Monday, January 6, 2014

O’Donovan v. McIntosh case brief

O’Donovan v. McIntosh case brief summary
728 A.2d 681 (1999)

Appellants challenged an order of the Superior Court of Cumberland County (Maine) granting partial summary judgment in favor of appellee and declaring that an easement in gross over appellee's property was not assignable.

Appellant property owner held an easement in gross over property owned by appellee. Appellant property owner conveyed the property to appellee by warranty deed, reserving the easement for access to an adjacent parcel of land belonging to the appellant. Thereafter, the appellant entered into a purchase agreement of the easement to appellant purchaser. Appellant purchaser filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment concerning his right to purchase and sell the easement. Appellants moved for summary judgment on the ground that the easement was transferable. Appellee objected and filed a cross-motion for summary judgment. Appellee argued that the easement was not assignable.

The trial court agreed and granted appellee's motion.


  • On appeal, the court held that the easement was assignable because the parties clearly expressed that intent in the language of the deed. 
  • The court reversed the judgment in favor of appellee.

Order of partial summary judgment was reversed because the easement in gross held by appellant property owner over appellee's property was assignable due to the express assignment provision of the deed.

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