• Land Use Attorney Capitola

CASE UPDATE: Court Rejects “Equitable Easement” Claim

Court rejects property owner’s claim that he had an “Equitable Easement” to use an improved patio area on his neighbor’s property and remanded the case back to the trial court to adjudicate the plaintiff’s prescriptive easement claim.

In Shoen v. Zacarias, (2015) 237 Cal.App.4th 16, the court of appeal overturned the trial court and rejected plaintiff’s claim that she had an “equitable easement” to use a patio area on her neighbor’s property that was only accessible from the plaintiff’s property.   The equitable easement doctrine evolved to give courts discretion to balance hardships in neighbor disputes over the use of property, and it can be used when a party cannot satisfy all the elements for an actual or prescriptive easement.  The court summarized the current rule as follows:

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CASE UPDATE: Court Determines 1858 Boundary Line In Soquel.

What happens when two surveyors disagree about a boundary line?  That question was answered in Bloxham v. Saldinger, (6th Dist. 2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 729, which is a property line dispute case concerning Santa Cruz Mountains property near Soquel Creek in which the court of appeal affirmed a trial court decision that found one of two recent surveys of a 1858 boundary line was more credible. The underlying facts are pretty interesting: The issue at trial was the location of the original 7-mile long western boundary of the “Soquel Augmentation Rancho.”

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CASE UPDATE: When The Language Of An Easement Is General The Extent Of Its Use Is Established By Past Use.

The case of Rye v. Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal Company, Inc., (3rd Dist. 2013) 2013 WL 6578784, –Cal.Rptr.3d–, involved a fairly common dispute about the extent of an easement.

A garbage company had an easement, created by reservation in a deed, to use a certain parcel for “parking, ingress, egress, utilities and storage” related to its business. The subject parcel contained a paved area and an unpaved area, and the garbage company used the paved area.

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Who Is Responsible When Uphill Stormwater Causes Downhill Damage?

Introduction

Stormwater issues are not new to residents of hillside and mountain areas. Because winter storms often bring voluminous amounts of rain, sometimes for weeks on end, it is important to know how and where all that stormwater is flowing through your property in order to protect structures from damage and to protect the land from erosion. Sometimes stormwater needs to be collected, concentrated and discharged elsewhere through pipes or culverts, especially following new construction or the creation of impermeable surfaces (like roads and driveways).

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Miles J. Dolinger
Attorney at Law

314 Capitola Avenue Capitola, CA 95010
Phone: (831) 477-9193
FAX: (831) 477-9196
miles@dolingerlaw.com

“I would definitely go with Mr. Dolinger again, and I would recommend him in a heartbeat to anyone who is looking for representation. He knows his business and he is very good at it.”

Richard. February 8, 2015
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