Friday, March 23, 2012

Green v. Lupo case brief

Green v. Lupo case brief summary
647 P.2d 51 (Wash Ct. App. 1982)

Plaintiff easement holders appealed from a judgment of the Superior Court for Pierce County (Washington), which determined that a contemplated easement was personal, as claimed by defendant easement grantors, rather than appurtenant to the land, as claimed by the easement holders.


The easement grantors interfered with the easement that they granted to the easement holders after they constructed a mobile home park. The park's residents used the road created by the easement. 


  • The court held that parol evidence was properly admitted to define the scope of the easement. 
  • The written agreement that created the easement was ambiguous because it evidenced an easement that was both appurtenant to the land and personal to the easement holders. 
  • However, the court held that the trial court erred because the evidence did not support its determination that the easement was personal. 
  • The court found that evidence of an appurtenant easement outweighed the evidence of a personal easement. 
  • There was a strong presumption against personal easements in Washington. 
  • The court held that the trial court abused its discretion when it enjoined all motorcycle traffic on the road created by the easement because it did not properly consider the ban's effect on the easement holders' use of the easement and because the ban unreasonably interfered with their use of the easement.

The portion of trial court's judgment that held the easement was personal was reversed. The portion of the judgment that banned all motorcycle traffic was reversed and remanded for the creation of proper, less restrictive equitable restrictions on the use of the easement.

-trailer park case, P granted D a deed release upon the sale of his property on the condition what when D acquired title he would grant P and easement. It was unclear whether the easement was meant to be appurtenant (run with the land) or in gross (personal)
  1. Rule: An easement is not personal if there is anything in the grant to suggest that it was intended to be tied to the land.
  2. Presumption of easement appurtenant and if appurtenant presumption it runs with the land for subdivisions.

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