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Jim in AZ
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Is an appurtenant easement exclusive to the parcel it is it appurtenant to or can it be used by others across whose land it passes?

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Peter Lothian
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It would depend upon how the easement grant is worded. Since the law generally favors the least degree of encumbrance on land use, then others should be able to use the land so long as the use does not interfere with the easement, unless the deed granting the easement specifically calls out that the easement excludes others' use of the land.

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Jim in AZ
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@peter-lothian

That was the underlying question - absent a specific statement of exclusion the "appurtenant" status should not make it exclusive IMHO. It would however allow the appurtenant parcel owner to abandon it. 3rd parties who might be using it would then have an interesting issue regarding their right to use it.

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BStrand
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I would interpret any easement as exclusive in favor of the grantee unless it specifically said non-exclusive.  I've always thought that was a perfectly reasonable assumption to make in the face of ambiguity.  Besides, if a third party has an interest in the land then they're welcome to pursue it as a prescriptive easement.

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Peter Lothian
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@bstrand

So with your interpretation, there is a drainage easement crossing my land, no language specifying whether exclusive or not. Would I then be barred from using that land for any purpose, or merely barred from using that land to run my own drain line?

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Jim in AZ
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@bstrand

That is not my understanding - I believe that absent the word "exclusive" it is NOT exclusive. This happens all the time - someone puts an easement along the edge of a parcel. the neighboring parcels have every right to use it.

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BStrand
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@jamesf1

Oh, I wouldn't be surprised if the vast majority of the time easements worded this way are treated as non-exclusive.  I'm just saying if I was a judge deciding these sorts of things I think I'd treat them as exclusive and let anyone who thinks they have an interest step forward and say so.

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Norman Oklahoma
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Posted by: @jamesf1

Is an appurtenant easement exclusive to the parcel it is it appurtenant to or can it be used by others across whose land it passes?

I would say generally so.  It serves the dominant estate, not the general public. But the contrary may be shown. 

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FL/GA
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