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Krause v. Taylor

Decided: July 11, 1975.

OSWALD A. KRAUSE, DOROTHY M. KRAUSE, TIMOTHY TARDELL AND BARBARA TARDELL, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
WALLACE D. TAYLOR AND BARBARA TAYLOR, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS



Michels, Morgan and Milmed.

Per Curiam

[135 NJSuper Page 482] Plaintiffs-appellants Oswald A. and Dorothy M. Krause (hereinafter Krauses), purchased certain property in the Borough of West Paterson, County of Passaic, from David A. and Mae F. Taylor, his wife, by deed dated

January 9, 1947. Defendants Wallace D. and Barbara Taylor are the grantors' successors in title and, for convenience, both the grantors and their successors will be referred to herein as the "Taylors". The property purchased by the Krauses, adjacent to land retained by the Taylors, was landlocked and the only access to a public road was afforded by use of an easement across the Taylors' property, known as Taylor's Way.

Prior to its purchase in 1947 the Krauses had leased the property in question from the Taylors for use as a nursery, and then, too, ingress and egress to the leased land was by means of Taylor's Way. The 1947 deed reflecting Krauses' purchase of the land in question sought to preserve this access by incorporating therein the following provision:

The parties of the second part, their heirs or assigns are hereby given the right of privilege of egress or ingress in, over and upon a certain private roadway running from New Street, which is also called Rifle Camp Road, through the property of the parties of the first part and adjacent to the property described in the within deed.

Following purchase, the land continued to be used as a nursery but to an increasingly limited extent. Krauses' intention to ultimately make use of the land as a homesite was known to the Taylors, and several years later the Krauses purchased a small adjacent parcel of property upon which they did build a home. Access to this home continued over Taylor's Way.

By deed dated August 13, 1973 the Krauses conveyed a portion of the land they had purchased from the Taylors to plaintiffs Timothy and Barbara Tardell (hereinafter Tardells). The Tardell deed included a grant of the right to use the easement which the Krauses received from the Taylors. After obtaining title the Tardells began construction of a home on their newly purchased property, and construction was substantially underway when the Taylors blocked the easement so as to preclude vehicles associated with construction of the house from having access to the Tardell property.

Although the blockades were removed soon after institution of the present suit, the judgment being appealed from permits the Taylors to prohibit the Tardells and other assignees of the Krauses from using this easement. The Krauses and Tardells appeal.

In this action plaintiffs sought to obtain an order requiring the Taylors to remove any and all barricades or obstructions preventing use of the easement, permanently retraining the Taylors from obstructing the easement and declaring the rights of the parties as to the extent to which they were entitled to use of the easement. The trial judge denied the relief sought (except that he did require that the Krauses be permitted to continue use of the easement*fn1) on the following basis:

This Court is of the opinion that the subdivision of the property to Mr. Tardell, and the expected use by Mr. Tardell and his family, with the accompanying traffic that would be used on it, was not contemplated by the parties at the time the easement was granted and, could not be and, in this Court's opinion, is not a reasonable exercise of the use of the easement, and I find it an unreasonable use and an enlargement of the easement across Taylor's Lane.

An easement is an interest in the land of another affording a right to use the other's land. 2 Thompson on Real Property, ยง 319 at 33 (1961); Leasehold Estates, Inc. v. Fulbro Holding Co., 47 N.J. Super. 534, 551 (App. Div. 1957), certif. granted 25 N.J. 538 (1958). The easement in question was created by express grant in the 1947 deed from the Taylors to the Krauses, although, in the absence thereof, its existence would have been generated by reason of ...


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