A Normative Analysis Of Easement Rights

1016 words - 5 pages

​Easement is the right to use other’s land without acquiring the possession. Granting this right allows properties to be accessible and land to be better utilized. Commercial easement is essential part of many businesses. Without easements, companies might not have the right of way to connect effectively, excess land might not be put to their best use, and much redundant transaction or contract will be needed to achieve corporate goals. However, easement is complicated and could lead to conflict in the future even if recorded in detailed writing. Since no one can foretell the future, owner or holder might not have the same purpose for using the land after the easement agreement. The case below describe the conflict on easement right that owner sued right holder since owner need it for other purposes.
​The case is M.F. Farming, Co. v. Couch Distributing Company, Cal: Court of Appeal, 6th Appellate Dist. 2012. Plaintiff M.F. Farming, Co (MF) has granted defendant Couch Distributing Company (Couch Distributing) the “nonexclusive right of way for ingress and egress and for all utility purposes” on a 60-feet wide strip of land named Parcel B with the sale of ownership of the adjoining Parcel A and Parcel C to Couch Distributing. (See Appendix A) Couch Distributing has constructed Parcel A as distribution center and use Parcel B as private road to service the business, including employee parking, maneuver and ingress and egress of trucks. At some point, Couch Distributing even constructed a railroad across Parcel B to serve its warehouse. This has also made the plaintiff believe this has creased minor encroachment. George Couch, president and CEO of Couch Distributing, said that at the time of property purchase, Parcel B was understood and intended to serve as the main entrance to its warehouse and would have unobstructed use of Parcel B for warehouse operation. Since MF is planning on using Parcel B as a tertiary road access, or emergency access road, to perspective development across Highway1, conflict arose. The City of Watsonville has been confused of the right owner of Parcel B and the easement right holder, and therefore deleted the proposed plan of public access road across Parcel B. Plaintiff filed a complaint for four causes of action in 2010, including quiet title, slander of title, cancellation of cloud on title and injunctive relief. The focus of this paper would not be on the case result but looking at the easement issue.
​When the land was partitioned into Parcel A, B and C, plaintiff choose to sell off A and C but giving only the easement right of Parcel B. The reason for MF to do so should be because he foresees that he would need to use the land sometime in the future. However, he should have been advised that once the easement right has been given to Couch Distribution, it is hard to repossess the right and stop Couch Distribution’s operation unless they come into agreement to release. If MF only want to be...

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