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Wetmore v. Ladies of Loretto, Wheaton

Appellate Court of Illinois
220 N.E. 2d 491 (1966)


Facts

Wetmore (plaintiff) owned an eighty-acre tract bound on the east by Hawthorne Lane. In 1946 Wetmore sold ten landlocked acres to The Ladies of Loretto, Wheaton (Loretto) (defendant), a non-profit corporation. Loretto built a mansion, chapel, garden, swimming pool, and other facilities. Wetmore gave Loretto an express easement across his land to access Hawthorne Lane. The easement was over an existing driveway that ran in front of Loretto’s residence. In 1957, Loretto later purchased forty additional acres adjacent to the west of the ten-acre parcel and extending to the western border of the eighty acres. It then constructed a road extending west to Orchard Road, the western boundary. Relations between the parties deteriorated over the years due to heavy use of the easement. In 1962, Loretto began construction on a House of Studies, a single structure which was partly on the ten acres and partly on the forty acres. Wetmore sued to enjoin use of the easement because Loretto had extended the easement to the forty acres and because the activities that took place on the forty acres could not be segregated from those on the ten acres, including those that took place on all of the other structures on the ten acres. Loretto answered that the sale of the forty acres created an implied easement benefitting that tract over the original easement. The trial court found that there was no implied easement, that the activities on the ten and forty acres could not be segregated, and that the express easement was therefore abandoned and extinguished. The court enjoined the use of the express easement until Loretto could ensure that the easement would only be used for activities taking place on the ten acres.

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Holding and Reasoning (Davis, J.)

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