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Although various types of factual consideration may operate in a particular case to defeat the implication of intent to reserve the easement (e.g. the non-apparent character of flood usage), and while decisions of the different states are not uniform on the point, the court states in broad terms that no reservation of an easement will be implied where the claimed right of usage is not shown to be strictly necessary in order that the grantor of the alleged servient tract may enjoy his ownership of the parcel which he retained in his erstwhile single tract after making the conveyance.
Plaintiff daughters of original grantor succeeded to ownership by devise of three adjoining lots. Lot 1 had been leased for use as a filling station over many years. Alleged servitudes were plaintiffs' express reservation of a permanent driveway easement connecting the filling station lot to the street via plaintiffs' lot 2, and two and a half feet of station's wash shed that projected onto plaintiffs' lot 1. Lower courts established both easements for plaintiffs. Defendants appealed, arguing that the provisions were repugnant to the grant of the whole lot and should therefore be treated as if never written.
Under the circumstances, were plaintiffs entitled to both easements in question?
The Court affirmed judgments establishing driveway easement in favor of plaintiffs because the specific reservation relative to general land grant was not repugnant, but reversed judgments finding an implied easement over the water shed because strict necessity prerequisite was neither met by plaintiffs nor applied by the lower courts. The case was remanded for new trial.