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As long as a governmental entity has an easement or fee in land, a neighboring landowner will not be able to claim ownership of that land through adverse possession. This is a well known principle in the law, however until earlier this month Washington courts supported a different conclusion. But in the recent Washington State Supreme Court decision of Kiely v. Graves, __ P.3d __ (March 2012, No. 84828-9), the Court brought Washington into the national mainstream protecting public rights from private prescriptive use.

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