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© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2016
Overcoming Land and Development
Restrictions: Adverse Possession, Easements
and Other P...
2
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adverse
Possession as a
Sword or a Shield
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estat...
3
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adverse Possession Defined: Old Law
To establish adverse possession, the following five
elements must be proved: Possessio...
Under the new law, the requirements under the old
law still exist. However, the amendments have
more narrowly defined what...
NY CLS RPAPL § 512
Essentials of adverse possession under written instrument or
judgment
“… land is deemed to have been po...
NY CLS RPAPL § 543
Adverse possession; how affected by acts across a
boundary line
1. … the existence of de minimus [de mi...
NY CLS RPAPL § 522
Essentials of adverse possession not under written instrument or
judgment
Land is deemed to have been p...
Claim of Right
The 2008 Amendments went on to specifically
define “Claim of Right” as having “a reasonable
basis for the b...
Claim of Title
Under the old law, knowledge that rightful title belongs
to another did not defeat a claim of right.
Wallin...
Actual Possession Under the New Law
“De minimus encroachments”
The 2008 Amendments more strictly defined the type
of posse...
Statute of Limitations for Adverse
Possession
Remains the same under the new law
NY CLS CPLR § 212
Possession necessary to...
Walling v. Pryzbylo
Seminole case that prompted the legislature to
amend the adverse possession statute and define a
“clai...
In Walling v. Przybylo, the Wallings and the Przybylos
owned adjoining properties. The Wallings began using a
portion of t...
In 2004, the Przybylos discovered that they had title
to the portion of the land that the Wallings had been
using. The Wal...
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© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
• In accordance with the statutory mandate, the Court of
Appeals has ruled, in Estate of Becker v. Murtagh, that
if a clai...
• To date, there is only one Adverse
Possession case decided in the First
Department. Unfortunately while using
cases from...
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
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Historical Photograph
of 63 East 92nd Street
Front Areaway
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
N...
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
37
Second Department
Cases
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
38
Second Department Cases
• Hartman v. Goldman applied the new
law, even though the alleged adverse
possession would have...
Hartman v. Goldman
The First Case Using the New Law
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Actual Possession Under the New Law
“De minimus encroachments”
The First Case Using the New Law
• Section 9 of the Amendme...
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Second Department Cases
• In Calder v. 731 Bergan, LLC, adverse possession rights
would have vested when the statute of...
47
Second Department Cases
• Wright v. Sokoloff applied the new law because
both the commencement of the claim and the
all...
48
Second Dep’t Applies Old Law
Hogan v. Kelly
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Es...
49
Second Dep’t Applies Old Law
Shilkoff v. Longhitano
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York...
50
Second Dep’t Applies Old Law
Maya’s Black Creek v Angelo Balbo Realty
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bai...
51
Third Department
Cases
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
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Third Department Cases
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
In Zie...
53
Third Department Cases
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
The pl...
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Third Department Cases
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
Specif...
55
Third Department Cases
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
In con...
56
Third Department Cases
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
The Co...
Franza v. Olin
73 A.D.3d 44 (N.Y. App. Div. 4th Dep’t 2010)
Fourth Department
57
Fourth Department Cases
© Adam Leitman Ba...
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
How To Legally
Encroach On Neighbors
Land or Public Street
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You have one year to
commence action to
remove land if not
exceeding six inches.
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam ...
60
A license for the maintenance of a
front or exterior wall
encroachment on a public street
or highway may be requested o...
61
Authorizes the maintenance of a
front or other exterior wall
encroachment of not more than
six inches onto a public str...
62
A front or exterior wall encroachment
erected after January 1, 1940 may
remain if no action or proceeding
requiring rem...
63
Allowing the maintenance of a
front or exterior wall
encroachment of ten inches or
less onto a public street on May
25,...
64
Allows any part of a building
projecting into a public street on
January 1, 1938 to remain until its
removal is directe...
65
Permits encroachment up to six
inches onto a public street or
highway of the front or exterior
wall of any building ere...
66
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2016
UNDERSTANDING EASEMENTS
CREATION
• Easements can be created in four ways:
▫ Grant,
▫ Implication from prior use,
▫ Implication from necessity, and...
Easements
68
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
• An easement is “an interest in land in the
possession of another which (a)...
69
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Easement by Grant
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© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
L 80 P394 Sec 5
1) h.
