Civil Litigation

2019-0107

Sam Harkinson
Previously employed as an Assistant County Attorney, and as an insurance adjuster, now as an associate at Hoefle, Phoenix, Gormley & Roberts

March 31, 2020

Affirmed

 

  • Whether an implied easement to access a private way exists where a deed conveys land and one or more of the calls is an abuttal on a private way, and if yes, whether the preemptive easement can be extinguished because of a lack of a reasonable

Mr. Paul Bernier (the “Defendant”) appeals the order of the Trial Court granting partial summary judgment on the issue of whether the Defendant was estopped by deed from denying that Mr. Thomas J. Loeffler (the “Plaintiff”) was entitled to an implied easement.

In its review of the Trial Court’s grant of partial summary judgment, the Court closely reviewed the record that the Trial Court had before it. The Court also briefly reviewed its own prior precedent on the is- sue of estoppel by deed relating to whether an implied easement exists when property that is conveyed by a deed and one or more of the calls is an abuttal on a private way. The Court, in looking at the deed in question, quickly concluded that an implied easement was created and that all parties in privity with the original grantor would be estopped to deny.

The Court then addressed the Defendant’s argument that the there was no reasonable expectation for the grantee to have an implied easement over the private way. The Court was unpersuaded by this argument and concluded that nowhere in its prior precedent was there a requirement that a grantee have a reasonable expectation that it would use the easement. Nor was the Court persuaded when the Defendant argued that the property also had frontage on a public way and thus did not have to use the private way, noting that this was not a case of an easement of necessity, but rather, it was a case of an implied easement.

Finally, the Court concluded that the Trial Court was within its discretion to deny the Defendant’s Motion for Reconsideration, wherein the Defendant argued new issues for the first time. The Court concluded that the Trial Court’s findings were well within its discretion and, there- fore, affirmed its denial of the Defendant’s Motion for Reconsideration.

 

Bernard H. Campbell of Beaumont & Campbell, PA on the Brief and orally for the Plaintiff. Roy W. Tilsley, Jr. and Brett

  1. Allard of Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson, PA on the Brief, with Mr. Tilsley orally for the Defendant.