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Bar Journal - Fall 2005

ENDNOTES for ROADS REVISITED Creation and Termination of Highways in New Hampshire - An Update

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Following are the endnotes for the ROADS REVISITED article on page 56.

Endnotes

1.         For an excellent discussion of many of these topics, see A Hard Road to Travel, Local Government Center, Inc. (2004).

2.         Kister v. Reeser, 98 Pa. 1,4 (1881).

3.         1 Elliott and Elliott, The Law of Roads and Streets, 3rd. edition, at 1 (Bobbs-Merrill 1911).

4.         RSA 259:125.

5.         Herzog v. Grosso, 249 P.2d 869, 874 (Cal.App. 1952).

6.         State v. Tardiff, 117 N.H. 53, 56 (1977).

7.         Morgan v. Palmer, 48 N.H. 336 (1869).

8.         RSA 229:5, VI.

9.         RSA 229:5.

10.        Elliott and Elliott at 11.

11.        Muesig v. Harz, 283 Ill.App. 115 (1936).

12.        Elliott and Elliott at 4.

13.        Marrone v. Town of Hampton, 123 N.H. 729, 734 (1983).

14.        RSA 229:1.

15.        Glick v. Ossipee, 130 N.H. 643, 646 (1988); Marrone, 123 N.H. at 784.

16.             Blagbrough v. Wilton, 145 N.H. 118 (2000); RSA 229:1.

17.             Blagbrough, 145 N.H. 118.

18.        See e.g., RSA 47:13 (“The executive powers of the city and the administration of police, except where vested in the mayor, shall be exercised by the mayor and aldermen; and they shall have the powers, and do and perform all the duties, which the selectmen of towns have, and are authorized or required to do and perform in regard to their towns, unless it is otherwise provided by law.”)

19.        RSA 674:40-a.

20.        See also the definitions set forth at RSA 672:6 (“Local Governing Body”) and RSA 672:8 (“Local Legislative Body”).

21.        Metzger v. Brentwood, 115 N.H. 287 (1975).

22.        Stevens v. Goshen, 141 N.H. 219 (1996). 

23.             Metzger, 115 N.H. at 291. 

24.        Morin v. Somersworth, 131 N.H. 253, 255 (1988).

25.        Morin, 131 N.H. 253.

26.        The ordinance required 200 feet of frontage on a “public right of way,” but the Court’s analysis flowed from its interpretation of the phrase “right of way.”

27.        Trottier v. City of Lebanon, 117 N.H. 148 (1977).

28.        In Trottier, the Lebanon Zoning Board of Adjustment determined that “street” meant a Class V highway or better.  The Court did not explicitly adopt this interpretation and instead focused on the rationale behind the street frontage requirement, concluding it was to insure a dwelling may be reached by emergency vehicles.  A privately maintained road built to town specifications presumably provides the same clear access.

29.        RSA 231:45; Glick, 130 N.H. at 646.

30.        See, generally, RSA 229:5.

31.        See Trottier, 117 N.H. 148.

32.        RSA 674:41, I(c).

33.        RSA 229:5,VI; Glick, 130 N.H. 643.

34.        RSA 229:5, IV, V.

35.        RSA 229:5, VI; Glick, 130 N.H. at 646.

36.        Glick, 130 N.H. 643.

37.        Id.

38.        RSA 229:5, VII; see Glick, 130 N.H. 643.

39.        Glick, 130 N.H. at 646.

40.        Cf. Glick, 130 N.H. at 644.

41.        RSA 231:21-a.

42.        RSA 229:5,VII; RSA 231:45.

43.        RSA 229:5,VII; Stevens v. Goshen, 141 N.H. 219.

44.        RSA 231:91.

45.        Glick, 130 N.H. at 648.

46.             Catalano v. Town of Windham, 133 N.H. 504, 511 (1990).

47.        Id.

48.             Catalano, 133 N.H. at 511-512.  In Glick, 130 N.H. 643, the town repaired the roadbed in question on one occasion within the previous five years in response to emergency flooding. The parties agreed that repair would not be used to support a finding at trial that the town had been maintaining the road regularly, so the Court never addressed whether this level of repair constituted “maintenance” under RSA 229:5,VII.

49.        Turco v. Barnstead, 136 N.H. 256 (1992).  The Court never had the opportunity to address whether these facts would lead it to conclude the road was Class V or VI because the parties stipulated the road was Class VI.  One can assume the plaintiff made this stipulation due to the lack of maintenance for five successive years under RSA 229:5, VII, so perhaps the failure of the town to alter its records and notify the state was excused.  Still, it would have been interesting to see how the Supreme Court would have handled the issue. 

