Castle Associates v. Schwartz
New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
63 A.D.2d 481 (1978)
William Simpson acquired a plot of land in 1883 in Suffolk County, New York. The plot was bounded by two parallel streets: East Shore Road on the west and Bay Avenue on the east. In 1903, Simpson sold the southwest corner of this land. This portion of the land happened to be difficult to access from the west. A provision in the deed was included, allowing the owner of the southwest parcel a 12-foot wide easement to access Bay Avenue on the east. It also stipulated that a road would be opened once Simpson sold any portion of the land bordering Bay Avenue, although it did not define where the road would be located. In 1907, Simpson sold the northeastern portion of his plot, bordering on Bay Avenue. The road mentioned in the deed was never opened, and no objections were raised by the owner of the southwest portion. Later that year, Simpson sold the northwest portion of the property to Juliana Ferguson, who then proceeded to purchase the northeast and southwest portions as well. In 1946, Simpson sold his remaining portion, the southeast corner, to John Knutson (defendant). Knutson then constructed a fence around the southeast parcel. Eventually, the other three plots were purchased by Castle Associates (plaintiff), who discovered the provision in the 1903 deed, permitting access to Bay Avenue from the southwest parcel. Castle Associates demanded that Knutson allow them access to Bay Avenue through his land, as Castle Associates was going to develop the southwestern plot. When Knutson declined, Castle Associates brought suit. Special term found that when Ferguson purchased the three plots of land, the dominant and servient estates were merged, thus extinguishing the easement created by the deed. Castle Associates appealed to the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Damiani, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.