The Post had an article today about how Montgomery County asked homeowners adjacent to the Purple Line/Capital Crescent Trail ROW to remove structures built on County land (for which the County was generously offering to reimburse them). But it included this mistake.
Meanwhile, Maryland’s highest court is considering the case of the group’s president. Ajay Bhatt successfully argued to a lower court judge that a fence behind his home since at least 1960 allowed him to take adverse possession of that 14-foot strip of trail land from the freight railroad company that owned it at the time. The county bought the land for $10 million in 1988 to preserve for a transitway. Montgomery County, which had fined Bhatt $500 for allegedly building a new fence on county right of way, appealed the lower-court decision. The Maryland Court of Appeals is expected to issue a decision this spring.
Bhatt did not successfully argue that he was allowed to take adverse possession. Bhatt successfully argued that he built a structure on county-owned land that was not a ROW, but was given a ticket for building on county-owned ROW and so that ticket is not valid. The judge offered that Bhatt "may" be able to exert ownership via adverse possession.