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Boyd v. BellSouth Telephone Telegraph Co., Inc.

Court of Appeals of South Carolina
597 S.E.2d 161 (2004)


Facts

BellSouth Telephone Telegraph Co., Inc. (BellSouth) (defendant) owned a parcel of land in Denmark, South Carolina. The parcel was bound on three of its sides by public streets. A three-story building sat on the front portion of the parcel. Bellsouth later built a driveway extending from the double doors at the back of the building to the street behind the home. In 1988, BellSouth divided the parcel in two and sold the front lot to the City of Denmark (the City). The City used the property, including the driveway, for about three years before conveying the property to Caroline Boyd’s (plaintiff’s) husband. Boyd’s husband then conveyed the lot to Boyd for Boyd’s antique business. Part of the Boyds’ decision to purchase the property was based on the accessibility of the driveway. For years, Boyd used the driveway to receive deliveries that were too large to receive through the front entrance. However, after the terrorist attack in 2001, BellSouth decided to increase security by installing a fence around its lot. The fence ran along Boyd’s back property line and cut off her access to the driveway. Boyd sued BellSouth, arguing that she possessed an easement by necessity or by pre-existing use. A special referee heard the case and granted summary judgment in BellSouth’s favor.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Howard, J.)

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