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Hillside Development Co. v. Fields

Missouri Court of Appeals
928 S.W.2d 886 (1996)


Facts

Nelson owned property on which he constructed a house and a driveway to connect the house to the only accessible public road. The garage of the house was located such that the driveway had to wrap around the front of the house on the east to the back corner of the house on the north. On the west side was the septic tank and lines. Nelson bequeathed this property and the surrounding land to Shriners Hospital. In 1984 Shriners subdivided the property and sold the undeveloped land to Hillside Development Co. (plaintiff), including all or nearly all of the land on which the driveway was located. The deed reserved a right-of-way easement for the use of the residential lot and house. However, the recorded easement did not match the location of the driveway by failing to account for a small curved section of the driveway located in front of the house. In 1987, Shriners sold their remaining portion to Fields (defendant). The title noted that the curved portion of the driveway was not included in either the title or the express easement. In 1993, Hillside sued Fields for trespass. Fields counterclaimed for a declaratory judgment that he had an implied easement across the disputed portion of the driveway. The trial court denied the implied easement and entered judgment for Hillside.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Denvir Stith, J.)

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  • 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.).

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