2) H. Cook, Mary ux.
3) Oliver H. Payne
BAP Ely – 5th Av. 32’ 2” S-79th Street
≈S 70’
≈E 115’
≈N 102...
73
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
• When the dominant estate is
transferred, the easement passes to
the subsequent owner...
Easement Appurtenant
“TOGETHER, with all right title and interest, if
any, of the party of the first part in and to any
st...
75
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
EASEMENTS BY IMPLICATION FROM PRIOR USE
• There are four requirements needed to create an
easement by prior use.
▫ First, ...
The “necessity” required for an implied easement based
upon preexisting use is only “reasonable necessity,” in
contrast to...
78
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Easement of
Necessity
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
79
• Imagine a land owner has a fairly
substantial piece of acreage and
decides to subdivide it into lots
and one of the l...
80
• As the owner sells off those lots,
the sale creates an easement of
access on those lots enabling the
owner of the lan...
EASEMENTS BY PRESCRIPTION
• An easement by prescription is generally
demonstrated by proof of the adverse, open and
notori...
82
• There are 8 ways to terminate
an easement:
• Abandonment
• Merger
• End of Necessity
• Demolition
• Recording Act
• C...
83
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Abandonment
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
84
• In order to prove abandonment, it is
necessary to establish not only an intention
by the dominant estate holder to ab...
Banach v. Homes Gas Co., 12 A.D.2d 373,
211 N.Y.S.2d 443 (1961)
• Issue: Whether the defendant’s easement to lay
and maint...
Banach v. Homes Gas Co., 12 A.D.2d 373,
211 N.Y.S.2d 443 (1961)
Application: Defendant laid a natural gas pipeline four
fe...
Gerbig v. Zumpano, 7 N.Y.2d 327, 165 N.E.2d 178,
197 N.Y.S.2d 161 (1960)
• Issue: Whether there is a potential claim by de...
Gerbig v. Zumpano, 7 N.Y.2d 327, 165 N.E.2d 178,
197 N.Y.S.2d 161 (1960)
• Application: Plaintiffs and defendant were owne...
89
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Merger
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
90
• Under the merger doctrine, an
easement will terminate when
the dominant and servient
estates become vested in one
per...
91
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Demolition
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
92
• An easement in a building or
land will terminate when that
burdened building or land is
completely destroyed.
© Adam ...
93
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Recording Act
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
94
• A good faith purchaser for
value is not bound by an
easement which is not
properly recorded prior to a
purchase of th...
95
• The easement does not terminate
notwithstanding a failure to record
the easement if the good faith
purchaser had actu...
96
Abuse
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
97
• Abusing the rights one has under
an easement is not a ground for
extinguishing the easement.
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P...
98
• The mere use of the easement for a
purpose not authorized, the
excessive use or misuse, or the
temporary abandonment ...
99
• That is not to say that the servient
estate owner is without a remedy,
but destruction of the easement is
not that re...
100
Condemnation
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
101
• A government can create an
easement by way of condemnation
• A governmental agency can also
abolish an easement by
c...
102
Release
• An easement once granted may be
ended by a release in writing stating
that the owner of the easement gives
a...
103
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adversary Demands Property
Owner Vacate Area
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© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
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© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
New York Real Estate Attorneys
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New York Real Estate Attorneys
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© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
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New York Real Estate Attorneys
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© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
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Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
Questions a Witness
113
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2016
Suggestions For Title
Insurers When Dealing With
Possible Boundary Disputes
© Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
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Overcoming Land and Development Restrictions

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Overcoming land and development restrictions: adverse possession, easements and other property obstacles.

