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Property I
Wayne State University Law School
Bartell, Laura B.

 
PROPERTY SUMMARY – Bartell Winter 2014
(Part II)
 
 I.         SERVITUDES
            A.        Easements/licenses/profits
                        1.         Terminology
a.                   Appurtenant/ in gross
·         Appurtenant = Benefits land
·         In Gross = Benefits a person or class of persons
b.                  Servient/ dominant
·         Servient Tenement – Property subject to easement
·         Dominant Tenement – Property benefited by easement
                                    c.         Profits
·         Right to use property in possession of another by removing product attached thereto
·         (e.g. mineral rights)                                        
                                    d.         Licenses – Kitchen v. Kitchen
·         Right to use property in possession of another
·         Different than Easements in two ways:
o   May be created orally
o   Is revocable at will unless:
§  Coupled with an interest
·         (Not in MI)
§  Estoppel
·         *Michigan doesn’t follow common law rule that a license isn’t revocable if coupled with an interest
 
                        2.         Creation
                                    a.         Express — Willard v. First Church
(1)   reservation and common law rule against reservation in favor of third party
·         Under common law, you can’t reserve an easement in favor of a third party when conveying servient tenement
(2)   exception
·         Grantor carves out from grant existing easement when conveying servient tenement. (Avoid extra step)
 
                                    b.         Implied
(1)               Prior use — Van Sandt v. Royster
·         Severance of commonly owned parcels
·         Prior use that would constitute easement if parcels were not commonly owned
·         Prior use was apparent
·         Easement is necessary to dominant tenement
o   Majority – Reasonable Necessity
o   Minority – Strict Necessity
(2)               Necessity — Othen v. Rosier
·         Severance of commonly owned parcels
·         Easement is necessary to dominant tenement
·         Necessity Existed
o   1.  At time of severance
o   2.  At time easement sought
·         *Easement by necessity exists only as long as it continues to be necessary.
 
c.                   Prescription — Othen v. Rosier
·         Requirements
o   1.  Actual Use
o   2.  Exclusive
o   3.  Open and Notorious
o   4.  Under Claim of Right
o   5.  Continuous for Required Period
·         Prescription is not an implied easement
 
                        3.         Scope of Easements
                                    a.         Change in location
(1)               Common law rule
·         No change in location without consent of both parties
                                                (2)        Rest. (3rd) of Property, Servitudes § 4.8,   Comment f –
·         reasonable changes when necessary to permit normal use or development of servient estate:
·         1)   Do not significantly lessen utility
·         2)   Do not increase burdens on dominant tenant
·         3)   Do not frustrate purpose
 
                                    b.         Expansion to benefit other estates — Brown v. Voss
·         Easement may not be used by estates other than dominant estate unless parties so intended.
 
                                    c.         Change in type of use — Wright v. Horse Creek Ranches
·         Only permissible if future use is reasonably anticipated at time of grant.
·         New use does not unreasonably increase burden on servient estate (unless burden is consensual)
 
                        4.         Transfer/subdivision
                                    a.         Easements in gross
(1)               Common law rule against transfer/division
·         Easements not transfera

not touch and concern unless they substantially alter ownership interest in land.
§  Affects value of the land
                                    c.         Rest. (3rd) of Property, Servitudes § 3.1 – no touch and concern requirement
 
                        4.         Vertical privity — Neponsit Property Owners (p. 850)
                                    a.         common law approach
(1)   Burden enforceable against someone who succeeds to entire estate
a.       Assignee must have same kind of property interest as predecessor
b.      “Succeed to entire estate” – not enforceable on lessee
(2)   Benefit enforceable by someone who succeeds to entire estate or lesser estate carved out of it
§  You do not need to succeed to the same interest as processor, lesser estate is fine.
                                    b.         Rest. (3rd) of Property, Servitudes § 5.2 – burdens and benefits generally run to all successor
 
                        5.         Horizontal privity (p. 850)
                                    a.         types
                                                (1)        strict or mutual = interest in same property
                                                (2)        successive = covenant made in connection with transfer of interest in property
                                    b.         Rest. of Property (1944) –
o   strict or successive privity for burden to run
o   No horizontal privity required for benefit.
                                    c.         Rest. (3rd) of Property, Servitudes § 2.4 – no horizontal privity required