Ray v. Beacon Hudson Mountain Corp.
New York Court of Appeals
666 N.E.2d 532 (1996)
The subject property is a cottage located in the town of Fishkill, which was once a seasonal resort area of 21 vacation homes, a casino, hotel, and power plant. The cottage’s neighboring buildings have since been abandoned and destroyed by vandalism, fire, or neglect. In 1963, Ray (plaintiff) entered the subject premises and occupied the property for about a month per year between 1963 and 1988. Ray paid property taxes, maintained fire insurance, installed telephone and electric service, and took various steps to prevent vandalism, such as posting “No Trespassing” signs, placing bars, shutters, and padlocks on the doors and windows. He even apprehended several vandals on the property and had them prosecuted. Ray sued Beacon Hudson Mountain Corp. (defendant), the recorded owner of the property to quiet title in his name. The Supreme Court of Duchess County determined that Ray’s occupancy of the property was “too apparent to be overlooked” and that it was continuous for over 25 years. The Appellate Division reversed because, although seasonal use could satisfy the element of continuous use, occupancy for one month per year did not provide Hudson adequate notice of the adverse claim. Ray appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Titone, J.)
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