This action was filed by Roland A. Moore and Virginia Moore (Plaintiffs or The Moores) on March 10, 2008, seeking to establish their title to a parcel of land on Plum Island in Newbury, Massachusetts (the disputed land), which is owned of record by Defendants, Mark A. Richey and Teresa S. Richey (Defendants or The Richeys). The land in controversy is a strip of land in an area separating the Moore and Richey properties and is shown on a plan attached to the complaint and this Decision as Exhibit A. Plaintiffs claim to have established title to the disputed land under the doctrine of adverse possession by virtue of a fence or fences which they have erected on the property, and also by virtue of snow fences and a shed which, they claim, have existed in the disputed area for more than twenty years.
Defendants filed an Answer and Counterclaim on May 9, 2008. Plaintiffs answered the counterclaim on June 2, 2008. A pre-trial conference was held on September 9, 2008, at which time counsel and the Court agreed that a sight visit would be made to the property and that trial would take place in Newburyport in the following December or January. In fact, the sight visit was made on January 26, 2009, and trial began that same day at the Newburyport District Court House. Trial was concluded there on January 27, 2009. The testimony was reported and forty-four exhibits, numbered one through forty-five, were entered into evidence. A blow-up of Exhibit #17 was accepted and marked as Chalk A. Post-trial briefs were filed by counsel on June 1, 2009, at which time the case was taken under advisement.
After careful consideration of all of the evidence, the court issued a Decision today, ruling that plaintiffs have established title by adverse possession a portion fo the disputed land.
In accordance with that Decision, it is hereby:
ADJUDGED and ORDERED that plaintiffs, Roland A. Moore and Virginia Moore, have established title by adverse possession to a strip of land approximately six-feet wide along their northerly boundary, in which is located their driveway, fence, and shed, owned of record by defendants, Mark A. Richey and Teresa S. Richey. This strip extends from Fordham Way, seventy (70) feet in an easterly direction, to a point approximately ten feet beyond the shed currently existing on the property; and it is further
ADJUDGED and ORDERED that plaintiffs have not established title by adverse possession to any land easterly from that point.
By the court (Trombly, J.).
[Note 1] If not specifically defined herein, each term carries the same definition employed in the Decision.