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  1. #1
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    Default Can Dominant Estate Park on an Ingress and Egress Easement

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: North Carolina

    Hey guys,
    I'm the servient estate of an ingress & egress easement. The dominant estate is parking on the easement, although no provision for parking is written in the language. I've found plenty of case law in multiple states that this isn't legal, but no luck for North Carolina. Do you have any recommendations on how I can research this?

    Part of what makes it tricky is my neighbor is parking in order to drop off someone who lives in the dominant estate and then they'll visit for 5 minutes. That sounds innocent enough, but there's a whole lot of backstory on this, and the visitor has been using the easement to harass me, so this isn't just me being petty. I need the visitor to stop antagonizing me in ANY way, and as of last week parking on the easement is the newest thing...

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can Dominant Estate Park on an Ingress and Egress Easement

    Post the exact wording of the recorded easement in its entirety and you might get some helpful comments.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can Dominant Estate Park on an Ingress and Egress Easement

    an Easement is a license to act as the license states. If it doesn’t alllow for parking it isn’t allowed

    but how many thousands of dollars are you willing to spend to get a court to say they can’t park there. I’m not even sure a court would view this as parking but rather “standing” which a court may not see as violating the terms of the easement.

    I think you need to find a different way to be petty.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can Dominant Estate Park on an Ingress and Egress Easement

    Thanks for your help. Here it is, with names replaced by dominant and servient estate. No mention of parking, and I'm curious specifically what "enjoy all rights of ownership" means in legal-speak. I'm really not able to enjoy my property when people are using the easement to harass me!!

    "This easement agreement made this 15th day of April, 1998, by and between [servient estate] and [dominant estate],

    Whereas, [servient estate], this day is purchasing the property described on attached Exhibit A from [previous owner], who desires that such purchase be subject to the easements hereinafter granted for ingress and egress to the property of [dominant estate]; and

    Whereas, [dominant estate] is the owner of a certain parcel of land lying and being immediately east of the aforesaid property being conveyed to [servient estate]; and

    Now, therefore, [servient estate], while retaining absolute ownership of said property, for and in consideration of the premises, does hereby give and grant unto [dominant estate], his heirs and assigns a non-exclusive and perpetual easement for purposes of ingress and egress to and from the aforesaid property of [dominant estate] across the property of [servient estate], said easement being more particularly described on Exhibit B attached hereto.

    [Servient estate], her heirs and assigns, shall retain absolute ownership of said property and shall enjoy all rights of ownership.

    [Dominant estate], his heirs and assigns, to the extent possible, shall refrain from damaging or injuring the above described property.

    To have and to hold said easement to him the said [dominant estate], his heirs and assigns, it being agreed that this easement is appurtenant to and runs with the lands owned by and described above, and with the lands of [servient estate]."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can Dominant Estate Park on an Ingress and Egress Easement

    Enjoy all rights of ownership means what it says. You can use the easement as you would any other portion of your land as long as you do not interfere with the rights of the dominant tenant.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can Dominant Estate Park on an Ingress and Egress Easement

    Quote Quoting BobStanley
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    Part of what makes it tricky is my neighbor is parking in order to drop off someone who lives in the dominant estate and then they'll visit for 5 minutes. That sounds innocent enough, but there's a whole lot of backstory on this, and the visitor has been using the easement to harass me, so this isn't just me being petty. I need the visitor to stop antagonizing me in ANY way, and as of last week parking on the easement is the newest thing...
    That sounds irrational.

    But, the easement limits the dominant estate to egress and ingress. Nothing else.

    From Merriam-Webster:

    Egress:
    n. The act of coming or going out; emergence.
    n. The right to leave or go out.
    n. A path or opening for going out; an exit.

    Ingress:
    n. A going in or entering.
    n. Right or permission to enter.
    n. A means or place of entering.

    So, unless you want to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to enforce the terms of the easement I suggest you develop a thicker skin.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can Dominant Estate Park on an Ingress and Egress Easement

    From the language of the grant and that the easement was granted only when you were buying the property, I'm guessing that the two properties were under common ownership when the neighbor's property was developed. That could give rise to an easement by prior use even though there is an express ingress/egress easement that doesn't address parking but would allow for parking if the easement was used for parking while the land was under common ownership.

    The general rule of easements is that if the use is not included in the grant, the use is not allowed. But North Carolina courts are pretty liberal in looking at what is necessary for the complete enjoyment of the property. You should consult with a local attorney about what you can do or should do about preserving your property rights. And since we don't know the full history of the properties, we can't comment much further.

