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House Built on Rose Nulman Park Land Must Go, Judge Rules

In a 13-page decision, Justice Gilbert Indeglia ruled that "13,000 square feet" of encroachment is "not a minimal one" and the house must be removed from Rose Nulman Park property.

A million-dollar house accidentally built on land that is part of Rose Nulman Park in Point Judith must go, a Supreme COurt Judge has ruled.

In a 13-page decision, Justice Gilbert Indeglia ruled that "13,000 square feet" of encroachment is "not a minimal one" and "The encroachment here is not small enough that a balancing of the equities makes the hardship to defendants outweigh the harm to plaintiff."

Though he wrote that the court is sympathetic to the plight of the defendant, acknowledging that it is "an unfortunate situation," "We are, however, convinced that it would be an unjust result to order the transfer of title to a portion of the Nulman property to the defendants or award only money damages," Indeglia wrote. "While the defendants may well have clean hands, the plaintiff is certainly an innocent party as well. Indeed, we note that the plaintiff has been put to the inconvenience of protecting its right to its property in court as a consequence of wanting to ensure that the public would always be able to enjoy the property in its natural state. It is said 'no good deed goes unpunished.' Whatever the truth of the saying might be, this Court declines to punish the innocent plaintiff by forcing it to lose any portion of its property."

The house was built in 2010 by Warwick developer Robert Lamoureaux. He appealed a 2012 Superior Court decision in favor of the Rose Nulman Park Foundation, which wanted the house removed. That's what brought the issue to Superior Court.

Court records show the house was built in the wrong place in error, thanks to a botched surveying job.

During negotiations, Lamoreaux offered to buy the encroached-upon land but the Nulman family was not swayed. 

The court said it understood that Lamoureaux needed time to move the house, noting it would be a "complex process"

The full decision is attached to this article. Click "download .PDF" to grab it.

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