Granite Props. Ltd. P'ship v. Manns

117 Ill. 2d 425, 111 Ill. Dec. 593, 512 N.E.2d 1230 (1987)



The easement implied from a prior existing use, often characterized as a "quasi-easement," arises when an owner of an entire tract of land or of two or more adjoining parcels, after employing a part thereof so that one part of the tract or one parcel derives from another a benefit or advantage of an apparent, continuous, and permanent nature, conveys or transfers part of the property without mention being made of these incidental uses. In the absence of an expressed agreement to the contrary, the conveyance or transfer imparts a grant of property with all the benefits and burdens which existed at the time of the conveyance of the transfer, even though such grant is not reserved or specified in the deed. 


The parties owned adjoining parcels of land. The dominant estate owner and its predecessor in titled owned all of the subject properties at the time that a parcel was conveyed by warranty deed to the servient estate owners. Prior to the conveyance, the dominant estate owner used strips of land across the servient estate owners' property as driveways to access an apartment complex and a shopping center. The dominant estate owner filed an action to enjoin the servient estate owners from interfering with the dominant estate owner's use and enjoyment of the two easements.


Was there an implied easement?




The court affirmed as there was the existence of an easement by implication. Pertinently, it held that “(1) the driveways in question had been used by the dominant estate owner or its predecessors in title since the respective properties were developed, (2) the driveways were permanent in character, being either rock or gravel covered, and (3) the servient estate owners were aware of the driveways' prior uses before they purchased the parcel.”

The court ruled that the fact that the dominant estate owners were the conveyors is no bar to an implied easement. The strong evidence of the prior use of the claimed easements showed the need of such easements to their continued enjoyment of the property. Thus, the easements are implied in favor of the dominant estate owners and the servient estate owners will be perpetually enjoined from interfereing with the former’s possessory rights.

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