Barrett v. Hill

Appeal No. 01A01-9806-CV-00295, 1999 Tenn. App. LEXIS 879 (Ct. App. Oct. 7, 1999)



An easement by implication arises when a single piece of land is severed into separately owned parts as an inference of the intention of the parties to the conveyance (or to whom the parties will give the land to next). The easement arises, if at all, by implication from the circumstances under which the conveyance was made and will be decided on a case by case basis.


The parties owned adjacent lots. For years both tracts of land were serviced by a single connection to the city sewer line. When both parties began experiencing problems with their service, defendant hired a contractor to replace the connection to her home. Later, she found her sewer line was no longer connected to the city sewer and sewage was running into the ground. The city attempted to repair the severed line, but defendant refused to allow plaintiff to run a sewer line across her land. Eventually the plaintiff sued the defendant alleging that the sewer line had been tortuously severed. The trial court dismissed the claim but did find an easement by implication existed and ordered that plaintiff be allowed to run a sewer line across defendant’s property. Defendant appealed.


Did an easement by implication exist on the defendant’s land?




The court found that an easement by implication existed by the way under which the conveyance was made on the plaintiff’s property. The court found that since the City had no sewer line running down the street, the plaintiff would not be about to create a substitute on her own property. Therefore, an easement by implication existed.

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