Samuel Plotkin (defendant) purchased a corner lot in Minneapolis, on which sat a duplex. Both houses in the duplex were connected to the public sewer through a common sewer drain. In 1921, Plotkin acquired an adjoining plot, which also contained a residence. Shortly after purchasing this lot, he obtained a mortgage on it. One year later, Plotkin connected the new plot’s residence to the common sewer drain for the duplex. In 1936, Plotkin defaulted on the mortgage, which was foreclosed upon by Margaret Roggeman. She subsequently sold the lot to Nicholas Romanchuk (plaintiff). Several years later, the common sewer drain clogged, requiring extensive repairs. Plotkin then attempted to disconnect Romanchuk’s property from the common drain. Romanchuk then brought an action to enjoin Plotkin from doing so. The trial court determined that Romanchuk held an easement in the common sewer drain, and thus was entitled to its use. Plotkin petitioned for certiorari to the Supreme Court of Minnesota.