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Lyons v. Baptist School of Christian Training

804 A.2d 364 (2002)

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Lyons v. Baptist School of Christian Training

Maine Supreme Judicial Court

804 A.2d 364 (2002)

Facts

The Baptist School of Christian Training (defendant) owned two lots, one in the Town of Chapman and one in the Town of Mapleton. The Chapman lot was approximately 150 acres and used to have a residence and an area cultivated for potatoes and other crops. The residence was demolished in the 1940s, and the cultivated areas have been overgrown. The Baptist School operated a summer camp for children on the Mapleton lot and constructed a number of buildings and open areas for camp activities and recreation. A private road called Baptist Park Road ran through the Chapman lot to the Mapleton lot. The Town of Mapleton maintained the portion of Baptist Park Road running through Mapleton as a public right-of-way. Landowners in Chapman used Baptist Park Road to travel across the Baptist School property to access a stream and other properties in Mapleton, and to hunt, fish, snowmobile, and for other recreational activities. In 2000, Baptist School became concerned about abusive uses of their property by all-terrain vehicles and other four-wheel-drive vehicles. Baptist School erected a barrier preventing access to Baptist Park Road on the Chapman lot. Owners of land near the Chapman lot (plaintiffs) sued Baptist School, alleging that a public easement by prescription had been established on the Baptist Park Road in Chapman. The trial court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and Baptist School appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Alexander, J.)

Dissent (Calkins, J.)

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