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It’s Spring and Our Thoughts Turn to … Beach Easements!

Our former colleague and now Land Court Judge Robert Foster recently decided Neily v. Gray, 17 MISC 000660, 2020 WL 1233429 (March 13, 2020).  That case concerns the rights of various owners Lydia’s Island Road, a private way in Wareham leading to Onset Bay.  Judge Foster determined that different owners had different rights in that way, depending on their chain of title.  In doing so his decision provides a helpful review of the various means by which easements — to the beach and otherwise — may be created.

Express Easements.  We often think of easements as being granted by language in deeds.  Here, deeds to some of the parties (or their predecessors) contained express language granting them rights to use Lydia’s Island Road:  “together with the right of way over the road along the easterly side of said premises to and from the public highway and the beach.”  This is as good as it gets–as long as the person granting the easement also owns the way!

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