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Otero v. Pacheco

New Mexico Court of Appeals
612 P.2d 1335 (N.M.1980)


Alexandro and Velma Pacheco (defendants) owned a home that was built on one lot and partially on a second lot. The Pachecos’ septic tank was placed underneath the second lot. After the city discontinued the use of septic tanks, the Pachecos connected a sewer line from their home which ran underneath the second lot to the adjoining street. Eventually, the Pachecos constructed a home on the second lot and connected it to the same sewer line. The Pachecos later sold the second home. Severo and Irene Otero (plaintiffs) bought the second home without knowledge of the existence of the sewer line. On several occasions, the sewer line backed up causing damage to the Oteros home. After learning of the sewer line, the Oteros filed suit against the Pachecos seeking damages. The Pachecos counter-claimed alleging they had an existing easement across the Oteros’ property. At trial, Severo Otero testified that he did not know about the existence of the sewer line until nine years after they had purchased the home. The trial court found for the Pachecos. In doing so, the court concluded that the Pachecos held an easement by implied reservation. The Oteros appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Hernandez, J.)

Dissent (Andrews, J.)

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