Logourl black
From our private database of 14,000+ case briefs...

Fitzstephens v. Watson

Oregon Supreme Court
344 P.2d 221 (1959)


Facts

Mr. and Mrs. Davies owned a ranch and used the property’s spring water by diverting it from a creek into a pipe that flowed to a storage tank. In 1946, the Mairses bought part of the ranch. As part of the sale, the parties orally agreed that remaining part of the ranch would operate as a servient tract and supply the Mairses’ dominant tract with water. Mr. and Mrs. Davies later executed and delivered an instrument entitled “Easement Deed” to the Mairses. The deed stated that the “grantors have agreed to furnish to the grantees water for use.” The deed also stated that the “grantors hereby covenant that they, their heirs or assigns will maintain a reservoir” on the ranch to supply water to the Mairses’ dominant tract. In 1947, Mr. and Mrs. Davies conveyed the servient tract to the Watsons (defendants). The Mairses developed a fishing resort on the dominant tract. In 1948, the Mairses sold part of the dominant tract, including resort buildings, to Mr. Fitzstephens (plaintiff). The Watsons also developed the servient tract as a fishing resort. Beginning in 1949, the Watsons shut off water to Fitzstephens’s property. The Watsons claimed Fitzstephens wasted water and the shut off was necessary to maintain enough water for the Watsons’ resort. In 1954, the Watsons officially declared they would no longer permit Fitzstephens to use any of the water from the servient tract system. Fitzstephens sued. Fitzstephens argued that the shut off forced him to obtain water from another source at considerable cost. The trial court held that the Easement Deed was a valid and perpetual easement and enjoined the Watsons from interfering with Fitzstephens’s use of the water. The Watsons appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (O’Connell, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. 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.

  2. 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 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.