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Overcoming Land and Development Restrictions

  1. 1. 1 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2016 Overcoming Land and Development Restrictions: Adverse Possession, Easements and Other Property Obstacles June 22, 2016 Fidelity National Title Insurance Services, LLC Summer CLE
  2. 2. 2 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adverse Possession as a Sword or a Shield Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  3. 3. 3 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  4. 4. Adverse Possession Defined: Old Law To establish adverse possession, the following five elements must be proved: Possession must be: 1. Hostile and under a claim of right 2. Actual 3. Open and notorious 4. Exclusive 5. Continuous for the required period (10 years) ▫ Belotti v. Bickhardt, 228 N.Y. 296, 302 (N.Y. 1920) 4 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  5. 5. Under the new law, the requirements under the old law still exist. However, the amendments have more narrowly defined what qualifies as actual possession and what constitutes possession under a claim of right. ▫ NY CLS RPAPL § 501 5 Adverse Possession Defined: New Law © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  6. 6. NY CLS RPAPL § 512 Essentials of adverse possession under written instrument or judgment “… land is deemed to have been possessed and occupied in any of the following cases: 1. Where there has been acts sufficiently open to put a reasonably diligent owner on notice. 2. Where it has been protected by a substantial enclosure, except as provided in subdivision one of section five hundred forty-three of this article. 3. Where, although not enclosed, it has been used for the supply of fuel or of fencing timber, either for the purposes of husbandry or for the ordinary use of the occupant.” 6 Adverse Possession Defined: New Law Amendments to Actual Possession Requirement © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  7. 7. NY CLS RPAPL § 543 Adverse possession; how affected by acts across a boundary line 1. … the existence of de minimus [de minimis] non-structural encroachments including, but not limited to, fences, hedges, shrubbery, plantings, sheds and non-structural walls, shall be deemed to be permissive and non-adverse. 2. … the acts of lawn mowing or similar maintenance across the boundary line of an adjoining landowner's property shall be deemed to be permissive and non-adverse. 7 Adverse Possession Defined: The New Law Amendments to the Actual Possession Requirement Specific Exceptions © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  8. 8. NY CLS RPAPL § 522 Essentials of adverse possession not under written instrument or judgment Land is deemed to have been possessed and occupied only: 1. Where there have been acts sufficiently open to put a reasonably diligent owner on notice. 2. Where it has been protected by a substantial enclosure, except as provided in subdivision one of section five hundred forty-three of this article. 8 Adverse Possession Defined: New Law Amendments to Actual Possession Requirement © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  9. 9. Claim of Right The 2008 Amendments went on to specifically define “Claim of Right” as having “a reasonable basis for the belief that the property belongs to the adverse possessor or the property owner as the case may be.” RPAPL 501(3) 9 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  10. 10. Claim of Title Under the old law, knowledge that rightful title belongs to another did not defeat a claim of right. Walling v. Przybylo, 7 N.Y.3d 228 (N.Y. 2006) Claim of Right NY CLS RPAPL § 501(3) Under the new law, a claim of right means a reasonable basis for the belief that the property belongs to the adverse possessor or property owner, as the case may be. 10 Claim of Title (Old Law) vs. Claim of Right (New Law) © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  11. 11. Actual Possession Under the New Law “De minimus encroachments” The 2008 Amendments more strictly defined the type of possession sufficient to uphold a claim of adverse possession. A person or entity is an "adverse possessor" of real property when the person or entity occupies real property of another person or entity with or without knowledge of the other's superior ownership rights, in a manner that would give the owner a cause of action for ejectment. • RPAPL 501(1) 11 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  12. 12. Statute of Limitations for Adverse Possession Remains the same under the new law NY CLS CPLR § 212 Possession necessary to recover real property. An action to recover real property or its possession cannot be commenced unless the plaintiff, or his predecessor in interest, was seized or possessed of the premises within ten years before the commencement of the action. 12 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  13. 13. Walling v. Pryzbylo Seminole case that prompted the legislature to amend the adverse possession statute and define a “claim of right.” © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  14. 14. In Walling v. Przybylo, the Wallings and the Przybylos owned adjoining properties. The Wallings began using a portion of the Przybylos’ property as their own. • Bulldozed and deposited fill and topsoil on disputed property • Dug a trench and installed pipes for the purpose of carrying water to and under the disputed parcel, ultimately discharging the water in and over the disputed parcel. • Constructed an underground dog wire fence to enclose their dog and continuously mowed, graded, raked, planted, and watered the grassy area in dispute. • Installed 69 feet of four-inch pipe which ran underground but surfaced at the end of the pipeline. • Affixed a birdhouse on a post approximately 10 feet long stuck in a hole dug by the Wallings near the northwesterly corner of the grassy part of the disputed territory. • Since 1992, the post and birdhouse have remained in place. ▫ Walling v. Przybylo, 7 N.Y.3d 228, 230-231 (N.Y. 2006) ◦ See Adam Leitman Bailey & John M. Desiderio, Adverse Possession Changes Make Result Less Certain, 2009 The New York L. J., Feb. 11, 2009 at (2009). 