Dictionary of Law

easement :: legal definition

Easement - n. the right to use the real property of another for a specific purpose. The easement is itself a real property interest, but legal title to the underlying land is retained by the original owner for all other purposes. Typical easements are for access to another property (often redundantly stated "access and egress," since entry and exit are over the same path), for utility or sewer lines both under and above ground, use of spring water, entry to make repairs on a fence or slide area, drive cattle across and other uses. Easements can be created by a deed to be recorded just like any real property interest, by continuous and open use by the non-owner against the rights of the property owner for a statutory number of years, typically five ("prescriptive easement"), or to do equity (fairness), including giving access to a "land-locked" piece of property (sometimes called an "easement of necessity"). Easements may be specifically described by boundaries ("24 feet wide along the northern line for a distance of 180 feet"), somewhat indefinite ("along the trail to the northern boundary") or just for a purpose ("to provide access to the Jones property" or "access to the spring") sometimes called a "floating easement." There is also a "negative easement" such as a prohibition against building a structure which blocks a view. Title reports and title abstracts will usually describe all existing easements upon a parcel of real property. Issues of maintenance, joint use, locking gates, damage to easement and other conflicts clog the judicial system, mostly due to misunderstandings at the time of creation.

Related Law Terms

abandoned property :: n. property left behind (often by a tenant) intent ... -use. See also: abandon abandonment
abandonment :: n. the act of intentionally and permanently giving ... : abandon abandoned property patent
abeyance :: 1) n. when the owner- ship of property has not bee ... 2) legal jargon for "undetermined."
abstract of title :: n. the written report on a title search which show ... e also: chain of title title report
access :: n. 1) in real estate the right and ability to get ... See also: DNA egress paternity suit
adverse possession :: n. a means to acquire title to land through obviou ... o: possession prescriptive easement
after-acquired property :: n. 1) personal or real property acquired by a debt ... lso: bankruptcy secured transaction
appurtenant :: adj. pertaining to something that attaches. In rea ... t. See also: easement real property
assess :: v. to set a value on property, usually for the pur ... e place upon sale of real property.
assume :: v. to take over the liability for a debt on a prom ... he assumption. See also: assumption
bankruptcy :: n. a federal system of statutes and courts which p ... y proceedings trustee in bankruptcy
Bill of Rights :: n. the first ten amendments to the federal Constit ... ved to the states or to the people.
chain of title :: n. the succession of title ownership to real prope ... title conveyance foreclosure title
claim :: 1) v. to make a demand for money, for property, or ... the government, it is lawsuit time.
cloud on title (cloud) :: n. an actual or apparent outstanding claim on the ... ion reconveyance title title report
collateral :: 1) n. property pledged to secure a loan or debt, u ... ral to the Colorado divorce action.
color of title :: n. the appearance of having title to personal or r ... rty based on this "color of title."
common property :: n. 1) real property owned by "tenants in common," ... e, like parks and national forests.
complaint :: n. the first document filed with the court (actual ... g prayer service of process summons
condemn :: v. 1) for a public agency to determine that a buil ... condemnation action eminent domain
condition precedent :: n. 1) in a contract, an event which must take plac ... o the property. See also: condition
condition subsequent :: n. 1) in a contract, a happening which terminates ... Dad Fauntleroy. See also: condition
condominium :: n. title to a unit of real property which, in real ... ium projects. See also: common area
conversion :: n. a civil wrong (tort) in which one converts anot ... the crime of theft. See also: theft
convey :: v. to transfer title (official ownership) to real ... ion conveyance deed grantee grantor
conveyance :: n. a generic term for any written document which t ... r Recorder of Deeds. See also: deed
copyright :: 1) n. the exclusive right of the author or creator ... plagiarism public domain trademark
covenant :: 1) n. a promise in a written contract or a deed of ... o compete deed restrictive covenant
covenants, conditions and restrictions :: n. commonly called "CC and Rs," these are written ... ctive purchaser. See also: covenant
dedication :: n. the giving of land by a private person or entit ... perty. See also: quiet title action
deed :: 1) n. the written document which transfers title ( ... veyance deed of trust warranty deed
deed of trust :: n. a document which pledges real property to secur ... : foreclosure mortgage reconveyance
defect :: n. an imperfection, quite often so great that the ... See also: defective defective title
defective title :: n. an apparent title to real property which fails ... so: chain of title defect defective
demise :: 1) v. an old-fashioned expression meaning to lease ... r life. 3) n. death. 4) n. failure.
devise :: 1) v. an old-fashioned word for giving real proper ... so: bequest gift legacy remise will
devisee :: n. a person who receives a gift of real property b ... will. See also: beneficiary legatee