50.        RSA 231:22-a.

51.        RSA 229:5,VI.

52.        Glick, 130 N.H. at 647.

53.        See RSA 231:45.

54.        RSA 230:56.

55.        Id.  See also Section III, A, 2, infra.

56.        Locke Development Corporation v. Town of Barnstead, 115 N.H. 642 (1975); RSA 231:28-31.

57.        Stevens v. Nashua, 46 N.H. 192, 195 (1865).

58.        See, e.g., RSA 231:15; Edgecomb Steel Co. v. State, 100 N.H. 480 (1957).

59.             Harrington v. Manchester, 76 N.H. 347 (1912).

60.        State v. Dover, 10 N.H. 394 (1839); RSA 231:16.

61.             Edgecomb Steel, 100 N.H. at 485.

62.        See RSA 231:7, RSA 47:13; Waisman v. Manchester, 96 N.H. 50 (1949).

63.        RSA 231:8; Wiggin v. Exeter, 13 N.H. 304 (1942).

64.        State v. Town of Rye, 35 N.H. 368 (1857).

65.             Caouette v. Town of New Ipswich, 125 N.H. 547, 553 (1984); RSA 231:8.

66.        See, e.g., Waisman, 96 N.H. 50.

67.        RSA 231:9.

68.        RSA 231:34-39.

69.             Spaulding v. Groton, 68 N.H. 77 (1894).

70.        RSA 231:12.

71.        Wiggin, 13 N.H. 304.

72.             Spaulding, 68 N.H. 77.

73.             Spaulding, 68 N.H. at 82; Raymond v. Griffin, 23 N.H. 340, 345 (1851).

74.        RSA 231:15.

75.        New Hampshire Constitution, Part I, Article 12; Rodgers Development Company v. Tilton, 147 N.H. 57, 62 (2001)

76.        Cf. Rodgers, 147 N.H. 57.

77.             Rodgers, 147 N.H. at 62 (cites omitted).

78.        RSA 231:17.  Contrast this with the “take now, pay later” approach in eminent domain proceedings.  See RSA 498-A:5(I).

79.             Spaulding, 68 N.H. 77.

80.        RSA 231:8.

81.             Rodgers, 147 N.H. at 59-60.

82.        See State v. Atherton, 16 N.H. 203 (1844).

83.        RSA 41:14-a.

84.        Note, Public Ownership of Land Through Dedication, 75 Har. L. Rev. 1406 (1962) (quoting 3 American Law of Property sec. 12.132 (Cosner edition 1952)).

85.        2 Thompson on Real Property, sec. 369 at 431-32 (1980 replacement volume).

86.             Harrington, 76 N.H. at 349.

87.        See Harrington, 76 N.H. 347.

88.             Duchesnaye v. Silva, 118 N.H. 728, 732-33 (1978).

89.        See, e.g., Polizzo v. Hampton, 126 N.H. 398, 401 (1985).

90.        2 Thompson at 437.

91.        See, e.g., Duchesnaye, 118 N.H. at 731, which describes the failure of the city to accept an offer of dedication as a “failure of dedication.”

92.        New Hampshire Revised Statutes of 1842, Chapter 53, Section 7; Walker v. Manchester, 58 N.H. 438, 440 (1878).  On December 23, 1842, the New Hampshire legislature enacted a re-codification of the state’s laws, called the Revised Statutes.  The re-codification included the 20-year use requirement discussed in this section.  Although the new law was presumably in effect during the last eight days of 1842, this discussion refers to the pre-December 23, 1842 law as “pre-1843” and the post-December 23, 1842 law as “post-1842” for convenience.

93.        See, e.g., State v. Atherton, 16 N.H. at 210; Perrotto v. Claremont, 101 N.H. 267, 270 (1958).

94.             Atherton, 16 N.H. at 208.

95.        Id. at 209; Watson v. Nashua, 85 N.H. 192, 200 (1931).

96.             Atherton, 16 N.H. at 209.

97.        Id. at 208; see also Watson, 85 N.H. at 200.

98.             Atherton, 16 N.H. at 208.

99.        2 Thompson at 434.

100.      Barker v. Clark, 4 N.H. 380 (1828).

101.             Watson, 85 N.H. at 195.

102.      See Atherton, 16 N.H. at 209-10.

103.             Pritchard v. Atkinson, 4 N.H. 9, 14 (1827).

104.      Id. at 15.

105.             Pritchard, 4 N.H. 9 (17 years); State v. New-Boston, 11 N.H. 407 (1840) (2 years).

106.             Atherton, 16 N.H. at 209.

107.      See Id. at 210.

108.      State v. Morse, 50 N.H. 9, 16 (1870).

109.             Atherton, 16 N.H. at 213; Morse, 50 N.H. at 16.

110.      Morse, 50 N.H. 9.

111.             Compare State v. New-Boston, 11 N.H. at 410-11 (“And if a road be again required over the same ground by the public convenience [after discontinuing], the mode prescribed by the statute must again be pursued....”  This case involved possible claims to an old turnpike corporation’s charter).

112.             Atherton, 16 N.H. at 213.

113.      Morse, 50 N.H. at 16.

114.      Chapter 188:1, Laws of 1945.

115.      Young v. Prendiville, 112 N.H. 190 (1972).

116.      Polizzo, 126 N.H. at 401.

117.      See Morin, 131 N.H. 253.

118.      76 N.H. 347 (1912).  The court noted “…a failure to distinguish between what is necessary to vest the right of passage in the public and what is necessary to constitute an acceptance such as will render the city or municipality responsible for the construction and maintenance of the streets.”  Id. At 349.

119.             Harrington, 76 N.H. at 349.

120.      Id.

121.      Id.

122.      Polizzo, 126 N.H. at 401.

123.      Id.

124.             Atherton, 16 N.H. at 210-11.

125.      Polizzo, 126 N.H. 398; Perrotto, 101 N.H. 267.

126.      Polizzo, 126 N.H. at 403.

127.      See Polizzo, 126 N.H. 398.

128.      McInnis v. Hampton, 112 N.H. 57 (1972).

129.      Young v. Prendiville, 112 N.H. 190 (1972).

130.      RSA 674:9, 38; Polizzo, 126 N.H. at 403.

131.      RSA 674:38.

132.      RSA 674:40, I(b).

133.      RSA 674:40, I(a).

134.      RSA 674:40, III.

135.      Id.

136.      RSA 674:40-a, I.

137.      Id.

138.      RSA 674:40-a, II.

139.      RSA 674:40-a, III.

140.             Atherton, 16 N.H. at 213.

141.      Hopkins v. Crombie, 4 N.H. 520 (1829).

142.      See, e.g., Perrotto, 101 N.H. at 268.

143.      Polizzo, 126 N.H. at 402-403. 

144.             Duchesnaye, 118 N.H. at 733.

145.      Id.

146.             Atherton, 16 N.H. at 210.

147.      Id.

148.             Atherton, 16 N.H. at 209-10; see also Stevens, 46 N.H. at 199.  This twenty-year rule is referenced in McInnis v. Hampton, 112 N.H. 57 at 60 (1972), a case where the plaintiff failed to prove dedication or acceptance (“[s]imilarly, the record does not compel a finding that the town dedicated the lot to public use which the public accepted by use for more than twenty years.”).

149.      Polizzo, 126 N.H. at 402, citing Harrington, 76 N.H. 347.

150.      Polizzo, 126 N.H. at 402.

151.      RSA 231:51. 

152.      Young, 112 N.H. 190.

153.             McInnis, 112 N.H. 57.

154.             Stevens, 46 N.H. at 198; Morse, 50 N.H. 9.

155.      One gets the feeling the number “twenty” has special meaning for the Court and legislature as both have applied it in various ways over the past 200 years in coming to the same conclusion, namely, that a highway is public.

156.            Blagbrough, 145 N.H. at 122; Catalano, 133 N.H. 504.

157.             Mahoney v. Canterbury, 150 N.H. 148 (2003).

158.             Catalano, 133 N.H. at 509-510; Wason v. Nashua, 85 N.H. 192, 198 (1931).

159.      Id.; quoted in Catalano, 133 N.H. at 509.

160.             Mahoney, 150 N.H. at 151.

161.      See Morse, 50 N.H. at 17; see also Glick, 130 N.H. 643 (“traveled” for purposes of defining Class V highway may consist of use by loggers, hunters and fishermen).

162.      See Pritchard, 4 N.H. at 14.

163.             Catalano, 133 N.H 504.

164.             Blagbrough, 145 N.H. 118.

165.      Wason, 85 N.H. 192.

166       Hoban v. Bucklin, 88 N.H. 73, 80 (1936).

167       Ellison v. Fellows, 121 N.H. 978 (1981).

168       Hoban, 88 N.H. at 79.

169.      Id. at 80.

170.      Id.

171.      Id.

172.             Williams v. Babcock, 116 N.H. 819 (1976), 121 N.H. 185 (1981) (appeal after remand).

173.      2 Thompson at sec. 330.

174.      Knowles v. Dow, 22 N.H. 387, 404 (1851).

175.      Id. at 409.

176.      Id.

177.      53 U. Chi. L. Rev. 739, 740.

178.             Davenhall v. Cameron, 116 N.H. 695, 696 (1976).

179.      Glick, 130 N.H. at 647 (citing and clarifying Marrone, 123 N.H. 729).  A municipality’s authority to discontinue roads derives from RSA 231:43.

180.      State v. New-Boston, 11 N.H. at 410; RSA 231:50 (towns not obligated to maintain discontinued roads).

181.      RSA 231:43,III.

182.             Davenhall, 116 N.H. at 696.

183.      Id.

184.             Davenhall, 116 N.H. at 697.

185.      Id.

186.      Id.

187.             Davenhall, 116 N.H. 695.

188.      Vachon v. New Durham, 131 N.H. 623 (1989).

189.      RSA 231:45.

190.      King v. Town of Lyme, 126 N.H. 279, 283 (1985); RSA 229:5, VII.

191.      See e.g., Metzger, 115 N.H. 287.

192.      RSA 231:48.

193.             Concord’s Petition, 50 N.H. 530 (1871).

194.      Wolfe v. Windham, 114 N.H. 695 (1974).

195.      State v. Shanahan, 118 N.H. 525, 527 (1978).

196.      Orcutt v. Richmond, 128 N.H. 552, 554 (1986).

197.      Neville v. Highfields Farm, 144 N.H. 419, 427 (1999).

198.      Id.

199.      Neville, 144 N.H. 419.

200.      Vachon, 131 N.H. 623.

201.      See, e.g., Stevens v. Goshen, 141 N.H. 219.

202.             Duchesnaye, 118 N.H. at 732.  For purposes of this discussion, the terms highway, street and road are used interchangeably to reflect the Courts’ usage.

203.      See e.g., Duchesnaye, 118 N.H. 728 (recorded subdivision plan); Luneau v. MacDonald, 103 N.H. 273 (1961) (no plan).

204.             Duchesnaye, 118 N.H. at 732; see also Harrington, 76 N.H. 347.

205.             Duchesnaye, 118 N.H. at 732.

206.      Avery v. Rancloes, 123 N.H. 233, 236 (1983).

207.      Id.

208.      Luneau, 103 N.H. at 277 (quoting Woodman v. Spencer, 54 N.H. 507, 511 (1874)).

209.             Woodman, 54 N.H. at 512.

210.      See Luneau, 103 N.H. 273.

211.             Duchesnaye, 118 N.H. at 732.

212.      118 N.H. 728 (1978).

213.             Duchesnaye, 118 N.H. at 732.

214.      Id.

215.             Woodman, 54 N.H. at 511.

216.             Duchesnaye 118 N.H. at 732.

217.      Davis v. Lemire, 122 N.H. 749, 750 (1982); compare Harrington, 76 N.H. 347 (stating and following the general rule that a developer who conveys lots with deeds referencing the developer’s recorded subdivision plan also conveys to purchasers of lots abutting streets created by the subdivision the fee in the soil to the center of the street or streets upon which each lot abuts).

218.      See Catalano, 133 N.H. 504.  The roads in question were shown on two subdivision plans dating from 1908 and 1919.  The lots abutting the roads were sold individually and most of the deeds included express easements over the roads.  The issue of ownership in the roads does not appear to have been brought before the Court for a decision, although the Court states quite emphatically the lot owners did not own the roads.  “There is no evidence, however, that the land over which the roads themselves passed was ever sold by the original developers of the subdivision to the lot owners or others or dedicated to the town. Hence, this land does not appear to belong to the lot owners, the plaintiffs in this suit.”  Id. at 507.  The Court did not cite any New Hampshire cases concerning the ownership issue and did not address the middle-of-the-road doctrine. 

219.      Avery, 123 N.H. 233.

220.      123 N.H. 233 (1983).

221.      Avery, 123 N.H. at 237.

222.      Id.

223.             Thompson v. Major, 58 N.H. 242 (1878).

224.             Richardson v. Palmer, 38 N.H. 212 (1859).

225.             Harrington, 76 N.H. 347 (no indication whether or not plan recorded).

226.      See Duchesnaye 118 N.H. at 733.

227.      Cf. Gagnon v. Moreau, 107 N.H. 507 (1967).

228.      107 N.H. 507 (1967).

229.      Id. at 510.  The Court did not state the reason the defendant’s predecessor in title had no ownership interest in the northerly portion of the street.  The trial court made that finding, which the Supreme Court accepted without discussion.

230.      Sheris v. Morton, 111 N.H. 66, 71 (1971); Luneau, 103 N.H. at 276.

231.      Sheris v. Morton, 111 N.H 66.

 

Paul AlfanoAttorney Paul J. Alfano practices with the law firm of Alfano, Baroff & Kasten, P.A. in Bedford, New Hampshire.

 

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