Category Archives: Easements

All is Not Peaceful on Willow Lane on Shelter Island: Neighbors Litigate Scope of 1959 Right of Way

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Shelter Island (2010 pop. 2,392), a Town on the East End of Long Island, separated from the rest of Suffolk County by a body of water– and accessible only by ferry from Greenport (to the north) and North Haven (to the south)– is known for its bed and breakfast and boutique hotel charm and culture. But, as a recent case illustrates, the full-time residents can be as litigious as the mainlanders who visit the island.

Sharon and Brenda Grosbard and Abbey on Willow Lane, LLC own adjoining properties that were once part of a larger common parcel in Shelter Island. Abbey’s property borders the Grosbard’s property on the north and also borders a portion of it on the west. The Grosbard’s property is burdened by an express easement that benefits Abbey’s property. The easement was granted as part of a 1959 property subdivision dividing the contiguous properties. The undivided property had benefitted from an easement to the south (the so-called Willow Lane connector easement), which extended over two other properties to connect to another easement over a private road known as Willow Lane, which ultimately connected to a public roadway.

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Raging Roadway Rumble at Big Moose Lake in Hamilton County

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Did Scholets Improperly Block Sardinos Sole Means of Access?

Lake-adjacent upstate properties bring to mind the pastoral, peaceful, and sublime. But, as a recent case illustrates, rural neighbors can be as contentious and litigious about their rights to access their properties as their downstate counterparts can be with respect to mid-town high-rise roof access rights.

The families of Kathleen Sardino and Arthur Scholet own adjacent parcels of property along the south shore of Big Moose Lake in the Town of Long Lake, Hamilton County. The Sardinos owned or occupied their respective properties (the Sardino Property and the Williamson Property) since the 1950s. They access their properties over a roadway referred to as the East Bay Extension, which extends in sequence from Judson Road across the property of Arthur Scholet and Diane Scholet, the property of Cosanne Schneberger and Scott Schneberger, the Williamson Property, and ending at the Sardino Property.

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ISSUES IN ESTABLISHING AN EASEMENT OVER REAL PROPERTY

Law school real property textbooks abound with cases addressing adverse possession, right-of-way disputes and various types of easements (prescriptive, of necessity, and otherwise).  Contemporary decisions still address those usual generic, threshold issues, but also the more granule issues of the location, size and permitted uses of easements, rights of way.  Several recent examples follow.

DiDonato v. Dyckman, 2018 NY Slip Op 08113, App. Div. 2nd Dept. (November 28, 2018) Continue reading