dominant estate :: n. in real estate law, the property retained when ... See also: easement servient estate
double jeopardy :: n. placing someone on trial a second time for an o ... that occurred thirty years earlier.
dower :: n. an old English common law right of a widow to o ... t and distribution widow's election
eminent domain :: n. the power of a governmental entity (federal, st ... ngs. See also: condemn condemnation
escrow :: 1) n. a form of account held by an "escrow agent" ... w the deal." See also: escrow agent
exchange :: 1) v. to trade or barter property, goods and/or se ... ins tax. See also: delayed exchange
execution :: n. 1) the act of getting an officer of the court t ... so: death penalty writ of execution
fair use :: n. the non-competitive right to use of copyrighted ... for a royalty. See also: copyright
fee simple :: n. absolute title to land, free of any other claim ... e:" or similar words. See also: fee
fee tail :: n. an old feudal expression for a title to real pr ... rest only. See also: fee fee simple
forcible entry :: n. the crime of taking possession of a house or ot ... ce after having come in peacefully.
foreclosure :: n. the system by which a party who has loaned mone ... ced sale mortgage notice of default
fraud :: n. the intentional use of deceit, a trick or some ... audulent conveyance intrinsic fraud
free and clear :: adj. referring to the ownership of real property u ... the title has no claim against it.
grandfather clause :: n. 1) a clause in a statute or zoning ordinance (p ... Such laws are now unconstitutional.
grant :: v. to transfer real property from a title holder ( ... deed grantee grantor quitclaim deed
grant deed :: n. the document which transfers title to real prop ... rant grantee grantor quitclaim deed
hostile possession :: n. occupancy of a piece of real property coupled w ... verse possession quiet title action
in personam :: adj. (in purr-soh-nam) from Latin for "directed to ... here. See also: in rem jurisdiction
indispensable party :: n. a person or entity which must be included in a ... tion to join Olivia as a defendant.
ingress :: 1) n. entrance. 2) n. the right to enter. 3) v. th ... property. See also: easement egress
interest :: n. 1) any and all, partial or total right to prope ... nal property real property standing
invasion of privacy :: n. the intrusion into the personal life of another ... randeis. See also: right to privacy
invitee :: n. a person who comes onto another's property, pre ... ail employees. See also: negligence
joint :: adj., adv. referring to property, rights or obliga ... ncy joint venture tenancy in common
joint tenancy :: n. a crucial relationship in the ownership of real ... ty property tenancy in common title
just compensation :: n. 1) in general a fair and reasonable amount of m ... ation make one whole quantum meruit
laches :: n. the legal doctrine that a legal right or claim ... , breach of contract, fraud, etc.).
land :: n. real property, real estate (and all that grows ... See also: real estate real property
lease :: 1) n. a written agreement in which the owner of pr ... triple net lease unlawful detainer
leasehold :: n. the real estate which is the subject of a lease ... sehold. See also: condominium lease
legatee :: n. a person or organization receiving a gift of an ... eficiary devise devisee legacy will
leverage :: 1) n. the use of borrowed money to purchase real e ... e been created by risky leveraging.
license :: 1) n. governmental permission to perform a particu ... eement. See also: licensee licensor
lien :: n. any official claim or charge against property o ... ord's lien mechanic's lien mortgage
life estate :: n. the right to use or occupy real property for on ... hter, Sadie, will own the property.
lis pendens :: (lease pen-dense) n. Latin for "a suit pending," a ... ob can be penalized by court order.
literary property :: n. the writings of an author which entitles him/he ... as copyrighted. See also: copyright
marketable title :: n. the title to real property which has no encumbr ... e. See also: contract real property
mechanic's lien :: n. the right of a craftsman, laborer, supplier, ar ... ll sue for the debt. See also: lien
merger :: n. 1) in corporate law, the joining together of tw ... and taking one, and wife the other.
mortgage :: n. a document in which the owner pledges his/her/i ... losure notice of default trust deed
negligence :: n. failure to exercise the care toward others whic ... gence per se res ipsa loquitur tort
nominal party :: n. a defendant or a plaintiff included in a lawsui ... ed. See also: necessary party party
non-conforming use :: n. the existing use (residential, commercial, agri ... eneral plan grandfathered in zoning
notice :: n. 1) information, usually in writing in all legal ... Thirty-day notice three-day notice
nuisance :: n. the unreasonable, unwarranted and/or unlawful u ... evening). See also: public nuisance
operation of law :: n. a change or transfer which occurs automatically ... atically upon the child turning 18.
option :: n. a right to purchase property or require another ... ng or upon expiration of the lease.
patent infringement :: n. the manufacture and/or use of an invention or i ... not. See also: infringement patent
personalty :: n. movable assets (things, including animals) whic ... lso: personal effects real property
possession :: n. 1) any article, object, asset or property which ... ctive possession. See also: possess
possessory interest :: n. in real estate, the intent and right of a perso ... o: possess possession real property
