• Land Use Attorney Capitola

Posts Tagged ‘easement case affecting Santa Cruz’

CASE UPDATE: Court Holds That Public Recreational Use Exception Did Not Apply As A Defense To A Private Prescriptive Easement.

In Pulido v. Pereira, (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1246, the court of appeal upheld the trial court’s determination that a prescriptive easement existed and that the public recreation exception (Civ. Code § 1009), did not apply.  Pulido purchased some undeveloped property in Calaveras County.  For six years, the Pulido always accessed the property via a road called Quartz Hill Drive (which was a private road owned by Pereira), by disconnecting a chain strung between two posts at the entrance to the road.  One day, Pereira installed a gate and lock across the road entrance and told Pulido that he could no longer use the road.  Unfortunately, locking the gate affected several other neighbors who also used the road to access their properties, and the neighbors sued.  The trial court held that the neighbors had a prescriptive easement, satisfying the elements that the use of the property was open, notorious, continuous and adverse for an uninterrupted period of five years.

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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: 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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Miles J. Dolinger
Attorney at Law

314 Capitola Avenue Capitola, CA 95010
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miles@dolingerlaw.com

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