On July 29th, Judge Peter Bornstein (Grafton Superior Court) ordered the following ruling:
- The Right of Way (ROW) is 12 feet wide and is located at its current location as depicted on the survey plan completed by Roy Sabourn along with an additional 10 x 15 foot turn out on the west side of the ROW.
- An easement, 24 ft wide (includes 6 feet on both sides of the ROW) exists for winter maintenance, plowing and storage of snow
Now that the ruling is in, people will attempt to declare who was the winner and who was the loser. It is my opinion that the only winners were the lawyers and the losers were the taxpayers of Rumney.
Was this legal battle necessary?
Here is a summary of what transpired.
On May 9, 2012, I provided the following notice to the Rumney School District:
Please be advised that having obtained legal counsel, we believe our deeded Right of Way grants us the right to make necessary improvements to our Right of Way. In order to establish year-round accessibility to our property for its designated use, including emergency vehicle accessibility, we will be constructing a 12-foot wide gravel travel way along with necessary drainage features at the existing location of our Right of Way. This work will commence after June 30, 2012.
Note: In the summer of 2011, the Rumney School District hired Roy Sabourn to survey their property. Our plan for a 12 foot travel way in its current location matched the current travel way as depicted on the survey plan.
On July 13th, 2012, the Rumney School District, objected to my plans and filed an injunction against us stating the following:
- the existing Right of Way (ROW) is eight foot (8′) wide
- if relocation of the ROW is necessary or appropriate, then the Right of Way should be relocated as far from the baseball and soccer fields as is reasonably practicable, having a width not to exceed ten feet (10).
1 Year later on July 24th, 2013, prior to the court trial, the Rumney School District agreed to the following statement of FACTS:
The parties agree, through their respective experts, that the current traveled area is 12 feet in width and is in the location as depicted accordingly on plans prepared by both experts. The parties also agree through their respective experts that winter maintenance and plowing of the traveled area requires an additional six foot winter snowplowing and snow storage area to exist six feet on both sides of the traveled area for purposes of placing and storing plowed snow.
The parties agree that the Saads are able to take reasonable steps to improve the ROW without the necessity of approval from the Rumney School District.
The Rumney School District started this legal battle to keep me from constructing a 12 foot travel way at the existing location of the ROW as I stated in my notice on May 9, 2012 . During the whole year long legal battle the Rumney School District held the position that I did not have a right to construct a 12 foot travel way at the existing location of the ROW. Then, immediately prior to trial, the Rumney School District changed their position and agreed to the FACT that the current traveled area is 12 feet in width and is in the location as shown on the survey plan originally prepared by their own surveyor in 2011.
So at trial, the Rumney School District agreed that I had a right to construct the travel way as I originally outlined in my letter dated May 9, 2012.
If the Rumney School District had allowed me to construct a 12 foot travel way as outlined in my letter dated May 9, 2012, it would have cost the taxpayers of Rumney nothing. Instead, the taxpayers of Rumney have incurred costs in excess of $36, 000.
So the lingering question remains. Why was this legal battle necessary? You be the judge!