Establishing Prescriptive Easement Rights Over Driveway

Mongeau v. Masonic Building Association of Uxbridge

Worcester Superior Court

1785CV00315

This bench (jury-waived) trial focused on our clients’ use of a driveway that ran over part of the defendant’s land in downtown Uxbridge. Defendant had started to block access to the driveway in 2016, leading our clients to seek a declaration from the court as to their prescriptive easement rights to pass over the defendant’s land for purposes of entering and exiting their property. In order to establish prescriptive easement rights, a party must prove at least 20 years of open, continuous, adverse (non-permissive) notorious use of the land in question. The defendant counterclaimed for trespass as our clients had, in 2012, covered the driveway area with reground asphalt. The Court found that our clients testified credibly at trial to their family’s use of the driveway for over 60 years, and awarded them the requested easement while dismissing the defendant’s counterclaim. The judgment allows our clients, their heirs and/or any future parties who buy our clients’ property to continue to legally utilize the driveway without disturbance.