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Attorneys Brazilian and Pine Win Land Court Trial Protecting Client’s Easement Rights

Posted on March 29, 2024

We are pleased to announce a significant victory in the recent Land Court case of Three Harbor View Drive LLC (3HVD) v. Deepak Reddy, as Trustee of 456 Harbor View Nominee Trust (Trust), where attorneys John Brazilian and Alec Pine emerged triumphant in defending their client’s easement rights on Nantucket.

The case involved a dispute between 3HVD and the Trust over the use of Harbor View Road which ran through abutting properties owned by the parties. The Trust sought to develop its land, which required access via Harbor View Road. 3HVD sought to prevent the Trust from accessing the road, which would have required the removal of several encroachments 3HVD placed on the road including a granite post, driveway apron, landscaping, and retaining wall. 3HVD claimed that the Trust’s easement over the road had been abandoned. The Trust, however, counterclaimed seeking the removal of all the encroachments preventing it from fully accessing the road.

Led by seasoned attorneys John Brazilian and Alec Pine, the Trust meticulously presented evidence of historical land registration plans dating back to 1928, deeds, permits, applications, and historical aerial photographs showcasing a pattern of the Trust’s predecessors’ intention to maintain the easement rights. Based on the evidence presented, the court ruled in favor of the Trust, finding that its easement rights over Harbor View Road had not been abandoned. Despite changes in land use and development over the past century, the Trust and its predecessors consistently asserted their rights to use the road. Most importantly, for the Trust, the court ordered the removal of the 3HVD’s encroachments on the road.

This case underscores the significance of understanding easement rights. It highlights the need for property owners to be aware of existing easements and to respect their boundaries. Additionally, it demonstrates the legal principles governing easement abandonment, emphasizing that mere nonuse or temporary obstruction is insufficient to prove abandonment. Instead, as held by the court, there must be overt acts indicating a clear intention to abandon the easement.

As we celebrate this achievement, we extend our congratulations to our client and attorneys Brazilian and Pine for their exceptional advocacy showcasing their real estate law knowledge and trial skills. The attorneys at Butters Brazilian LLP regularly handle transactional and litigation real estate matters on Nantucket. If you are in need of representation, please feel free to call us for a consultation.

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