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Easements Implied from Prior Existing Use

This lesson examines the circumstances under which the law will imply an easement from prior existing use of the dominant and servient parcels. Each of the required elements for such implication: common ownership, prior use, severance and reasonable necessity are addressed specifically. The lesson also describes the different burden imposed when the common owner claims the benefit of the easement from that imposed when the grantee claims that benefit.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:

1. Define the terms "dominant estate," "servient estate," and "quasi-easement."
2. List the four basic requirements for recognition of an implied easement from prior existing use.
3. Explain the requirement of common ownership for an easement to be implied from prior existing use.
4. Explain the requirement of regular and apparent use for an easement to be implied from prior existing use.
5. Explain the requirement of severance for an easement to be implied from prior existing use.
6. Explain the requirement of reasonably necessary continuance for an easement to be implied from prior existing use.
7. Compare an implied easement by grant with an implied easement by reservation.
8. Discuss the policy reasons for easements implied from prior existing use.

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