John W. Baker and Susan Baker (Bakers), filed their complaint in this action on November 22, 2013, and amended by an Amended Complaint filed March 3, 2014, and a Second Amended Complaint filed April 4, 2014. The Bakers' complaint seeks declaratory relief under G.L. c. 231A as to their rights to utilize a right of way to access their property on Clark's Island in Plymouth. Defendants Bonnie Hobson and John Hobson (Hobsons) sought to establish that the right of was abandoned and relocated to another pathway that crosses property belonging to the Watson/Clark's Island Realty Trust (WCIRT) and Thomas C. Watson.
This case was tried on June 13-14, 2016. Defendant Watson/Clark's Island Realty Trust's Trial Memorandum was filed on August 19, 2016. Defendant Bonnie Hobson's Proposed Findings of Fact, Rulings of Law and Judgment was filed on August 22, 2016. Plaintiffs' Trial Memorandum was filed on August 26, 2016. The court heard closing argument on September 21, 2016, and took the matter under advisement. In a Decision of even date, the court (Foster, J.) has made findings of fact and rulings of law.
In accordance with the court's Decision issued today, it is
ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECLARED that the right of way, as shown on a plan of land entitled "Plan of Clark's Island, Plymouth, Mass." dated 1881 and recorded in the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds (registry) on September 1, 1891 at Plan Book 1, Page 118 (1881 Plan), running from Lot 9, at the southeast corner of the island, westerly between Lots 7 and 8 to the south and Lot 11 to the north, and ending where the corners of Lots 6, 7, 11, and 12 adjoin (1881 ROW), has been abandoned at the portion starting from Lot 9, running westerly abutting Lot 8, and ending at the western boundary of Lot 8, as shown as "Abandoned Portion of 20' Wide Right of Way" on the plan attached here as Exhibit A. It is further
ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECLARED that the abandoned portion of the 1881 ROW has been relocated to the existing pathway as shown as "Ex. Path" on the plan attached here as Exhibit A, which shall have a uniform width of ten feet, except where it is already wider as of the date of this Judgment (the Relocated Pathway). It is further
ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECLARED that the Bakers, the Hobsons, Thomas C. Watson, and the WCIRT may pass and repass over the Relocated Pathway for any purpose for which highways may be lawfully used, including but not limited to the use of the Sea Legs amphibious vehicle. It is further
ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECLARED that the Bakers, the Hobsons, and the WCIRT have an easement by prescription to pass and repass over the existing pathway as shown as "Ex. Path" on the plan attached here as Exhibit A. It is further
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that nothing in this Judgment shall extend to any person holding an interest in the 1881 ROW who has not been named as a party to this proceeding in this court.
ORDERED that, upon payment of all fees established by law, this Judgment, or a certified copy of it, may be recorded with the registry and may be marginally referenced on any relevant instruments.
By the Court.