possibility of a reverter :: n. the potential that the title to a real property ... further issue. See also: reversion
prescription :: n. the method of acquiring an easement upon anothe ... ty. See also: prescriptive easement
prescriptive easement :: n. an easement upon another's real property acquir ... on. See also: easement prescription
private road :: n. a road or driveway on privately owned property, ... ng. See also: prescriptive easement
promissory note :: n. a written promise by a person (variously called ... lso: interest obligee obligor usury
property :: n. anything that is owned by a person or entity. P ... rty real property separate property
property tax :: n. an annual governmental tax on real property or ... are made. See also: ad valorem tax
public easement :: n. the right of the general public to use certain ... lso: easement prescriptive easement
quiet title action :: n. a lawsuit to establish a party's title to real ... opposition. See also: notice title
quitclaim deed :: n. a real property deed which transfers (conveys) ... also: convey deed grant deed title
real estate :: n. land, improvements and buildings thereon, inclu ... the future. See also: real property
real estate investment trust :: n. nicknamed REIT, a real estate investment organi ... its upon sale-if there is a profit.
real property :: n. 1) all land, structures, firmly attached and in ... onal property real estate reversion
reconveyance :: n. in those states which use deeds of trust as a m ... conveyance. See also: deed of trust
record :: 1) v. (ree-cored) to put a document into the offic ... eeding race to the courthouse trial
remainder :: n. in real property law, the interest in real prop ... ed reversion title vested remainder
rental value :: n. the amount which would be paid for rental of si ... alimony to be paid. See also: rent
restraint on alienation :: n. an attempt in a deed or will to prevent the sal ... enant rule against perpetuities use
restrictive covenant :: n. 1) an agreement included in a deed to real prop ... o: covenant that runs with the land
resulting trust :: n. a trust implied by law (as determined by a cour ... See also: constructive trust trust
reversion :: n. in real property, the return to the grantor or ... lled "reverter." See also: reverter
right :: 1) n. an entitlement to something, whether to conc ... e also: civil rights marital rights
right of way :: n. 1) a pathway or road with a specific descriptio ... s easement egress floating easement
rights :: n. 1) plural of right, which is the collection of ... evidence. See also: Miranda warning
riparian rights :: n. the right of the owner of the land forming the ... elled away from its natural course.
rule against perpetuities :: n. the legal prohibition against tying up property ... . See also: restraint on alienation
seisin :: (sees-in) n. an old feudal term for having both po ... perty). See also: fee simple seized
seized :: (seised) n. 1) having ownership, commonly used in ... by force. See also: seisin seizure
self-defense :: n. the use of reasonable force to protect oneself ... ndalism. See also: assault homicide
service by publication :: n. serving a summons or other legal document in a ... perty. See also: service of process
servient estate :: n. real property which has an easement or other us ... See also: dominant estate easement
spot zoning :: n. a provision in a general plan which benefits a ... . See also: grandfathered in zoning
springing interest :: n. a future right to title to real property create ... lso: future interest interest title
stakeholder :: n. a person having in his/her possession (holding) ... ment or agreement. See also: escrow
statute of limitations :: n. a law which sets the maximum period which one c ... ies. See also: demurrer laches toll
straw man :: n. 1) a person to whom title to property or a busi ... a trail will mislead hunting dogs).
subject to :: adj. referring to the acquisition of title to real ... : assumption deed of trust mortgage
tax :: n. a governmental assessment (charge) upon propert ... unified estate and gift tax use tax
tenancy by the entirety :: n. joint ownership of title by husband and wife, i ... ee also: community property tenancy
tenancy in common :: n. title to property (usually real property, but i ... on. See also: joint tenancy tenancy
theft :: n. the generic term for all crimes in which a pers ... rglary embezzlement larceny robbery
title :: n. 1) ownership of real property or personal prope ... ink slip real property title search
title insurance :: n. a policy issued by an insurance company guarant ... : chain of title title title search
title report :: n. the written analysis of the status of title to ... lso: abstract title title insurance
title search :: n. the examination of county records for the prope ... e escrow lien title title insurance
trespass :: n. entering another person's property without perm ... for an illegal purpose is a crime.
undivided interest :: n. title to real property held by two or more pers ... y by the entirety tenancy in common
unlawful detainer :: n. 1) keeping possession of real property without ... Thirty-day notice three-day notice
use :: n. the right to enjoy the benefits of real propert ... ay it is only of academic interest.
variance :: n. 1) an exception to a zoning ordinance, authoriz ... process." See also: dismissal proof
vested :: adj. referring to having an absolute right or titl ... ed. See also: vest vested remainder
vested remainder :: n. the absolute right to receive title after a pre ... pass to him. See also: vest vested

