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Kurkowski Law-- Land Use Law

An “easement” refers to the right to use the land of another person for a particular purpose. New Jersey easements are not an uncommon occurrence and may bemade for public utility or power lines, phone lines, water pipes, sewers pipes, or gas lines. They can also include shared driveways and fences between neighbors, as well as circumstances in which one person needs to cross the land of another in order to access a public road.It will come as no surprise that New Jersey property easements can sometimes cause legal difficulties between parties. If you are involved in such a dispute, you should be aware of your New Jersey easement rights in order to determine whether they are being breached. Contact an experienced property attorney at Kurkowski Law today at (609) 884-1788.


An easement is a right of use over the property of another. Easements frequently arise among owners of adjoining parcels of land. Common examples of easements include the right of a property owner who has no street front to use a particular segment of a neighbor's land to gain access to the road, as well as the right of a municipal corporation to run a sewer line across a strip of an owner's land, which is frequently called a right of way.Easements can be conveyed from one individual to another by will, deed, or contract, which must comply with the Statute of Frauds and can be inherited pursuant to the laws of Descent and Distribution.

An easement is a non-possessory interest in another's land that entitles the holder only to the right to use such land in the specified manner. Easements are categorized as being either affirmative or negative. An affirmative easement entitles the holder to do something on another individual's land, whereas a negative easement divests an owner of the right to do something on the property.

There are various ways in which easements are created. An express easement is clearly stated in a contract, deed, or will. An easement by implication occurs when the owner of a piece of land divides such land into smaller pieces and sells a smaller piece to another person, retaining a right to enter such piece of land. For example, a seller divides his or her property and sells half to a purchaser. The piece that the purchaser buys has a sewer pipe beneath it that serves both pieces of property. The seller has an implied easement to use the sewer pipe that runs under the purchaser's land.

An easement by prescription arises through an individual's use of land as opposed to the possession thereof. An easement of this nature will be recognized in these instances: (1) the easement is adverse or contrary to the interests, and absent the permission, of the landowner; (2) it is open and notorious; (3) it is continuous and uninterrupted; and (4) it exists for the period of time prescribed by state statute. If for a period of time beyond the prescribed statutory period A creates and openly uses a right of way across B's land without B's permission then an easement by prescription is created.

An easement can either be terminated through the expiration of its term as determined upon its creation or by one of several events occurring subsequent to creation. Events that can extinguish an easement include these: (1) the same individual becoming the owner of the dominant as well as the servient estate when an appurtenant easement existed; (2) the owner of an easement in gross obtaining ownership of the servient estate; (3) the owner of the dominant tenement executing a deed or will releasing the easement in favor of the owner of the servient tenement; and (4) the abandonment of an easement.



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