Brown v. Voss 715 P.2d 514 Brown bought some land next to Voss, and had an easement which allowed Brown to use a road across Voss's property. o The original easement was created by an express grant. Brown also bought a second parcel of land adjacent to the plot with the easement, and attempted to move their house from the section of the property that had the easement to the new section. o Access to the second plot of land was never part of the original easement. Turns out, this plot had access to the main road, but no one ever bothered to bring that up at Trial. Two years later, as construction of the house was progressing, Voss sought to bar access to the easement. Brown sued. o Voss claimed that there was never an easement to allow access to the new section of the Brown's property. o Voss argued that when Brown combined the plot with the easement with another plot, the easement was void. The Trial Court found for Brown and ordered Voss to allow Brown access to the road. Voss appealed. o The Trial Court felt it was ok, as long as the two plots were developed and used for the purpose of a single family residence. o Brown argued that there was no increased burden on the subservient estate because there was still only one family that would be using the road. The Appellate Court reversed. Brown appealed. o As a general rule, an easement appurtenant to one parcel of land may not be extended by the owner to other parcels owned by him, even if those are adjoining. The Washington Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Court and allowed the use of the easement. o As a general rule, if an easement is appurtenant to a Project Wonderful - Your ad here, right now, for as low as $0 particular parcel of land, any extension thereof to other parcels is a misuse of the easement. The Supreme Court agrees that it is only a technical violation, but that's still a violation. o However, Voss was seeking injunctive relief. The Trial Court had found that Voss would suffer no hardship or damages from Brown's actions, while Brown would suffer considerable hardship if not allowed to use the road. o Since Voss suffered no damages, the Trial Court was acting within their discretion when allowing Brown access. Especially since they limited Brown's use of the combined parcel of land to the same purpose the original parcel had (a single house). In a dissent it was argued that misuse of an easement is trespass. Trespass is a crime and should not be rewarded. o The dissent argued that it's Brown's own fault for buying land that had no access.
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