Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Case of the Week
Shashoua v. Zien (Massachusetts Land Court)
Background: Parties are next door neighboors and were "best of friends." Shashoua, however, brings suit claiming adverse possession over a slice of Zien's backyard. The case does a very nice job laying out the requirements for adverse possession and demonstrates how a trial judge teases out whether one party's use of property is "adverse" or "continuous."
Holding: The Judge found that Shashoua's use (cutting grass, planting flowers, children playing, walking dogs, setting up a tent for a bar mitzvah party) failed to meet the continuos and adverse prongs of the test for adverse possession. The judge also ordered Shashoua to remove improvements she had installed that encroached on Zien's land.