Property Keyed to Saxer
Williams Bros. Inc. of Marshfield v. Peck
A parcel of land (parcel A) serving as a cranberry bog contained easement rights and access onto another parcel (parcel B). The easement rights included (a) a right of way; (b) a right to take sand; (c) a right to build bog houses; and (d) a right to cut trees if the trees shaded the cranberry bog. Subsequently, parcels A and B were combined under a single owner. However, the parcels were then split again, parcel A being conveyed to George and Marjorie Peck (Defendants) and parcel B conveyed to Williams Brothers, Inc. of Marshfield (Plaintiff). The deed conveying the property to Defendants included the easement rights listed in a prior deed. The deed conveying parcel B to Defendants did not list the easement rights. Additionally, Defendants’ parcel was registered and they possessed a certificate of registration. In Massachusetts, the purpose of registration was to provide a method of making titles to land certain and to protect the certificate holder. Defendants removed sand and cut trees on the Defendants property as provided for by the easement. Defendants sued Defendants, contending that any easement over its land had been terminated due to common ownership of both parcels many years before. The land court judge held in Plaintiff’s favor and ordered the easement language struck from the Peck’s certificate of title. Defendants appealed.
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