Sanford, ME asked in Real Estate Law for Maine

Q: Looking for case re: a piece of property must be defined in such a way that it can be located on the face of the earth.

I seem to remember having once seen such a case but now I can't find it. If a deed is so vague that the parcel of land can't be located, and abutters cannot know where their property line is, is the deed valid? For example, "a certain right of way in a general westerly direction from Oak Street to Clear Pond." No defined starting point, ending point, course, width, specifications as to use or maintenance, etc.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Fred Bopp III
Fred Bopp III
  • Yarmouth, ME
  • Licensed in Maine

A: Here is one such Maine case, which cites three other decisions:

"The description must be such as to enable a person to identify the real estate and to apply the description to the face of the earth. The description of the real estate must be certain or refer to that by which it can be made certain. Warren v. Norwood, 138 Me. 180, 187, 24 A.2d 229; Hunt v. Latham, 121 Me. 303, 117 A. 94; Perry v. Lincolnville, 149 Me. 173, 177; 99 A.2d 294."

Gray v. Hutchins, 150 Me. 96, 103, 104 A.2d 423, 427 (1954).

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