Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Peters v. Archambault case brief

Peters v. Archambault case brief summary
278 N.E.2d 729 (1972)

Defendants appealed an order of the Superior Court, Plymouth (Massachusetts) that ordered the removal of a portion of their home that encroached on the land of plaintiffs.

Defendants' predecessor in title obtained a building permit in 1946 and built a house partly on their own lot and partly on the plaintiffs' lot. The encroachment contained 465 square feet, and the building extended 15 feet, 3 inches, onto the plaintiffs' lot, to a depth of 31 feet, 4 inches.

The trial judge found that it would be expensive to remove the encroaching portion of the building. He ruled that there had been established no estoppel of, or laches on the part of, plaintiffs in seeking to have the encroachment removed. It appears from the evidence that defendants bought their lot from one vendor and plaintiffs from another vendor. The judge found no evidence of any permission by the owners of plaintiffs' lot for the encroachment. The encroachment was discovered when plaintiffs had a survey of their land made.


  • The supreme court held that the invasion of plaintiff's lot was substantial and not de minimis. 
  • They were entitled to receive whatever was shown by the land registration certificate as belonging to their grantor, unencumbered by any unregistered prescriptive easement or encroachment.
The decree was affirmed with costs of appeal.

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