Flax v. Smith

479 N.E.2d 183 (1985)

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Flax v. Smith

Massachusetts Court of Appeals
479 N.E.2d 183 (1985)

SC

Facts

An individual owned three parcels of adjoined land. Lots B and C were adjacent to the public street. Lot A was behind Lots B and C. In 1950, the home on Lot A was serviced by water and sewer lines that ran under Lots B and C. In 1966, the City of Boston took ownership of Lot A due to the owner’s failure to pay taxes. Steven Flax (plaintiff) purchased Lot A. Herbert Smith (defendant) became a trustee for the owners of Lots B and C and sought to terminate the water and sewer easement. Flax brought suit seeking enforcement of an easement implied by prior use. Smith argued that because the original owner of the three parcels did not pass title to Lot A voluntarily, and thus did not intend to burden Lots B and C with an easement, an easement cannot be implied. The trial court found in favor of Flax. Smith appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fine, J.)

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