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Massachusetts Law About Adverse Possession

Massachusetts Laws

Selected Case Law

Cook v Babcock, 65 Mass. 206 (1853) "A party…must show an actual, open, exclusive, and adverse possession of the land. All these elements are essential to be proved, and the failure to establish any one of them is fatal to the validity of the claim."

Holmes v Johnson, 324 Mass. 450 (1949) "Acquisition of title through adverse possession is a fact . . . to be proved by the one asserting the title. The burden of proof extends to all of the  necessary elements of such possession . . . ."

Ryan v. Stavros, 348 Mass. 251 (1964). "Title by adverse possession can be acquired only by proof of nonpermissive use which is actual, open, notorious, exclusive, and adverse for twenty years."

Other Web Sources

Adverse Possession, by Gary F. Casaly. Discussion of elements of and defenses to adverse possession.

Adverse Possession Basics, Konstantine Kyros. Basics and theories behind this doctrine.

Mass. Real Estate Law Blog. Includes tips to prevent adverse possession.

"When 'Comprehensive' Prescriptive Easements Overlap Adverse Possession," by Will Saxe, 33 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 175(2006) Part I of the article provides an analysis of the required elements of adverse possession and a review of it's origins in English law.

"Lawrence v. Concord: The Doctrine of Adverse Possession Restored and Acquisition of Title to Government Property," by Erin R. Boisvert, MBA Section Review, Vol. 6, No. 2 Analysis of a case involving municipal property.

Selected Print Sources

Crocker's Notes on Common Forms, MCLE 2006 with supplement, Chapter 26.

Real Estate Law with forms, Mass. Practice v.28-28B, Thomson West, 2004 with supplement Chapter 27.

Neighboring Property Owners, Shepard's McGraw-Hill, 1988 with supplement Chapter 6.

A Practical Guide to Disputes between Adjoining Landowners-Easements, V. 1, MatthewBender, 1989 with supplement Chapter 7.