14 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  15. 15. In 2004, the Przybylos discovered that they had title to the portion of the land that the Wallings had been using. The Wallings filed suit to quiet title. The Przybylos attempted to prove that Wallings knew they did not own the disputed parcel. Holding: The Court of Appeals held for the Wallings and declared that “actual knowledge that another person is the title owner does not, in and of itself, defeat a claim of right by an adverse possessor.” ▫ Walling v. Przybylo, 7 N.Y.3d 228 (N.Y. 2006) ◦ See Adam Leitman Bailey & John M. Desiderio, Adverse Possession Changes Make Result Less Certain, 2009 The New York L. J., Feb. 11, 2009 at (2009). 15 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  16. 16. 16 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  17. 17. 17 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  18. 18. 18 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  19. 19. 19 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  20. 20. 20 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  21. 21. • In accordance with the statutory mandate, the Court of Appeals has ruled, in Estate of Becker v. Murtagh, that if a claim was filed before the amendments took effect and rights were vested by adverse possession before the amendments were effective, the old law will apply. The Court of Appeals did not address the effect the new amendments would have on cases brought after the amendments became effective but where ownership rights are alleged to have vested prior to July 7, 2008. 21 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys Court of Appeals Estate of Becker v. Murtagh
  22. 22. • To date, there is only one Adverse Possession case decided in the First Department. Unfortunately while using cases from the old law, the court did not specify whether applying the old or new law. 22 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys First Department Cases
  23. 23. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  24. 24. 24 Historical Photograph of 63 East 92nd Street Front Areaway © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
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  37. 37. 37 Second Department Cases © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  38. 38. 38 Second Department Cases • Hartman v. Goldman applied the new law, even though the alleged adverse possession would have vested in 1997, because the parties stipulated that the 2008 amendments applied. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  39. 39. Hartman v. Goldman The First Case Using the New Law © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  40. 40. Actual Possession Under the New Law “De minimus encroachments” The First Case Using the New Law • Section 9 of the Amendments states that the new law “shall take effect immediately, and shall apply to claims filed on or after such effective date.” • However, Courts have recognized that where adverse possession rights have vested prior to the amendments, the old law should still apply. • In Hartman v. Goldman, the alleged adverse possession rights would have vested prior to the enactment of the amendments. • However, due to clever lawyering, defendant’s attorneys were able to get the plaintiff to stipulate that the new law applied, and the court did not disturb their stipulation. 40 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
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  46. 46. 46 Second Department Cases • In Calder v. 731 Bergan, LLC, adverse possession rights would have vested when the statute of limitations expired in 1984, but, without taking note of that fact, the Court nevertheless applied the new law holding that, upon the facts alleged, the plaintiffs had a reasonable basis for their belief that the disputed parcel had been conveyed to them in 1974 by the US Government and had thereby established their claim of right to the parcel under the 2008 amendments. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  47. 47. 47 Second Department Cases • Wright v. Sokoloff applied the new law because both the commencement of the claim and the alleged vesting of the adverse possession rights occurred after the amendments took effect. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  48. 48. 48 Second Dep’t Applies Old Law Hogan v. Kelly © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys The court held that a “claim of right” could nevertheless be established, in a case filed after July 7, 2008, where adverse possession vested prior to that date, regardless of whether or not the adverse possessor “had actual knowledge of the true owner at the time of possession,” citing Walling. As a result the court held that defendants’ knowledge, that someone other than themselves had title to the property, did not bar the defendants from asserting a claim of right under pre-2008 adverse possession law.
  49. 49. 49 Second Dep’t Applies Old Law Shilkoff v. Longhitano © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys In Shilkoff v. Longhitano, the court applied pre-2008 law to a case commenced in 2009 because the alleged adverse possession rights would have vested prior to the effective date of the 2008 RPAPL amendments.
  50. 50. 50 Second Dep’t Applies Old Law Maya’s Black Creek v Angelo Balbo Realty © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys In Maya’s Black Creek v Angelo Balbo Realty, the court declined to decide whether the old law or the new should apply, and applied both, stating that the plaintiff’s adverse possession cause of action would be upheld in either circumstance. However, the court did not state how the plaintiff had satisfied the requirement of the 2008 amendments that there be a “reasonable basis for the belief that the property belongs to the adverse possessor or property owner as the case may be.”
