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Dallas Read died in 2013

Vincent Burke died 2008

Looks like the case is Read v. Montgomery Cnty., 101 Md. App. 62, 64, 643 A.2d 476, 476 (1994). The plaintiffs lost in the trial court, and then lost again on appeal. I can email you the decision if you'd like.

Traditionally, homeowners cannot use adverse possession to acquire land from the government. Landowners are sometimes able to assert adverse possession against to acquire land within a railroad before the corridor is transferred to the government via the railbanking process. But, this appears to be one of the reasons the plaintiffs lost their case.

There are two principles. First, in many states not only units of local government, but railroads as well were not subject to the doctrine. The rationale was that since railroads owned vast acreage, the burden of patrolling for adverse possessors was excessive. The second is, as noted, that units of government are not subject to it. There is another gloss on that, in that numerous court cases have held that even if the party claiming adverse possession controlled the property for longer than the statutory period before the unit of government acquired it, the vesting of title into the unit of local government extinguished the claim.

With regard to the country club I believe the county and the club came to an understanding that in return for routing adjustments the club dropped its suit and promised to no longer oppose the PL.

Note - this apparently did not preclude the club from hosting a fund raising event for newly elected Gov. Hogan. I wonder what was discussed?

Yeah, I'm wondering why the Bhatt case was different...


Isn't JimT the expert in this?

I think in Bhatt's case he had evidence the adverse possession was in place before the land was transferred to the county.

Don't see how that fits with Crickey's assertion that one can't gain adverse possession from a railroad.

If I recall correctly, he raised another point, that the granting language to the railroad (I believe) was defective. Title to a portion then would have stayed with the original owner, who was neither a railroad nor a unit of local government, and therefore was subject to a claim of adverse possession or, as more appropriately titled for this example, an action to quiet title.

Adverse possession typically requires possession without the owners permission. I was under the impression that the government gave permission for the country club to use the land around the rail bed.

From Bethesda Magazine:

A real estate lawyer testified that the 1890 deed from a previous property owner to the railroad company didn't convey right-of-way. So when the county took over the land in the 80's, there was no right-of-way transferred in that spot.


I wouldn't be surprised if the club had an agreement with the railroad even before the transfer.

Here's where the case ended in 1999.


@jeffb: No I'm the "expert" on regulatory exactions of easements. Just another observer on adverse possession.

I guess Bhatt was not a party to that case, and hopes that the Court of Appeals will overrule the law stated by the lower court in the 1990s. Or thinks he can win a trial. I guess plot proteceted by a fence that survived the trail might have a better shot at proving the elements than a plot back in the 1990s.

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