The Plaintiff failed to prove that the access across the abutting lot was continual for a period of twenty years. Even the evidence of parking by customers and employees of the Plaintiff was insufficient to prove that a prescriptive easement was created. The court concluded: “Here, neighborly accommodation was consistent with the relationship between the owners of the abutting properties. Such accommodation was reasonable given the fact that the two properties were largely connected by pavement from at least 1974 or 1975 to 2010, allowing customers to patronize more than one business without moving their vehicles, and that employees of the two major commercial entities (the Pharmacy and the Bank) frequented each other's businesses. The testimony of witnesses proferred by both parties supports an inference that, to the extent the owners of the Coyote Parcel knew or should have known of parking on their land by Pharmacy customers or employees (who were not also frequenting a business on the Coyote Parcel), it was mutually understood by the abutting landowners that such parking was permissive and not adverse.”
I liked the “neighborly accommodation” finding to support the conclusion that the use of the abutter’s property was permissive and not adverse.
PAUL F. ALPHEN, ESQUIREBALAS, ALPHEN & SANTOS, P.C.