  51. 51. 51 Third Department Cases © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  52. 52. 52 Third Department Cases © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys In Ziegler v. Serrano, the Court applied the new law to a case where adverse possession had vested in 1995. In Ziegler, Defendant and her husband owned property as tenants by the entirety from 1972-1984, at which point the defendant abandoned her husband and left the property. Defendant’s husband received judgment for divorce and partition of the property due to defendant’s default. Defendant’s husband, now having fee title in the property, deeded the property to plaintiffs in 1985. Ziegler v. Serrano
  53. 53. 53 Third Department Cases © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys The plaintiffs then continued to occupy the premises as their residence. In 1991, upon motion made by the defendant and her husband, both the divorce and partition judgments against the defendant were vacated for improper service. In 1992 defendant sued plaintiffs, challenging their title to the property. The action was dismissed due to failure to prosecute. However, in 2008, plaintiff’s moved to quiet title. 74 AD3d 1610 (3d Dept. 2010). Ziegler v. Serrano
  54. 54. 54 Third Department Cases © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys Specifically mentioning RPAPL §§501(3) and 511 as amended in 2008, the Ziegler Court held that plaintiffs’ claim of right was based on a “reasonable basis” as it was pursuant to a written instrument -- a deed. Because the plaintiffs entered with a reasonable claim of right and possession and occupation was continuous for the statutory period, adverse possession was upheld. The Court acknowledged the holding in Franza and recognized that title would also have vested under pre-2008 law, but noted that the parties did not question the propriety of applying the 2008 legislation, and, therefore, the Court declined to address the issue. The Court held that a claim of right based on a deed is a reasonable basis for a claim of right under both the new law and the old law. Ziegler v. Serrano
  55. 55. 55 Third Department Cases © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys In contrast, in Barra v. Norfolk S. Ry. Co., a case commenced in March of 2009, the Third Department applied the old law because title by adverse possession would have vested before the adverse possession statute was amended. Plaintiffs owned land adjacent to railroad tracks owned by the defendant. In March 2008, defendant closed the middle crossing. Plaintiff claimed, among other things, that they acquired a prescriptive easement for ingress and egress over the northern crossing. Barra v. Norfolk S. Ry. Co.
  56. 56. 56 Third Department Cases © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys The Court held that when all of the elements of a prescriptive easement are present, except express hostility, hostility is generally presumed, shifting the burden to the defendant to show that the use was in fact permissive. As defendant failed to sufficiently prove that permission was implied from the beginning, the Court held that summary judgment for the defendant was inappropriate. 75 A.D.3d 821 (3d Dept. 2010) Barra v. Norfolk S. Ry. Co.
  57. 57. Franza v. Olin 73 A.D.3d 44 (N.Y. App. Div. 4th Dep’t 2010) Fourth Department 57 Fourth Department Cases © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  58. 58. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 How To Legally Encroach On Neighbors Land or Public Street
  59. 59. 59 You have one year to commence action to remove land if not exceeding six inches. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  60. 60. 60 A license for the maintenance of a front or exterior wall encroachment on a public street or highway may be requested of the local legislative body in a city with a population of less than one million persons, a town or a village. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  61. 61. 61 Authorizes the maintenance of a front or other exterior wall encroachment of not more than six inches onto a public street or highway when the encroachment existed on or before January 1, 1940. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  62. 62. 62 A front or exterior wall encroachment erected after January 1, 1940 may remain if no action or proceeding requiring removal of the encroachment is commenced within one year of the giving of notice of the encroachment to the appropriate town or village official. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  63. 63. 63 Allowing the maintenance of a front or exterior wall encroachment of ten inches or less onto a public street on May 25, 1899. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  64. 64. 64 Allows any part of a building projecting into a public street on January 1, 1938 to remain until its removal is directed by the City Council. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  65. 65. 65 Permits encroachment up to six inches onto a public street or highway of the front or exterior wall of any building erected on or before January 1, 1960. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  66. 66. 66 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2016 UNDERSTANDING EASEMENTS