Popular Law Searches

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Other Law Terms - E

earnest payment :: n. a deposit paid to demonstrate commitment and to ... (liquidated) or committed damages.
easement :: n. the right to use the real property of another f ... rstandings at the time of creation.
egress :: n. way of departure. A word usually used in conjun ... unction with "access" or "ingress."
EIR :: n. popular acronym for environmental impact report ... e also: environmental impact report
ejectment :: n. a lawsuit brought to remove a party who is occu ... o the property through her parents.
ejusdem generis :: (eh-youse-dem generous) v adj. Latin for "of the s ... t was of land-based transportation.
elder law :: n. a specialty in legal practice, covering estate ... t field. (definition revised: 9/02)
election of remedies :: n. an outmoded requirement that if a plaintiff (pa ... dence has not been fully presented.
election under the will :: n. in those states which have statutes which give ... arries) left to her under his will.
eleemosynary :: (eh-luh-moss-uh-nary) adj. charitable, as applied ... pplied to a purpose or institution.
element :: n. 1) an essential requirement to a cause of actio ... of action crime general plan zoning
emancipation :: n. freeing a minor child from the control of paren ... vorced parent to pay child support.
embezzlement :: n. the crime of stealing the funds or property of ... in trust. See also: embezzler theft
embezzler :: n. a person who commits the crime of embezzlement ... r property of an employer or trust.
emblements :: n. crops to which a tenant who cultivated the land ... ome the property of his/her estate.
emergency :: n. a sudden, unforeseen happening which requires a ... r to protect lives and/or property.
eminent domain :: n. the power of a governmental entity (federal, st ... ngs. See also: condemn condemnation
emolument :: n. salary, wages and benefits paid for employment ... d for employment or an office held.
emotional distress :: n. an increasingly popular basis for a claim of da ... ar value upon it. See also: damages
employee :: n. a person who is hired for a wage, salary, fee o ... ondeat superior scope of employment