps that need to be taken to either establish or defend against adverse possession. Contact our office to discuss your situation at [email protected] or 508-620-5352.
Read our award winning blog on Massachusetts adverse possession by clicking here.