IRAC essay for the case: Law of easements


Richard and Gilbert were good friends. Richard owned lot R. Gilbert owned lot G, an adjacent parcel that had lakefront access. The lake also belonged to Gilbert. One day, Gilbert gave Richard written permission to walk across lot G along the path that lied near the southern border to get to the lake. The writing also mentioned that whoever possessed lot R can benefit from this arrangement. In 2009, Richard sold lot R to Laura.

Gilbert had another neighbor Frank, who owned a boat. Gilbert told Frank that he may leave his boat on Gilbert’s lake. Frank left it there. One day, Gilbert said to Frank, “Take your boat out of my lake.” Frank replied, “But you gave me permission.”
Having lived on lot G for many years, Gilbert decided to move. He deeded lot G to Jenny, but he knew that he would miss the lake and would want to come back frequently. Gilbert put in the deed to Jenny a provision that allowed him to come back to lot G and park his car on a specified dirt area and access the lake.

In 1999, Jenny gave Richard permission to use a footpath through her rural wood for summit access. Richard then widened the path, paved it with asphalt, and installed rails and steps without telling Jenny. The original path was 4 feet wide, and Richard made it 8 feet wide. In 2007, Jenny saw the path and demanded Richard to shrink the path back to 4 feet wide. Richard protested.

Richard had a neighbor Sam, who owned lot S. Sam granted Richard a nonexclusive right of way over Sam’s property. Richard transported horses for people. His vehicles were about 14 feet high. The path Sam allowed Richard to use was 8 feet wide, about the width of Richard’s vehicles. One day, Sam built a 10-foot structure, an arch, over the path and told Richard to go around it.

What are the rights of the parties? Discuss.

The Analyzing a legal issue

When Gilbert gave Richard a written permission to walk across lot G and access the lake, Richard benefited from easement in gross. The latter was granted a legal right to trespass Gilbert's parcel of land. The written permission given to Richard by Gilbert allowed anyone owning lot R to walk across lot G. In this case, Richard, and later Laura (who bought lot R), benefited from easement appurtenant. Due to the fact they owned lot R they had been given the legal right to walk across lot G through the written permission that was made (Britain, 2007).

Gilbert's neighbor Frank had a boat. It is a common fact that the boat could only be left on the water. As Frank made a verbal agreement with Gilbert, who gave permission, the former benefited from easement of necessity (Gibbons & Donnell, 2008). However, Gilbert changed his mind and, for some reasons that were not stated, he ordered Frank to remove his boat from the lake. Gilbert’s decision terminated the easement. He had the right to make any decisions over his land and, consequently, Frank had no legal grounds to refuse to remove his boat from Gilbert’s lake.

When Gilbert gave away the land to Jenny and felt that he needed to come back and access the lake, he invoked the easement of reservation. It gave him a right to park his car in a dirt area. Through this, Gilbert had the right to access the lake. When Jenny gave Richard permission to use the 4-feet wide path and he extended it to 8-feet path, she confronted him on the grounds of easement of preservation. Jenny had the right to protect her land from damage that Richard would cause (Korngold, 2004).

Additionally, by building a ten-foot structure and telling Richard to go round, Sam was enjoying the right bestowed on him by easement of necessity. It gave him the right to do what was necessary pertaining to his land and, consequently, Richard had no right to protest.

Interference with easements is likely to intervene in the enjoyment of an easement or not. In a case where it interferes in the easement, it is actionable since one party will lose its rights. Richard lacked the right to install rail and expand the path as he did on Jenny's land as he had no license to do so. He, therefore, could face any legal action (Reeves, 2005). In Sam's piece of land, Richard had to go round the arch that the former built. It is mainly because there was no license to bar Sam from making the arch.

When in 2007 Jenny saw how Richard had expanded the path, she had the right to order him to shrink it back to the agreed size. Jenny also had the right to remove the rails and clean up the path. She could argue that the expansion and use of the materials were destructive to her property (Korngold, 2004). On the other hand, Richard had no right to add anything to Jenny's land or expand the path. On Sam's piece of land, he could argue that he erected the arch through termination of an easement with estoppels.

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