  67. 67. CREATION • Easements can be created in four ways: ▫ Grant, ▫ Implication from prior use, ▫ Implication from necessity, and ▫ Prescription. 67 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  68. 68. Easements 68 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 • An easement is “an interest in land in the possession of another which (a) entitles the owner of such interest to a limited use or enjoyment of the land in which the interest exists; (b) entitles … protection … against third persons from interference in such use or enjoyment; (c) is not subject to the will of the possessor of the land and (e) is capable of creation by conveyance.” Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  69. 69. 69 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Easement by Grant
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  72. 72. L 80 P394 Sec 5 1) h. 2) H. Cook, Mary ux. 3) Oliver H. Payne BAP Ely – 5th Av. 32’ 2” S-79th Street ≈S 70’ ≈E 115’ ≈N 102’ 2” ≈W 15’ ≈S 32’ ≈W 100’ to PB Together with an unobstructed easement of light air and prospect, as the same now exists, for twenty years from date over the lot of (1) on Fifth Avenue immediately south of the above described premises said lot being twenty feet in breadth on said avenue and in the rear by one hundred feet in depth on each side. 72 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  73. 73. 73 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 • When the dominant estate is transferred, the easement passes to the subsequent owner through appurtenance clauses even though there is no specific mention of the easement in the deed. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  74. 74. Easement Appurtenant “TOGETHER, with all right title and interest, if any, of the party of the first part in and to any streets and roads abutting the above-described premises to the center lines thereof; TOGETHER, with the appurtenances and all the state and rights of the party of the first part in and to said premises; TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the premises herein granted unto the party of the second part, the heirs or successors and assigns of the party of the second part forever” 74 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  75. 75. 75 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  76. 76. EASEMENTS BY IMPLICATION FROM PRIOR USE • There are four requirements needed to create an easement by prior use. ▫ First, there must be a common grantor at the time the parcels were split. ▫ Second, there must have been an existing use of one parcel to benefit another. ▫ Third, the use of the burdened parcel must be continuous, obvious, and seem permanent. ▫ Fourth, be reasonably necessary to the dominant land’s use and enjoyment. 76 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  77. 77. The “necessity” required for an implied easement based upon preexisting use is only “reasonable necessity,” in contrast to absolute necessity required to establish an implied easement by necessity. Four S Realty Co., v. Dynko, 210 A.D. 2d 622, 623, 619 N.Y.S.2d 855, 856 (1994). 77 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 EASEMENTS BY IMPLICATION FROM PRIOR USE
  78. 78. 78 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Easement of Necessity Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  79. 79. 79 • Imagine a land owner has a fairly substantial piece of acreage and decides to subdivide it into lots and one of the lots the owner creates is completely landlocked inside the other lots. • Paine v. Chandler, 134 N.Y. 385 (1892). • Will v. Gates, 89 N.Y.2d 778, 784, 680 N.E.2d 1197, 1200, 685 N.Y.S.2d 900, 903 (1997). © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  80. 80. 80 • As the owner sells off those lots, the sale creates an easement of access on those lots enabling the owner of the landlocked lot to access the highway. • Will v. Gates, 89 N.Y.2d 778, 784, 680 N.E.2d 1197, 1200, 685 N.Y.S.2d 900, 903 (1997). • Gerbig v. Zumpano, 7 N.Y.2d 327, 165 N.E.2d 178, 197 N.Y.S.2d 161 (1960). © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  81. 81. EASEMENTS BY PRESCRIPTION • An easement by prescription is generally demonstrated by proof of the adverse, open and notorious, continuous, and uninterrupted use of the subject property for the prescriptive period. 315 Main Street Poughkeepsie, LLC v. WA 319 Main, LLC, 62 A.D.2d 690, 691, 878 N.Y.S.2d 193 (2009); Hammond v. Zehner, 21 N.Y. 118 (1860) ▫ The prescriptive period is 10 years. 315 Main Street Poughkeepsie, LLC v. WA 319 Main, LLC, 62 A.D.2d 690, 691, 878 N.Y.S.2d 193, 194 (2009) (citing N.Y.R.P.A.P.L. §501). 81 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015
  82. 82. 82 • There are 8 ways to terminate an easement: • Abandonment • Merger • End of Necessity • Demolition • Recording Act • Condemnation • Adverse Possession • Release © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  83. 83. 83 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Abandonment Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  84. 84. 84 • In order to prove abandonment, it is necessary to establish not only an intention by the dominant estate holder to abandon the rights to the easement, but also some overt act or failure to act, which carries the implication that the owner neither claims nor retains any interest in the easement. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  85. 85. Banach v. Homes Gas Co., 12 A.D.2d 373, 211 N.Y.S.2d 443 (1961) • Issue: Whether the defendant’s easement to lay and maintain a pipeline over plaintiff’s lands terminated due to abandonment. • Rule: Nonuse alone, even for a long period of time, is not enough to constitute abandonment. Id. at 375, 211 N.Y.S.2d at 445. 