1250 Broadway, 27th Floor New York, NY 10001


In 1984, Robert Becker learned that a dock and boardwalk extension he built in the early 1960's was actually situated on a beachfront lot that his neighbor, Nancy Gordon, leased from the Town of Babylon.

Apparently, Gordon allowed Becker to use the property until 2004, when she sold her home to Owen Murtagh. After the latter advised Becker he could no longer enter the area, Becker asked the Suffolk County Supreme Court to find him to be the true owner of the disputed parcel by "adverse possession."

While that court found in Becker's favor, the Appellate Division, Second Department, later reversed. But because Becker denied the general public access, and had "exclusive dominion and control" over the particular structure and the property upon which they were situated, our state's highest court--the New York State Court of Appeals--thought Becker's adverse-possession claim was a winning one.

For some, life's a real beach.

To view a copy of the Court of Appeals's decision, please use this link: Estate of Becker v. Murtagh