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Where a licensee has entered under a parol license and has expended money, or its equivalent in labor, in the execution of the license, the license becomes irrevocable, the licensee will have a right of entry upon the lands of the licensor for the purpose of maintaining his structures, or, in general, his rights under his license, and the license will continue for so long a time as the nature of it calls for.
Plaintiff granted an oral license over plaintiff's land to defendants for construction of a ditch. The ditch was used for water for defendants' land. Plaintiff served notice to defendants revoking the license. Defendants disregarded the notice and continued to use the ditch and expended money in its construction and repair. Plaintiff brought a claim for trespass and a request for an injunction. The trial court found for defendants and denied the injunction holding that a right of way for the construction and maintenance of the ditch for the purpose of taking water from the river for use in connection with and upon defendants’ lands was given and granted by the plaintiff to the defendants. The trial court further found that there was a consideration for the granting of the said right of way, in that defendants contracted and agreed with the plaintiff to deliver to and for the use of the plaintiff on his land lying under said canal sufficient water to irrigate the land, and the defendants have at all times delivered said water agreed to be delivered. Plaintiff sought review of the decision.
Under the circumstances, should the defendants be enjoined from using the ditch or from entering upon the lands of the plaintiff?
The court affirmed the trial court’s decision, holding that where defendants expended money in the construction and repair of the ditch built upon plaintiff's land, the license to do so was irrevocable during period of use and until presumption of release arose.