Our clients’ driveway and garden areas encroached onto their neighbors’ land, leading to a contentious dispute. We filed an adverse possession and prescriptive easement action in the Land Court seeking to assert our clients’ rights to the disputed portions. We further recorded a Notice of Lis Pendens with the Registry of Deeds to encumber the neighbors’ property pending resolution of the matter. The neighbors filed a competing quiet title action in the Land Court seeking to obtain the court’s declaration that they held title to disputed portions in fee simple.
With a long, litigious, courtroom dispute appearing likely, we advised our clients to participate in early mediation. There, in light of our compelling argument that our clients, combined with their predecessors-in-title, had exercised sufficient and non-permissive dominion and control over the disputed portions, for a period in excess twenty years, we were able to negotiate a highly favorable settlement for our clients by which they were granted a permanent and exclusive easement on the disputed portions. Furthermore, there was no cash payout nor land swap to the neighbors, as had initially been proposed.