The generally accepted and common-law rule is that a claim of title or right by adverse possession does not lie against public lands. The principal policy consideration behind this rule is that it would be injurious to the public to allow adverse possession of lands dedicated to public use. 7 R. Powell, Powell on Real Property P 1015, at 91-96-97 (Patrick J. Rohan ed., rev. ed. 1995); see Williamstown Borough Auth. v. Cooper, 404 Pa. Super. 516, 591 A.2d 711, 715 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1991) (adverse possession does not lie against commonwealth because land is impressed with public use).
Municipal lands are presumed to be held for public use, and if that is not the case, it is usually because the municipality has failed to put the property to any use at all. See Jarvis v. Gillespie, 155 Vt. 633, 642, 587 A.2d 981, 987 (1991) (land owned by municipality is presumed to be given to public use; presumption can be rebutted, however, by demonstrating that town abandoned land).