Massachusetts easement rights are often a source of contention between neighboring property owners. If a property owner files an action for a declaratory judgment, the court may issue a decision setting forth the easement rights of the respective property owners, as in a July 26, 2019 case.
The plaintiff in the case brought an action against her neighbor, seeking a declaration that her neighbor had no legal right to the continued use of a sewerage pumping station on her property, and seeking injunctive relief and damages. After the lower court granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, the defendant filed an appeal with the Appeals Court of Massachusetts.
At the time the plaintiff had purchased her lot, she was aware that the prior owner of the defendant’s lot was using the pump station on her lot to dispute of sewage. The local town, however, had been paying the costs associated with the pump station since its completion in 2001. In 2011, the town sought to recoup these costs from the plaintiff. Thereafter, a disagreement arose between the parties regarding the defendant’s contribution towards the expenses of the pump station. This prompted the plaintiff to file an action seeking a declaration that the defendant had no right to use the pump station.