Question of Fact Whether Abutting Landowners Owned to the Centerline of the Roadway Bed, Relevant Law Explained
Reversing Supreme Court, the Second Department determined there was a question of fact whether abutting landowners owned to the centerline of a roadway bed, or whether defendants had acquired title to the roadway bed. The court explained the relevant analytical criteria:
” [W]hen an owner of property sells a lot with reference to a map, and the map shows that the lot abuts upon a street, the conveyance presumptively conveys fee ownership to the center of the street on which the lot abuts, subject to the rights of other lot owners and their invitees to use the entire area of the street for highway purposes'” … .
“The presumption is not, however, inflexible and will yield to a showing in the deed of a contrary intent to exclude from the grant the bed of the street” … . Indeed, the presumption can be rebutted ” by determining the intent of the parties gathered from the description of the premises [conveyed] read in connection with the other parts of the deed, and by reference to the situation of the lands and the condition and relation of the parties to those lands and other lands in the vicinity'” … . Thus, the presumption can be rebutted by a showing in the deed of a contrary intent to exclude from the grant the bed of the street … . Stanley Acker Family L.P. v DePaulis Enters. V, Ltd., 2015 NY Slip Op 07259, 2nd Dept 10-7-15