Supreme Court ruling gives Bromont woman ownership of parking spot

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday that there is such a thing as "squatter's rights" when it comes to parking spaces.

The story dates back to 1994, when a Bromont resident, Helene Allie, began using a parking spot near their cottage on her neighbor's property, without anyone objecting.

There wasn't a problem until 2011, when her neighbors sold the property to Alain Ostiguy and Valerie Savard. They filed an injunction preventing her from using the parking spot. Allie argued that since she had been using the parking spot for so long, it was now legally hers.

Under Quebec's Civil Code, anyone who continues to use something without objection for more than a decade gains ownership of that something.

Judges at Quebec's Superior Court and Court of Appeal agreed with that assessment, and on Thursday, six out of seven Supreme Court justices did as well, pointing out that ownership of an item grants legal title to that item — essentially, if you use something long enough without anyone raising a stink, it's legally yours.

The Supreme Court pointed out that the couple who own the property can ask the previous owners for compensation.