Andrew v. Nantasket Beach R. Co.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Citation25 N.E. 966,152 Mass. 506
Decision Date26 November 1890


French and E.C. Bumpus, for petitioner.

Robert M. Morse, Joseph O. Burdett, and Marcus Morton, Jr., for defendant.



The defendant requested a ruling that, upon the evidence offered by the petitioner, which was all there was in the case, the petitioner was not entitled to maintain this proceeding. This request was properly refused. The evidence was plenary that for a considerable number of years the petitioner's intestate had been in possession of the premises, doing acts herself, or through her agents, which must be construed as an assertion of title. The only question which could be debated in relation thereto was whether this adverse occupation had existed for 20 years. But, even if it had not, a possessory title such as unquestionably existed was sufficient to sustain the petition, as the intestate was in undisputed possession and occupation of the land when taken by defendants for their railroad, and had been so for a considerable number of years. By St.1874, c. 372, § 63 (Pub.St. c. 112, § 95,) the railroad was rendered liable to pay all damages occasioned by the laying out, making, or maintaining its road. These damages are to be estimated "in the manner provided with reference to the laying out of highways." Trustees v. Worcester Co., 1 Metc. (Mass.) 437, it was held that a possessory title to land over which a highway is located is sufficient to entitle a party in possession to maintain his petition. In Hawkins v. Commissioners, 2 Allen, 254, it was held that possession of land for nine years under a claim of title in fee is prima facie sufficient to support a petition for damages thereto sustained by reason of the discontinuance of a highway. In Chandler v. Aqueduct Corp., 125 Mass 544, the petitioner, for damages sustained by taking his land for the purposes of an aqueduct corporation, having shown a possessory title, was held entitled to maintain his petition and evidence that he had only a base fee in part of the land was inadmissible in reduction of his damages. While the presiding judge held the petitioner to a more onerous rule than this, and required him to show a title by adverse possession for more than 20 years before the taking, yet the defendant has no ground of complaint, even if the evidence should fall short of...

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11 cases
  • Opinion of the Justices
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 27 d4 Junho d4 1974
    ...has not yet ripened into title, may maintain an action for compensation for a taking by the Commonwealth. Andrew v. Nantasket Beach R.R., 152 Mass. 506, 25 N.E. 966 (1890). Since the proposed bill does not provide compensation for either of these classes of owners it is constitutionally Fur......
  • Campbell v. City of New Haven
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 11 d5 Julho d5 1924
    ...... . . Argued. before WHEELER, C.J., and BEACH, CURTIS, KEELER, and HAINES,. JJ. . . . WHEELER, C.J. (after stating the facts as ...Cas. 73, was a. case of this kind. The possessor was not a mere trespasser. Andrews v. Nantasket Beach R. Co., 152 Mass. 506, 25. N.E. 966. . . In the. case of a mere trespasser ......
  • U.S. v. 79.31 Acres of Land, More or Less, Situated in the Towns of Truro, Wellfleet and Eastham, 83-1006
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • 15 d4 Setembro d4 1983
    ...See United States v. Certain Land Located in the County of Barnstable, 314 F.Supp. 1372 (D.Mass.1970); Andrew v. Nantasket Beach R. Co., 152 Mass. 506, 25 N.E. 966 (1890). These cases, however, are clearly distinguishable because the party seeking compensation was asserting a possessory cla......
  • Senn v. Western Massachusetts Elec. Co.
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • 4 d5 Janeiro d5 1985
    ...a taking on the basis of activity less than that required for adverse possession. Andrew v. Nantasket Beach R.R., 152 Mass. Page 134 506, 25 N.E. 966 (1890), and Slater v. Rawson, 6 Met. 439 (1843), cited by the plaintiffs in their brief, are not to the contrary. The judge was correct in de......
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