WARWICK — After reviewing about 200 deeds and different associated paperwork, an actual property title lawyer decided that the unique homeowners of a disputed part of Misquamicut by no means supposed to dedicate the seaside space of their property as public.
The lawyer, Joseph Priestley Jr., who has an workplace on Beach Street in Westerly, testified Friday in Kent County Superior Court. He was employed as an professional witness for the homeowners of property alongside Atlantic Avenue, from the Westerly Town Beach to Weekapaug Breachway. The property homeowners are being sued by the state.
In the lawsuit, filed on behalf of state Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, the state claims 5 homeowners of what was then a 2½- mile-stretch of land on either side of Atlantic Avenue, from what’s now Misquamicut State Beach to the breachway, joined collectively in 1909 to market their property as Pleasant View Beach. Those 5 homeowners, the state claims, designated all of their seaside property as open to the general public and depicted their intent on a plat or map filed within the land information at Westerly Town Hall.
The state claims an undulating line that runs west to east throughout the map was supposed to point out that ocean-side tons ended on the spot the place the land meets the sand of the seaside, leaving the seaside open to the general public. On Friday, Priestley stated he didn’t settle for the state’s concept concerning the undulating line as a result of the road is just not steady however as an alternative breaks in 5 locations.
“The lots on the plat are strange in that you can’t tell where their southerly boundary is,” Priestley stated.
Finding the plat unclear, Priestley stated he studied the deeds documenting gross sales of the property proven on the plat.
“[The] original owners’ deeds recorded after the 1909 Pleasant View plat consistently treated the area shown as beach on the 1909 Pleasant View plat as private property included within the lots created by the 1909 Pleasant View plat, the southern boundaries of which were consistently described as the Atlantic Ocean, a natural monument,” Priestley stated in a 49- web page report he produced for William Landry, the lawyer representing the present property homeowners.
The state contends that the plat needs to be the controlling doc within the case since most of the deeds make reference to the plat.
Priestley additionally testified that land depicted within the 1909 plat was owned by greater than the 5 individuals who signed the plat. Additionally, Priestley stated most of the deeds recorded across the time of the 1909 plat embody language that gave the unique homeowners “beach rights” to gather seaweed from the properties.
Deeds for tons depicted on the 1909 plat with the letter “p” have been offered in 1906 to Henrietta Palmer. The deeds describe the tons as being bounded on the south “by the sea,” Priestley stated.
Priestley is anticipated to renew his testimony within the non-jury trial being heard by Associate Justice Brian Stern on Monday afternoon.
Defendants within the case are: Joan M. Barbuto, Lynne D. Kaesmann, Joann Harrington, Clarence G. and Judith W. Brown, John B. Stellitano, James M. Tobin, Joshua M. Vocatura, Nicholas P. Jarem, Sandra L. Jarem, Mickmays LLC., Joan A. Carr, John C. Maffe Jr., Patricia Jean Shannon, Stephanie E. Immel, Jeanne E. Shannon, and Joseph M. Shannon. Some of the tons have shared possession. The following property homeowners joined the case as intervenors: Dunes Park Inc., Donna Pirie, Margaret Andreo, Janet Taylor, David McGill, Miriam McGill, Timothy Shea, Brian Shay, and Justin Shea, and Jeffrey Feibelman.