Leabo v. Leninski

182 Conn. 611, 438 A.2d 1153 (1981)

 

RULE:

The owner of an easement is entitled to relief upon a showing that he will be disturbed or obstructed in the exercise of his right. The court's conclusions must stand if they find support in the evidence or in reasonable inferences from the facts proven; and that the credibility of witnesses and the weight to be accorded to the evidence are within the province of the trier of fact. 

FACTS:

The deeds of the easement holders' successors in title permitted him to use the beach on the property owner's land. When the property owner later put up a sign opening the beach to the public, the easement holder filed an action to quiet title, to enjoin the property owner from opening a beach for public use, and to grant the easement holders damages. The trial court granted the injunction and punitive damages but denied compensatory damages finding insufficient evidence. The court found that the language in the deed that first granted the easement clearly stated that the easement ran with the land. The trial court also found that the act of opening the beach to the public left the easement holders without legal recourse. Thus, to grant an injunction as the equitable relief was warranted. The property owner appealed the judgment.

ISSUE:

Are the easement holders entitled to injunctive and punitive relief?

ANSWER:

Yes

CONCLUSION:

The court found that the record showed sufficient evidence that the easement holders' rights to use the beach, including enjoyment of the beach, not merely access, were substantially hindered by allowing public access and, thus, there was support on the record for the relief granted.

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