Does River Dave have squatter’s legal rights to the land he lived on in Canterbury?

1 phrase that will come up often when individuals chat about the predicament involving “River

1 phrase that will come up often when individuals chat about the predicament involving “River Dave” in Canterbury is this: “squatter’s rights.”

A lot of of us have heard that soon after residing someplace continuously for 20 a long time you acquire some variety of authorized correct to remain thanks to the mere passage of time. But is that accurate?

The solution: Yes, type of, but in all probability not in the way you consider. And surely not with that phrase we’ve all heard before.

“There’s no these kinds of matter as ‘squatter’s legal rights,’ by the way. The legal expression is ‘adverse possession,’ ” claimed attorney Brian Shaughnessy of Shaughnessy Raiche in Bedford, chairman of 603 Legal Help, which provides free legal support to reduced-income people.

In New Hampshire, like most states, ongoing occupation or use of land for 20 many years can transfer possession. But it is not straightforward.

“Once you get to the requisite 20 a long time, and fulfill all the factors, the land doesn’t routinely develop into yours,” claimed Andrew Piela of Hamblett and Kerrigan in Nashua, who has managed numerous adverse possession instances. “All that lets you to do is to go to court and file an action to have the court docket make a ruling that you personal this land. If prosperous … then you have to file the courtroom buy and other expected paperwork at the registry of deeds before the land is lawfully yours.”

A critical part of his description is “satisfy all the aspects.”

As Piela described it, the possession has to be steady – “you can’t come and go” – and open – “you are not able to disguise what you’re doing” – and, most counter-intuitively, “you do it without having the authorized owner’s permission.”

When a landowner has given authorization to use or occupy land there’s an agreement very similar to that of a landlord and tenant. The squatter simply cannot alter the authorized position even soon after two decades have handed any additional than a tenant owns their creating right after two decades.

In other phrases, to get adverse possession you cannot cover from the owner but you can not get their express Alright, possibly.

A single other stage: Adverse possession does not need dwelling on a home.

“You don’t have to create a home on the land. You can mow grass, lower trees – it all is dependent on the assets,” said Piela.

In fact, it’s extremely uncommon for these cases to require people’s properties. 

“I’ve been practicing regulation for 30 years in New Hampshire and have not read it,” claimed Shaughnessey.

These scenarios usually contain disputes about boundaries in between attributes. Usually, every person thinks a stone wall separates two houses right until a detailed survey discovers that the boundary is truly somewhere else. In that case, the man or woman who has been working with the disputed land can inquire the court to give authorized possession.

“When I was in regulation faculty 27 a long time in the past I thought, with contemporary surveying devices and technology, all people understands what they possess. That’s not the situation at all,” reported Piela. “I’ve witnessed a lot of of these.”

A similar predicament requires “prescriptive easement,” in which steady use of property, commonly as a highway, presents the ideal to proceed utilizing it by using an easement.

“Somebody working with a Class 6 roadway to get to a cabin on a lake, for case in point. It is the similar variety of challenges,” claimed Shaughnessy. “You see additional and additional of that. Finding an easement by adverse possession is extra popular than a hermit in the woods.”

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or dbrooks@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)