Vieira Enterprises, Inc. v. McCoy

Substantial evidence supported court’s determination that plaintiff had not obtained sole ownership of the road easement between his property and defendant’s; fence and gate did not constitute adverse possession because they had been erected by defendant’s predecessor to prevent plaintiff’s mobile home park’s tenants from crossing onto defendant’s property.  Substantial evidence supported the trial court’s determination that plaintiff had not obtained sole ownership of the road easement between his property and defendant’s.  Though in other circumstances, plaintiff’s maintenance of a fence along defendant’s side of the easement and a gate at the easement’s entrance could be sufficiently hostile to satisfy that element of adverse possession, it was not under the particular circumstances of this case because the fence had originally been erected by defendant’s predecessor in interest to prevent plaintiff’s mobile home park’s tenants from crossing onto defendant’s property, and the gate at the easement’s entrance served the same purpose.  Defendant was properly awarded annoyance and disturbance damages for plaintiff’s trespass on the easement.  While defendant did not live on the property, he visited it with sufficient frequency and encountered the annoying trespasses often enough to support the $20,000 in damages the jury awarded.

California Court of Appeal, Sixth District (Rushing, P.J.); January 23, 2017 (modified & partially published February 22, 2017); 2017 WL 726118

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