85 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  86. 86. Banach v. Homes Gas Co., 12 A.D.2d 373, 211 N.Y.S.2d 443 (1961) Application: Defendant laid a natural gas pipeline four feet under the ground across plaintiff’s lands. Id. at 374, 211 N.Y.S.2d at 444. Id. Plaintiff brought suit against defendant to remove pipelines on the basis that easement was abandoned. Id. Plaintiff’s nonuse of land from 1932 to 1957, which was when the defendant constructed the pipeline over plaintiff’s land, does not constitute abandonment. Further, there was no intention to abandon the easement or any affirmative conduct inconsistent with the desire to use the easement. Thus, the easement was not terminated. 86 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  87. 87. Gerbig v. Zumpano, 7 N.Y.2d 327, 165 N.E.2d 178, 197 N.Y.S.2d 161 (1960) • Issue: Whether there is a potential claim by defendant for the termination of an easement by abandonment. • The acts must clearly demonstrate the permanent relinquishment of all right to the easement. Id. The “mere use of the easement for a purpose not authorized, the excessive use or misuse, or the temporary abandonment thereof, are not of themselves sufficient to constitute an abandonment. 87 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  88. 88. Gerbig v. Zumpano, 7 N.Y.2d 327, 165 N.E.2d 178, 197 N.Y.S.2d 161 (1960) • Application: Plaintiffs and defendant were owners of adjacent residential properties that are separated by a lot called a ‘lane. When originally divided, the lane was the only possible avenue to a public street from the defendant’s property.. Defendant constructed a patio and built fences and enclosures on this land. Plaintiff commenced action against defendant to remove these encumbrances. The lower court entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff. Defendant appealed. Court of Appeals held that encroachments may either be found to show a present intention not to use the easements so as to unequivocally demonstrate an abandonment or a deferred use, which would be consistent with a reliance upon the continued existence of a property right of way. • Conclusion: Yes. Defendant might be able to prove that the easement was abandoned. 88 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  89. 89. 89 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Merger Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  90. 90. 90 • Under the merger doctrine, an easement will terminate when the dominant and servient estates become vested in one person. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  91. 91. 91 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Demolition Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  92. 92. 92 • An easement in a building or land will terminate when that burdened building or land is completely destroyed. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  93. 93. 93 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Recording Act Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  94. 94. 94 • A good faith purchaser for value is not bound by an easement which is not properly recorded prior to a purchase of the encumbered property. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  95. 95. 95 • The easement does not terminate notwithstanding a failure to record the easement if the good faith purchaser had actual knowledge and notice of any facts which would lead a reasonably prudent purchaser to make inquiries. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  96. 96. 96 Abuse © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  97. 97. 97 • Abusing the rights one has under an easement is not a ground for extinguishing the easement. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  98. 98. 98 • The mere use of the easement for a purpose not authorized, the excessive use or misuse, or the temporary abandonment thereof, are not of themselves sufficient to constitute an abandonment or any other ground to extinguish the easement. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  99. 99. 99 • That is not to say that the servient estate owner is without a remedy, but destruction of the easement is not that remedy. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  100. 100. 100 Condemnation © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  101. 101. 101 • A government can create an easement by way of condemnation • A governmental agency can also abolish an easement by condemning it © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  102. 102. 102 Release • An easement once granted may be ended by a release in writing stating that the owner of the easement gives away all rights and remedies including the ability to sue under the easement. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
  103. 103. 103 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adversary Demands Property Owner Vacate Area
  104. 104. 104 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
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  108. 108. 108 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. New York Real Estate Attorneys
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  112. 112. 112 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Questions a Witness
  113. 113. 113 © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2016 Suggestions For Title Insurers When Dealing With Possible Boundary Disputes
  114. 114. © Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. 2015 The End

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