MISC 07-336553

January 18, 2011

ESSEX, ss.

Piper, J.


In this action, commenced January 2, 2007 with the filing of a complaint by Ralph R. Bagley, Trustee of the Morash Family Trust (“Bagley” or “plaintiff”), Bagley seeks to acquire by adverse possession title to property owned of record by defendants, Katherine Senn, Joanne A. Sheffel, and the late Harriet Kerr (“Defendants”). The claim for adverse possession involves a twenty foot by one hundred foot rectangular parcel of land (“Disputed Parcel”). [Note 1] The claims for prescriptive easements are: (1) the right to use a gravel way (“Gravel Way”) across Defendants’ property for ingress and egress onto Bagley’s property; (2) the right to walk along certain footpaths on Defendants’ wooded lot; and (3) the right to use the oceanfront on Defendants’ property for swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and other customary beach uses.

This case came on to be tried by the court (Piper, J.). In a decision of even date, the court has made findings of fact and rulings of law.

In accordance with the court’s Decision issued today, it is:

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Bagley has, as appurtenant to his lot, the Morash Property, a nonexclusive seasonal easement in common with others, to pass and repass on foot and by vehicle over the Gravel Way, located on property owned of record by Defendants, between the Morash Property and Langsford Street. It is further

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the Gravel Way is as depicted and marked as “gravel drive” on a plan titled “Plan of Land in Gloucester, MA” prepared by Hancock Associates and dated April 1, 2008 (“Hancock Plan”), which is in the trial record as Exhibit 21. [Note 2] It is further

ORDERED that within sixty days of this Judgment becoming final, Defendants, at their sole cost, shall have prepared by a licensed engineer or surveyor, in a form suitable for recording, a plan depicting the definite location of the Gravel Way as shown on the Hancock Plan, which plan, in its recordable form, shall be in all substantive ways relating to its depiction of the Gravel Way the same as the Hancock Plan, and which recordable plan shall, within the same time, at Defendants’ cost, be recorded at the Registry with this Judgment, or with a certified copy of it, or, if this Judgment or a certified copy of it previously has been recorded, the plan shall reference the record location of this Judgment. This Judgment, and the recordable plan recorded pursuant to this paragraph of this Judgment, shall be referenced marginally on the records of each of the deeds establishing record title in the plaintiff and the defendants. It is further

ORDERED that within ten days after compliance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph of this Judgment, Defendants shall file with the court, and serve on all parties, a written report certifying and demonstrating that compliance, the report to be accompanied by a true copy of the recordable plan as recorded. It is further

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Bagley has not acquired title by adverse possession to property known as the Disputed Parcel, owned of record by Defendants and they hold their title to the Disputed Parcel, and to the remainder of their record holding, free of any such claimed right, title and interest of Bagley and those holding by, through, or under him. It is further

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Defendants hold their record title to their land free of any easement or other right of plaintiff (and of those holding by, through, or under him) for use of any of the footpaths on the undeveloped wooded portion of Defendants’ holding. It is further

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Defendants hold their record title to the oceanfront area of their land free of any easement or other right of plaintiff (and of those holding by, through, or under him).

By the Court. (Piper, J).


[Note 1] Terms used in this Judgment have, unless otherwise defined in it, the meanings established in the Decision of the court issued this day.

[Note 2] The Gravel Way is not located on any recorded plan; however, referencing both the revised subdivision plan titled “Definitive Subdivision ‘Flatstone Lane’ Site Plan, prepared by Hancock Engineering Associations pursuant to a settlement agreement and dated November 29, 2005 (“Revised Subdivision Plan”), and a recorded plan titled “Subdivision Plan of Land in Lanesville, Gloucester, Mass.,” prepared by Matt A. Hautala and dated April 28, 1953, the Gravel Way begins along the northern portion of lot 1 adjacent to the forty-foot right of way approximately thirty feet east from the boundary line shared with lot 3. It then proceeds in a southeasterly direction across lot 1 where it intersects Langsford Street approximately forty feet north of the southeastern corner of the property which abuts Langsford Street and Coggeshall Road.