County Superior Court
Michael A. Kelly, Esq.; Nicholas J. Goodier, Esq. For
P. Marusak, Esq. For Defendant:
matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion to
dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment.
Schey was the owner of both 64 and 92 Roberge Avenue, two
adjoining parcels in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. (Compl. ¶
6). Ms. Schey apparently completed an Administrative
Subdivision of both properties in August of 2000, which
reduced 64 Roberge Avenue by approximately 1200 square
feet-to about 50, 779 square feet-and increased the adjacent
92 Roberge Avenue parcel by that same amount.
Schey conveyed the property at 64 Roberge Avenue to her son,
Timothy Schey, in the summer of 2003. Id. at ¶
11. Mr. Schey received title to the property via a Warranty
Deed from M. Yvonne Schey dated June 26, 2003 and recorded in
the Woonsocket Registry of Deeds on June 27, 2003 in Book
1285 at Page 151. The 2003 deed to Mr. Schey does not
reference the reduction in square footage (1200 feet) that
was meant to be accomplished by the 2000 Administrative
Subdivision. In fact, the deed merely describes the land as
"[b]eing the same premises conveyed to this Grantor, by
deed of Clarence Gregoire and Yvonne Gregoire, dated March
31, 1993 . . ." See Defs.' Ex. 4. Using the
same legal description, Mr. Schey mortgaged the entire
premises to Pawtucket Credit Union in May 2006 for $196, 000.
Schey apparently attempted another Administrative Subdivision
in 2015. Exhibit A to the original complaint is a subdivision
plan dated August 3, 2015. The document does not show that it
is recorded. It is not signed nor does it reference
Timothy Schey, though it purports to transfer some of his
2015, Timothy Schey agreed to transfer ownership of 64
Roberge Avenue to Daniel Campos and Gabriela Paz and they
entered into a Purchase and Sales Agreement. Id. at
¶ 9; see also Defs.' Ex. 8(A). On August
12, 2015, Mr. Schey sold 64 Roberge Avenue to Daniel Campos
and Gabriela Paz (the Buyers). The parties executed a variety
of documents at the closing, including a Warranty Deed to the
Buyers. (Defs.' Mem. Ex. 15, Mar. 1, 2016). The Warranty
Deed from Timothy Schey to the Buyers dated August 21, 2015
was recorded in the Woonsocket Registry of Deeds on August
21, 2015 at 2:22 p.m. in Book 2168 at Page 25.
after the sale of 64 Roberge Avenue to Defendants, Yvonne
Schey discovered that the transfer included a parcel of land
along the shared property line that she contends was actually
part of her home at 92 Roberge Avenue. Id. at ¶
13. This parcel of land (the Disputed Area) is the subject of
the instant suit. The Disputed Area contains a shed and a
garden that extend onto 92 Roberge Avenue, both of which have
purportedly been consistently used and maintained by Yvonne
Schey. Id. at ¶¶ 15-16, 19. Yvonne Schey
contends that she was the owner of the Disputed Area, and was
never approached by Timothy Schey regarding his potential
ownership of the Disputed Area prior to his transfer of 64
Roberge Avenue to the Buyers. Id. at ¶¶
17, 22. As such, Plaintiffs contend that the Disputed Area
was not part of the property conveyed to the Buyers. The
Buyers contend that they own the Disputed Area included in
the 2015 deed description.
six weeks of the closing, the Plaintiffs filed a four count
Complaint on September 23, 2015. Count I claims Mutual
Mistake between Mr. Schey and the Buyers with regard to the
alleged transfer of the Disputed Area. Count II contends that
Yvonne Schey reacquired title to the Disputed Area by adverse
possession. Count III seeks a declaratory judgment affirming
Yvonne Schey's ownership of the Disputed Area, and Count
IV seeks injunctive relief preventing the Buyers from
trespassing on the Disputed Area.
Buyers filed the instant Motion to Dismiss, or in the
Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment, on March 1, 2016.
Plaintiffs objected to the Motion on March 21, 2016.
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the trial justice
must keep in mind that it '"is a drastic remedy and
should be cautiously applied."' Steinberg v.
State, 427 A.2d 338, 339-40 (R.I. 1981) (quoting
Ardente v. Horan, 177 R.I. 254, 366 A.2d 162, 164
(1976)). "Thus, '[s]ummary judgment is appropriate
when, viewing the facts and all reasonable inferences
therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party,
the [C]ourt determines that there are no issues of material
fact in dispute, and the moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law.'" Quest Diagnostics, LLC v.
Pinnacle Consortium of Higher Educ., 93 A.3d 949, 951
(R.I. 2014). However, only when the facts reliably and
indisputably point to a single permissible inference can this
process be treated as a matter of law. Steinberg,
427 A.2d at 340.
party who opposes the motion for summary judgment
"carries the burden of proving by competent evidence the
existence of a disputed material issue of fact and cannot
rest on allegations or denials in the pleadings or on
conclusions or legal opinions." Accent Store Design,
Inc. v. Marathon House, Inc., 674 A.2d 1223, 1225 (R.I.
1996); see also McAdam v. Grzelczyk, 911 A.2d 255,
259 (R.I. 2006). '"The moving party bears the
initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue
of fact. The burden then shifts . . . and the nonmoving party
has an affirmative duty to demonstrate a genuine issue of
fact."' McGovern ...