REAL PROPERTY – Easement: Jones v. Sparks (COA 10/16/2009)

Jones v. Sparks
2008-CA-002006 10/16/09 2009 WL 3321370
Opinion by Judge Lambert; Judge Stumbo and Senior Judge Henry concurred.

The Court affirmed a judgment of the circuit court finding that appellants did not have an easement to use a road on appellees’ property. The Court first held that because there was no written contract establishing an easement, legal title was barred by the statute of frauds, KRS 371.010. The Court then held that the trial court properly found that appellants were not entitled to equitable relief. There was no evidence that the deceased owner of the property conveyed a false impression or concealed a material fact related to the road, nor believed that appellants would rely on his conduct, so as to estop the owners of the property from denying the existence of an easement. Appellants’ claim for a quasi-easement failed as a matter of law, as there was no common ownership of the property. Appellants’ claim for an easement by way of necessity failed as they had another means of access to their property. Appellees were not unjustly enriched as appellant did not confer any benefit. The Court finally held that the trial court did not improperly admit statements made by the deceased as they were properly admitted under KRE 803(1) as an exception to the hearsay rule.

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