Easement (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
A right of use over the property of another. Traditionally the permitted kinds of uses were limited, the most important being rights of way and rights concerning flowing waters. The easement was normally for the benefit of adjoining lands, no matter who the owner was (an easement appurtenant), rather than for the benefit of a specific individual (easement in gross).
Easements frequently arise among owners of adjoining parcels of land. Common examples of easements include the right of a property owner who has no street front to use a particular segment of a neighbor's land to gain access to the road, as well as the right of a MUNICIPAL CORPORATION to run a sewer line across a strip of an owner's land, which is frequently called a right of way.
Easements can be conveyed from one individual to another by will, deed, or contract, which must comply with the STATUTE OF FRAUDS and can be inherited pursuant to the laws of DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION.
An easement is a nonpossessory interest in another's land that entitles the holder only to the right to use such land in the specified manner. It is distinguishable from a profit a prendre that is the right to enter another's land and remove the soil itself or a product thereof, such as crops or timber....
(The entire section is 884 words.)
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