Easements

News & Analysis as of

After New Connecticut Law, Sharing the Road also Means Sharing the Costs

Connecticut has enacted a new law, Public Act 14-67 (the “Act”), that now by statute allocates the costs to maintain, repair, and restore private easements and rights-of-way among certain users of those rights. The Act took...more

Pa. Gas Utility May Use Eminent Domain to Supply Private Power Plant

A Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, judge recently authorized a natural gas public utility to use its eminent domain power in condemning easements for the construction and maintenance of a pipeline to supply gas to a private...more

Real Estate and Land Use - November 2014

Change of Heart – Court of Appeal Reverses Opinion in Bowman v. California Coastal Commission - Why it matters: The court in Bowman originally held that a permit condition could not be modified or deleted by a second...more

City of Needles may use Eminent Domain for I-40 Connector Project

According to Robin Richard’s article, “Needles May Exercise Eminent Domain to make way for Highway 95 Connector,” the City of Needles is considering adopting Resolutions of Necessity to acquire 14 parcels for its long-planned...more

Coastal Commission’s Public Access Easement Found to Be A Taking

In a published decision, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District rejected the California Coastal Commission’s (“Commission”) finding that there is no rational nexus or rough proportionality between...more

Unlawful Development Permit Conditions Not Binding On Second Permit Applicant When Original Permit Expires Without Use – Second...

A major fact correction on rehearing led the Second Appellate District to reverse its earlier ruling in Bowman v. California Coastal Commission (2nd Dist., Div. 6, 10/23/14, B243015 (on rehearing). The court has now held...more

Coastal Commission Erred In Finding Property Owner Is Stuck With Unconstitutional Dedication Condition

In an opinion on rehearing, the Second District Court of Appeal overturned a California Coastal Commission decision that a condition of a county-issued coastal development permit could not be eliminated by a second coastal...more

Easements: Roads Traveled, Less Traveled, and Not Traveled

Why would anyone buy property without access to a public road? Because it seemed like a good idea at the time, I guess. And often it is, until things change, “things” often being new and unfriendly ownership of the...more

Beach Access Case Nowhere Near Done

On Sept. 30, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 968, legislation aimed at securing a public access easement or right-of-way at Martins Beach in San Mateo County. Located south of Half Moon Bay, Martins Beach is an...more

Appellate Court Notes

?AC35507 - State v. Wright - ?AC35289, AC36395 - Southport Congregational Church-United Church of Christ v. Hadley - The doctrine of equitable conversion did not apply when the decedent contracted to sell real...more

Texas Supreme Court Opinions and Orders (8/29/14)

As expected, the last order list of the Supreme Court's fiscal year was a busy one. The Court issued opinions in 12 argued cases, so I apologize in advance for the length of this post. There were no grants and no mandamus...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update

Easements: trial court erred in denying statutory easement or “way of necessity” where owners established all elements pursuant to section 704.01(2), Fla. Stat. – Messer v. Sanders, No. 1D13-3084 (Fla. 1st DCA July 9, 2014)...more

The Case For Smart Easements

Practically speaking, from a landowner’s perspective there are two types of easements, otherwise known as rights to use another person’s property. The first are those that I’ll call “beneficial easements.” These benefit the...more

Contamination, Underwater Mortgages, and the IRWA Annual Education Conference

Along with my colleagues Brad Kuhn, Ben Rubin, and Katherine Contreras, I'm here in Hartford at the IRWA Annual Education Conference. It's been an interesting few days as we discuss eminent domain issues in the shadow of New...more

BIA Proposes Rule Revisions for Rights-of-Way on Indian Lands

On June 17, 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) published proposed revisions to 25 CFR Part 169, whereby the new rule seeks to comprehensively update and streamline the process for obtaining BIA grants of Rights-of-Way...more

Real Estate Tip: The Case of the Shrinking Easement

Unlike most states, Massachusetts land transactions may be “registered” in a procedure conducted at the “Land Court.” The Land Court’s own engineering department reviews survey plans before registration is final. In this...more

Trails-to-Rails-to-?: The Brandt Case and its Potential Impact on the Nation’s Trails

A recent Supreme Court case may have a far-reaching impact on many of the United States’ “rails-to-trails” biking and jogging paths. In March, the Supreme Court held in an 8-1 decision that rights of way granted to railroad...more

Covenants Not to Sue in Connection with Nuisance and Other Property Claims Can Be Enforceable against Future Owners

At times, where a developer seeks to obtain an easement from a landowner for the construction of infrastructure or improvements on or adjacent to the landowner’s property, the landowner may request additional consideration to...more

Arizona Supreme Court Holds That Property Owner Who Quarreled With Light Rail Construction Should Be Compensated For Lost Access

Late last week, the Arizona Supreme Court handed down a decision that clarified the rights of property owners who lose access to an abutting road and, in the process, reinforced the principle that both elimination and...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Case Law Updates

I. FLORIDA STATE CASES - Quiet Title: deed reservation of right-of-way in favor of State, which applied only to tracts of land of 10 acres or more, did not attach to title of landowner of less than 10 acres and,...more

"Rails to Trails" or "Rails to Trespass": Supreme Court Speaks on the Abandonment of Certain Railroad Rights of Way

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States (please, there is no such thing as the "United States Supreme Court") decided a very interesting case about easements. "Easements?", you ask. Yes, easements. We use them...more

Real Estate Tip: Hire Your Own Surveyor to Avoid a Close Call

A recent New Hampshire real estate closing was stalled at the 11th hour when the parties realized that a survey plan did not show the location of a no-build area created by private restriction in the chain of title. Since...more

Appellate Court Notes - Week ending March 24

SC18996 - Meyers v. Livingston, Adler, Pulda, Meiklejohn & Kelly, P.C. This case arrived from a divided Appellate Court where some jurist opined that the plaintiff’s attorney malpractice claims sounded solely in tort,...more

New California Court of Appeal Opinion Holds That Supreme Court's Seminal Nollan and Dolan Opinions do Not Apply Where a Permit...

The well-known "nexus" and "rough proportionality" tests from the United States Supreme Court's opinions in Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, 483 U.S. 825 (1987) and Dolan v. City of Tigard, 512 U.S. 374 (1994) do not...more

Continuing Uncertainty About the Exercise of Eminent Domain in Pennsylvania

The proliferation of unconventional natural gas production in the last few years has been an economic and energy boom to Pennsylvania and other key stakeholders, like local municipalities, exploration and production firms,...more

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