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Easement can be narrowed by servient estate owner

February 17th, 2014 by Joseph William Singer

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Martin v. Simmons Props., Inc., 2014 WL 128537 (Mass. 2014), that the servient estate owner is entitled to narrow an easement as long as this does not interfere with the uses for which the easement was initially created. The court applied the traditional rule that easements are encumbrances on land and to be construed narrowly. At the same time, the touchstone was the intention of the parties that created the easement, determined both by the language in the easement and the circumstances at the time of creation of the easement. Because the documents and plan creating the easement did not specify an exact width of the easement or require that it be kept open through its full extent, the easement owner was entitled only to such use as was needed to afford access to the dominant estate. The court also reaffirmed the traditional rule that nonuse of an easement is not sufficient to establish abandonment of it.

Posted in Easements, Servitudes, Statute of frauds, Title issues | Comments Off on Easement can be narrowed by servient estate owner

Scotland recognizes same-sex marriage

February 5th, 2014 by Joseph William Singer

The Scottish Parliament passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill allowing and recognizing same-sex marriage. It is the 17th country to do so. read article The vote was an astonishing 105-18.

Posted in Marital property, Sexual orientation | Comments Off on Scotland recognizes same-sex marriage