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Lindel Realty Co. v. Miller

Decided: December 20, 1948.

LINDEL REALTY COMPANY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LOUISE MILLER, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS EXECUTRIX UNDER THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF GEORGE MILLER, DECEASED, ET AL., DEFENDANTS



Civil action. On complaint.

Haneman, J.s.c.

Haneman

This suit involves the question of title to real estate abutting Bridge Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey, and the right of access of adjoining owners to said Boulevard.

For the purpose of clarity, here follows a sketch of the properties involved, to which reference will hereafter be made. [2 NJSuper Page 208] []

In the year 1925 the predecessors in title of the plaintiff owned a rectangular tract of land, a part of the southerly boundary of which is designated A to B on the above diagram. At that time the predecessors in title of the defendants owned two lots of land designated C and D on the above diagram. It is to be noted that as the respective tracts of land then existed they were separated by a three-foot-wide public street or alley. In that year the State of New Jersey was desirous of constructing a state highway over a portion of the lands of the predecessors in title of both the plaintiff and defendants. In pursuance of said purpose, the predecessors in title of the plaintiff conveyed a portion of the above described rectangle to the State of New Jersey, in fee. In said conveyance, which was by metes and bounds, a part of the southerly course of the land so conveyed used as a description the northerly side of the three-foot-wide alley and the six-foot-wide alley, designated A to E on the diagram above.

On the plot herewith submitted, the property line of Bridge Boulevard is designated by the letters F and G. The tract now in question is that triangle formed by the continuance of the easterly property line of lot C to the northerly alley line, the center line of said alley and the property line of Bridge Boulevard, and is designated H on said plot.

The plaintiff contends that the conveyance of its predecessors in title to the State of New Jersey did not convey their interest in said triangle and that the defendants are therefore not entitled to access to the paved portion of said Boulevard over said triangle.

It is to be noted in the above diagram that the portion of the highway existing and marked "shoulder" is unpaved and that the portion of the highway crosshatched on the diagram is the actual paved surface used by the public for passage.

The second question here involved is whether the defendants are entitled to have access to Bridge Boulevard across the "shoulder" and if so, whether such access should be as claimed by them by a continuation of the easterly property line of lot C to the paved portion of Bridge Boulevard or, as the plaintiff claims, by a "radial" line to the center line of Bridge Boulevard

from the point at which the property line of Bridge Boulevard intersects the center line of the three-foot-wide alley. In the event that the plaintiff is found not to have title to the triangle, but that the title to said triangle is vested in the State of New Jersey, the question then arises as well whether the defendant should have access to Bridge Boulevard along the continuation of the easterly property line of lot C or by a radial line from the point at which the easterly line of lot C intersects the property line of Bridge Boulevard.

In order for the plaintiff to succeed on its first point, the court must decide that it remained the owner in fee of the triangle designated H, in spite of the conveyance to the State of New Jersey in fee simple of all of the land adjoining the northerly line of the alley. This contemplates a reservation or retention of title in the plaintiff to that portion of the alley adjoining the northerly line of said alley, to the center line thereof. There is no such express reservation in the conveyance from plaintiff's predecessor in title to the State of New Jersey. It is to be noted that in the conveyance from plaintiff's predecessors to the State of New Jersey, the sixth course follows the northerly line of the alley. As is observable from the diagram, a portion of this alley adjacent to and westwardly from the triangle in question is actually in the ...


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