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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7346
Experience:  Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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R. I live on Island (north shore) in NY. I am currently

Customer Question

Hello, my name is***** live on Long Island (north shore) in NY. I am currently trying to make a claim on a paper road that encompasses a portion of my land (for an turn around on paper road) as well as the land designated as the paper road via adverse possession. My husband and I have been paying taxes on our full property including the section of land for the turn around for 12 years and have installed a retaining wall 280 ft along the paper road to contain the erosion of soil from sliding down onto our property and have cleaned up the paper road 12 years ago of all illegal dumping. I want to know if I have legal right to adverse possession. The Town I reside in has not utilized nor maintained the paper road for over 118 years and we have never been eased on our taxes for the portion of our land the town possesses on paper.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: 12 years ago, we purchased our home and were not told by the prior owners nor real estate agents that there was a portion of our land that the Town was given by the original owner to allow a turn around off the paper road the town possesses. According to the Town, the paper road is for the vacant lot (too small to build on by Town & County codes) to have access to the cul -de- sac road where my house is (I am the only house in the cul-de-sac and no other land is there for other houses). Upon moving into our home the North side of our property (where paper road is designated) was used by the homes and others as an illegal dump and dog bathroom, it was a complete eye sore. During hard rains, snow melt etc, the paper road soil and debris would slide down and run onto our property through our side and backyard. We decided to turn our property (completely wooded with 50+ years of under growth) to useable"country club" style yard. We installed an inground pool, blue stone retaining walls, walkways etc. The retaining wall installed along the paper road is 280 Linear Ft and we would have extended it 340 Linear feet (length of paper road) if it wasn't for a very nasty neighbor who did not like the idea that we stopped their illegal dumping.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Real Estate Lawyers generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

I want to know if I have legal right to adverse possession.

The general rule is that an individual citizen cannot claim property owned by a municipality by adverse possession. However, the rule may not be absolute in NY. In researching the question I came up with the following article which you may wish to read. http://www.farrellfritz.com/wp-content/uploads/ASG-Adverse-Possess-of-a-Governments-Property-092513l.pdf

I do not know what a "paper road" is, but it appears from your description that the land is probably held in a governmental capacity, rather than proprietary. This would defeat a claim of adverse possession according to that writer. You might a better chance petitioning the municipality to abandon the paper road. If you are successful, then generally the law is that the abandoned right-of-way, road, or whatever becomes the property of the adjacent landowner(s). The petition process is usually very complicated and requires hearings and notice to adjacent property owners. A zoning or land-use attorney should be familiar with the process. I wish you the best of luck getting it done. I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating for it.

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. Do you have a follow-up question? I am not an employee of Just Answer and I receive credit for assisting you based on your rating. I hope that you will enter a positive rating for my assistance here by clicking on 3, 4, or 5, for which there is no additional cost to you. Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.

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