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Glenn v. Poole

Massachusetts Appeals Court
423 N.E.2d 1030 (1981)


Glenn (plaintiff) owns a parcel of land bordering Thatcher Road. Gravel Road runs from Thatcher Road over Glenn’s parcel to a parcel of land owned by the Poole family (defendants). The Poole family has used Gravel Road to access Thatcher Road since the early 1900s. The Poole family initially used the road to haul wood with a horse-drawn wagon. Beginning in 1920, the Poole family used trucks instead of wagons. At one point, the Pooles operated a gravel pit and used the road to haul gravel. Beginning in the 1930s, the Pooles entered the construction and snow plowing business and used Gravel Road to transport its equipment. Throughout this time, the Pooles maintained the road by improving it with gravel and by installing a drainage pipe. The Pooles also flared the corners of the entrance to Gravel Road in order to improve driver safety. In May 1972, the Pooles received a zoning variance allowing them to operate a garage and repair shop on their property. This resulted in increased use of Gravel Road. Glenn filed suit, seeking to have the road eliminated or, in the alternative, to obtain a finding that the Poole family’s use of Gravel Road constituted an overload of the easement. The Land Court found that although the Pooles’ use of the road greatly increased in May 1972, their use was moderate and consistent with the general pattern formed by the adverse use.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kass, J.)

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