Monday, January 6, 2014

Ray v. Beacon Hudson Mountain Corp. case brief

Ray v. Beacon Hudson Mountain Corp. case brief summary
666 N.E.2d 532 (1996)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant possessors challenged the decision of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Second Judicial Department (New York), which reversed a judgment that found possessors were the lawful owners and vested with a valid, absolute and unencumbered title in fee simple to the subject property and enjoyed an easement by prescription and right of way for ingress and egress.

CASE FACTS
Possessors reentered a cottage formerly owned by family and occupied it for one month a year during the summer over a period of 25 years. Appellee purchaser acquired the parcel of land upon which the cottage stood after it was taken from a predecessor for nonpayment of taxes.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The trial court found in favor of possessors but the finding was reversed on appeal.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed and reinstated the judgment of the trial court. 
  • The court agreed that possessors' occupancy of the property was continuous and open. 
  • Possessors paid real estate taxes, maintained fire insurance, arrested trespassers, claimed the site as their voting residence, maintained the structure against the effects of wind, weather, and the attacks of vandals, and nailed up posters against trespassers. 
  • The court also agreed that purchaser was put on notice of the boundaries and limits of possessors' claim by their constant and conspicuous use that made inclosures unnecessary. 
  • Because the purchaser was clearly placed on notice of possessors' hostile claim of ownership, its failure to seek ouster within the statutory period resulted in its dispossession.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed the order of the appellate division.


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