This cause came to be tried and a decision of even date entered. The case was tried over an extended period in bifurcated fashion [Note 1] concerning claims asserted by the plaintiffs and the governmental defendants. To the extent the individual defendants wish to try their previously asserted claims, they may do so, [Note 2] taking into account the determinations made herein and those made on appeal.
In accordance therewith, it is hereby
ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECLARED that the plaintiffs have failed to meet their burden of demonstrating sufficient title to remove a cloud on title created by the reported Briggs Thomas decisions. Rather, the Town of Marshfield possesses superior title to Rexhame Beach including the tidal flats together with all or a portion of the upland beach lots which abut the seashore and which comprise that portion of land formerly designated as commonage existing between the Briggs Thomas farm and the seashore. While the Town of Marshfield has been unable to meet its burden to satisfactorily demonstrate the portion of the beach lots on which the said commonage stood, this court concludes that the Town owns a sufficient portion of the upland area so as to vest title to it in Rexhame Beach including the tidal flats to the low water mark.
It is further
ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECLARED that inasmuch as all parties agree that but for Winslow Avenue, the four other ways within Rexhame Terrace are private ways, that Ames Avenue, Raleigh Road, Kent Avenue and Waterman Avenue are owned to the mid-point by the respective owners abutting those ways. It is further
ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECLARED that the defendants have satisfactorily demonstrated that Winslow Avenue also known as Winslow Street extension is a public way, to wit, a county way that has never been discontinued or abandoned by Plymouth County. Winslow Avenue extends from Circuit Avenue West to the seashore. It is further
ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECLARED that the defendants have failed to demonstrate that Ames Avenue, Raleigh Road, Kent Avenue or Waterman Avenue, or any of them, are private ways open to the public. It is further
ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECLARED that the Briggs Thomas [Note 3] decisions, to wit Briggs Thomas v. Inhabitants of Marshfield, 27 Mass. 364 (1830) and Briggs Thomas v. Inhabitants of Marshfield, 30 Mass. 240 (1832) are deemed by this court to have preclusive effect so far are the claims of the Plaintiffs herein are concerned. As such, they negatively impact, significantly so, the Plaintiffs claim to Rexhame Beach and the so-called Beach Lots. [Note 4] The Briggs Thomas decisions do not implicate the Plaintiffs ownership interests in their Rexhame Terrace Subdivision lots proper or in Ames Avenue, Raleigh Road, Kent Avenue and Waterman Avenue.
By the Court
[Note 1] A lengthy stay had been entered at the outset of the matter with regard to the claims of the individual defendants. That stay was lifted and a motion to bifurcate allowed.
[Note 2] The individual defendants may assert their rights to a trial on their claims within 45 days of the date hereof, or within 45 days of a final disposition on appeal.
[Note 3] Briggs Thomas is a predecessor in title to the Plaintiffs at Rexhame Terrace.
[Note 4] The Beach Lots, so-called, are not deemed part of the Rexhame Terrace Subdivision.