Who Owns the Inches
Likely they, if the survey is correct. Simply because you controlled it mistakenly for this time does not mean that someone in your situation can place a claim on it. The only way that a claim can be made is via easement by prescription. In order to establish an easement by prescription, a litigant must prove elements similar to those associated with adverse possession. Thus, the proponent of an easement by prescription must prove an adverse use of land that is visible, open and notorious for at least thirty years. The proponent of the easement must establish the elements by the preponderance of the evidence. * * * "`A use is adverse or hostile if a person uses the property of another under a claim of right, pursued with an intent to claim against the true owner in such circumstances of notoriety that the owner will be aware of the fact and thus alerted to resist the acquisition of the right by claimant before the period of adverse possession has elapsed.'" HAWES REALTY, INC. v. Cupo, NJ: Appellate Div. 2012. [internal citations omitted].
The problem is that this was NOT hostile. In fact it was not intentional. So the claim on it would be weak.
Unfortunately, they have a right to place a fence on their part of the property, or whatever else they want to. If this inconveniences you, then this is unfortunate but you have no right to "open the car door" on their property, even if temporarily. Likewise, there is no "right to view" from one's property (with very few states having limited rights to view the beach). So they can build whatever they want to on their property, provided it really is theirs.
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