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Valente v. Atlantic City Electric Co.

Decided: November 24, 1953.

ANTHONY VALENTE AND ALICE VALENTE, HIS WIFE, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ATLANTIC CITY ELECTRIC COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANT



Haneman, J.s.c.

Haneman

[28 NJSuper Page 477] Plaintiffs herein seek a mandatory and prohibitory injunction against the defendant, directing it to remove a certain electric line located upon premises situate in the Township of East Greenwich, County of Gloucester and State of New Jersey, and to desist from further construction in connection with said electric line. They seek not only said injunctive relief but as well the

recovery of the consideration for the erection of poles and the installation of the anchors, and damages for the destruction of trees on their lands by the defendant.

The facts in connection herewith are as follows:

On or about October 4, 1951 one Frederick C. Zimmer and T. Linwood Steward, then being the owners of the premises here involved, executed an easement agreement to the Atlantic City Electric Company, which said agreement was recorded in the clerk's office of Gloucester County on October 19, 1951. The said agreement contained the following phraseology:

"The electric transmission line shall be construed parallel to transcontinental gas pipe line."

The easement granted the right to the Atlantic City Electric Company to "construct, erect, operate and maintain a line * * * for the purpose of transmitting electric or other power * * *." Among other things, the said easement provided that the said defendant should have the "privilege * * * to cut and remove from said premises or the premises of the Grantor, adjoining the same on either side, any trees, overhanging branches or other obstructions which may endanger the safety or interfere with the use of said poles, fixtures or wires attached thereto * * *."

The consideration for the granting of said easement was the payment of the sum of $35 for each pole and $15 for each anchor erected on said lands, to be paid "whenever and as soon as any poles are erected thereon."

On January 31, 1952 the defendant paid to the said Zimmer and Steward the sum of $400 as and for the consideration for the said easement. On or about April 10, 1952 the plaintiffs entered into an agreement with the above referred to Steward for the purchase of the premises here involved. Pursuant to said agreement, deed was delivered to the plaintiffs on April 23, 1952 and recorded in the clerk's office of Gloucester County on April 24, 1952.

On or about September 15, 1952 defendant commenced the construction of the transmission line, which said construction

was completed on or about November 7, 1952. This transmission line, although it proceeds in a general easterly-westerly direction across the lands of the plaintiffs, and in the general vicinity of the transcontinental gas pipe line, is not, in all parts, equidistant from the said transcontinental gas pipe line.

Prior to the final execution of the agreement for the purchase of the lands here involved, plaintiffs had, on several occasions, attempted to negotiate with either Steward or Zimmer, who demanded a price of $2,800. The plaintiffs were desirous of paying some sum less than that amount. Said Steward and Zimmer testified that after the defendant had paid to them the sum of $400 they reduced their price to $2,400 and advised the plaintiffs that the reason for such ...


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