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Zere v. District of Columbia

Court of Appeals of The District of Columbia

June 6, 2019

Kebreab ZERE, Appellant,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Appellee.

         Submitted September 21, 2018

Page 95

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Page 96

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 97

          Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (CAB-772-16), (Hon. Brian F. Holeman, Trial Judge)

          Kebreab Zere, appellant pro se.

         Karl A. Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Loren L. AliKhan, Solicitor General, Stacy L. Anderson, Acting Deputy Solicitor General, and James C. McKay, Jr., Senior Assistant Attorney General, were on the brief for appellee.

         Before Blackburne-Rigsby, Chief Judge, Easterly, Associate Judge, and Nebeker, Senior Judge.

          OPINION

         Blackburne-Rigsby, Chief Judge:

         Pro se appellant Kebreab Zere appeals the trial court¬ís July 7, 2017, order granting appellee District of Columbia¬ís motion for summary judgment and entering a declaratory judgment that the public has a prescriptive easement to traverse an alley between O and N Streets, NW, for which he is the property owner.[1] Mr. Zere argues that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of the District, and that the establishment of a prescriptive easement constitutes a de facto unconstitutional taking of property without just compensation. We affirm.

          I.

         Mr. Zere purchased five of the six lots forming the alley between the row houses located in the 3200 block of O Street, N.W. and the 3200 block of N Street, N.W. from tax sales. Mr. Zere acquired title to each of the lots in separate tax-sale foreclosure actions between 2006 and 2011. Mr. Zere appears to be an experienced tax-lien purchaser.[2] Subsequently, he attempted to erect a fence to block the alley, and combine the five ...


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