    Quote Quoting jk
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    an Easement is a license to act as the license states.
    I know what you meant to say but technically, an easement is not a license. A license can be revoked as in a permissive use. An express grant of an easement that is appurtenant cannot be revoked. Just for clarification of the terms.

    I don't agree with the idea of OP developing a thick skin until they have consulted with an attorney. To acquiesce to parking on the easement may diminish their rights or those of their successors.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can Dominant Estate Park on an Ingress and Egress Easement

    Thanks all for your replies, I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond on the weekend! The dictionary definition of ingress & egress was very helpful, ha. I have one more question about my rights - can I choose how to maintain the easement, as long as it doesn't interfere with the dominant estate, or does the dominant estate have the final say on the condition of the easement?

    It would seem that since it is my property, I pay taxes on it, and am entitled to enjoy all rights of ownership, that I should be able to decide how to maintain it, as long as I'm not impeding the dominant estate? I'll provide one example that was as ludicrous as it sounds. Visitor/invitee of the dominant estate has previously insisted on mowing my grass on the easement because it's too high for the dominant estate to walk through. This was a blatant lie, as the grass was 3-4 inches tall, and the visitor was simply doing this to antagonize me. Visitor has also killed grass with Roundup...

    I would appreciate advice on any specific legal terms that would explain the visitor's behavior and what my recourse is. I know this may still sound petty to you guys, but visitor has behaved maliciously over a 2+ year period and it's impacting my entire household, including a teenager who doesn't need to deal with that.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can Dominant Estate Park on an Ingress and Egress Easement

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    I know what you meant to say but technically, an easement is not a license. A license can be revoked as in a permissive use. An express grant of an easement that is appurtenant cannot be revoked. Just for clarification of the terms.
    You are using the term license too strictly. I was using it to refer to the fact the easement grants specific defined permissions to use the land. In that use, an easement is a license.

    Btw: you seem to have ignored the fact not all easements are appurtenant. An easement in gross is not appurtenant and it expires upon a stated event.

    My point of ignoring the action is I really believe the op will lose this battle. Stopping for the purpose of discharging a passenger is not parking. What’s the op going to complain about next; maybe some driver stopped to allow a dog to move out of the way?

    Quote Quoting BobStanley
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    Thanks all for your replies, I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond on the weekend! The dictionary definition of ingress & egress was very helpful, ha. I have one more question about my rights - can I choose how to maintain the easement, as long as it doesn't interfere with the dominant estate, or does the dominant estate have the final say on the condition of the easement?

    It would seem that since it is my property, I pay taxes on it, and am entitled to enjoy all rights of ownership, that I should be able to decide how to maintain it, as long as I'm not impeding the dominant estate? I'll provide one example that was as ludicrous as it sounds. Visitor/invitee of the dominant estate has previously insisted on mowing my grass on the easement because it's too high for the dominant estate to walk through. This was a blatant lie, as the grass was 3-4 inches tall, and the visitor was simply doing this to antagonize me. Visitor has also killed grass with Roundup...

    I would appreciate advice on any specific legal terms that would explain the visitor's behavior and what my recourse is. I know this may still sound petty to you guys, but visitor has behaved maliciously over a 2+ year period and it's impacting my entire household, including a teenager who doesn't need to deal with that.
    You can maintain the easement BUT if you do something to inhibit the rights of the dominant tenant, you can be ordered by a court to not do that. If you are thinking of speed bumps: don’t. Not only can it result in damage to vehicles and could result in a suit, they actually cause a dirt or gravel drive to degrade more quickly and require more work to maintain. Those additional holes would be seen as being caused by your actions so if they result in a damaged car or limiting the use of the easement, again, a court wouldn’t be happy.


    Is there a maaintemance agreement?


    Was the grass within the area used for driving?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can Dominant Estate Park on an Ingress and Egress Easement

    Quote Quoting jk
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    You are using the term license too strictly. I was using it to refer to the fact the easement grants specific defined permissions to use the land. In that use, an easement is a license.
    No it is not. An easement appurtenant cannot be revoked. A license can be revoked.

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    Btw: you seem to have ignored the fact not all easements are appurtenant. An easement in gross is not appurtenant and it expires upon a stated event.
    Who but you are speaking of easements in gross? The easement that was granted is expressly an easement appurtenant.

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