Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A liberty, privilege, or advantage in land, without profit, and existing distinct from the ownership of the soil. See 113 Iowa, 122, 86 Am. St. Rep. 367, and note, 84 N. W. 949.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A right in the owner of one parcel of land, by reason of such ownership, to use the land of another foE a special purpose not inconsistent with a general property in the owner. 2 Washb. Real Prop. 25. A privilege which the owner of one adjacent tenement hath of another, existing in respect of their several tenements, by which that owner against whose tenement the privilege exists is obliged to suffer or not to do something on or in regard to his own land for the advantage of him in whose land the privilege exists. Termes de la Ley. A private easement is a privilege, service, or convenience which one neighbor has of another, by prescription, grant, or necessary implication, and without profit; as a way over his land, a gate-way, water-course, and the like. Kitch. 105; 3 Cruise, Dig. 484. And see Harrison v. Boring, 44 Tex. 267; Albright v. Cortright, 64 N. J. Law, 330, 45 Atl. 634, 48 L. R. A. 616, 81 Am. St. Rep. 504; Wynn v. Garland, 19 Ark. 23, 68 Am. Dec. 190; Wessels v. Colebank, 174 III. 618, 51 N. E. 639; Terminal Land Co. v. Muir, 136 Cal. 36, 68 Pac. 308; Stevenson v. Wallace, 27 Grat. (Va.) 87. The land against which the easement or privilege exists is calied the "servient" tenement, and the estate to which it is annexed the "dominant" tenement; and their owners are called respectively the "servient" and "dominant" owner. These terms are taken from the civil law. Synonyms. At the present day, the distinction between an "easement" and a "license" ia well settled and fully recognized, although it becomes difficult in some of the cases to discover a substantial difference between them. An easement, it has appeared, is a liberty, privilege, or advantage in land, without profit, and existing distinct from the ownership of the soil; and it has appeared, also, that a claim for an easement must be founded upon a deed or writing, or upon prescription, which supposes one. It is a permanent interest in another's land, with a right to enjoy it fully and without obstruction. A license, on the other hand, is a bare authority to do a certain act or series of acts upon another's land, without possessing any estate therein; and, it being founded in personal confidence, it is not assignable, and it is gone if the owner of the land who gives the license transfers his title to another, or if either party die. Cook v. Railroad Co., 40 Iowa, 456; Nunnelly v. Iron Co., 94 Tenn. 307, 29 S. W. 361, 28 L. R. A. 421; Baldwin v. Taylor, 166 Pa. 507, 31 Atl. 250; Clark . Glidden, 60 Vt. 702, 15 Atl. 358; Asher v. Johnson, 118 Ky. 702, 82 S. W. 300. Classification. Easements are classified as affirmative or negative; the former being those where the servient estate must permit somethin? to be done thereon, (as to pass over it, or to discharge water upon it;) the latter being those where the owner of the servient estate la prohibited from doing something otherwise lawful upon his estate, because it will affect the dominant estate, (as interrupting the light and air from the latter by building on the former.) 2 Washb. Reni Prop. 301. Equitable L. Assur. Soc. v. Brennan (Sup.) 24 N. Y. Supp. 788; Pierce v. Keator, 70 N. Y. 447, 26 Am. Rep. 612. They are also either continuous or discontinuous. An easement of the former kind is one that is self-perpetuating, independent of human intervention, as, the flow of a stream, or one which may be enjoyed without any act on the part of the person entitled thereto, such as a spout which discharges the water whenever it rains, a drain by which surface water is carried off, windows which admit light and air, and the like. Lampman v. Milks, 21 N. Y. 505; Bonelli v. Blakemore, 66 Miss. 136, 5 South. 228, 14 Am. St. Rep. 550 ; Providence Tool Co. v. Engine Co., 9 R. I. 57l. A continuous easement is sometimes termed an "apparent" easement, and defined as one depending on some artificial structure upon, or natural conformation of, the servient tenement, obvious and permanent, which constitutes the easement or Is the means of enjoying it. