2017 Harvest

2017 Harvest

Friday, March 18, 2011

Court of Appeal says trial judge was right to find cottagers may use farm lane

The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of a Superior Court Judge which ruled that certain cottage owners in Northumberland County had acquired a prescriptive easement over a laneway on an adjacent farm property.  The owner of the farm property does not use the lane and does not want to pay for upgrades to the lane.  The municipality has refused to take responsibility for the lane until the farm owner upgrades the lane to municipal standards.  The cottage owners have not been prepared to contribute to the upgrades.

The farm owner had commenced a claim against the Municipality and the cottagers, asking that there be an order that no prescriptive easement had arisen and asking for an injunction to prevent use of the lane during the winter unless the cottagers made the necessary upgrades.

The Court of Appeal did not agree with the farm owner that the trial judge had made any reversible errors.  In dismissing the appeal, the Court awarded $15,000 in costs to the cottagers (who had sought $26,000).  The Municipality did not participate in the appeal.

Read the decision at: Sunnybrae Springbrook Farms Inc. v. Trent Hills (Municipality).