Kimball-Griffith, L.P. v. Burman

Facts: A buyer acquires a portion of a parcel from the owner. The portion acquired had an access road the owner used. The owner sells the remaining adjacent parcel of their property to the buyer’s neighbor. The buyer grants another person an easement for use of the access road, and locked gates are installed barring public access to the road. The neighbor seeks to establish an easement for their use of the access road for ingress and egress to their property and removal of the gates.

Claim: The neighbor claims they hold an easement for the use of the road over the buyer’s s property since the road was built and used prior to the buyer’s acquisition.

Counterclaim: The buyer claims the neighbor may not hold an easement over the use of the road since the road was never available for public use and both portions of the property were owned by the same person who cannot have an easement against themselves.

Holding: A federal appeals court for the 9th district covering California holds the neighbor has no right to use the road or remove the gates since no roadway easement rights were available for public use and both the adjoining properties had a prior common ownership and an owner of property is not capable of having an easement over their own property. [Kimball-Griffith, L.P. v. Burman (2023) 67 F4d 1006]

Kimball-Griffith, L.P. v. Burman

Related Reading:

Real Estate Principles: Chapter 41: Creating an easement

Legal Aspects of Real Estate: Chapter 15: Interference and termination of easements

Related Videos:

Word-of-the-Week: The Quick Tell-All about Easements

Extinguishing an Easement