An easement allows a person the legal right to use another person’s land for a specific and limited purpose. If someone interferes with that right, the easement holder may request that the court to issue an injunction prohibiting such interference. In an April 5, 2019 Massachusetts real estate case, the plaintiff filed an action against her neighbors after they fenced in a private way, thus preventing her from using it.
The private way at issue was located on the borders of the plaintiff’s land and the defendants’ land. The first deed to the plaintiff’s property, recorded in 1901, granted the right to the owners to pass over the private way, located on the defendants’ property. After purchasing their property in 2017, the defendants informed the plaintiff that they intended to put up a fence to obstruct the plaintiff’s use of the way. Over the plaintiff’s objection they installed the fence.
The plaintiff filed a Complaint in the Massachusetts Land Court, asserting claims of ownership by adverse possession and interference with easement rights. The plaintiff then moved the court for a preliminary injunction requiring the defendants to remove the fence and stop interfering with her use of the way.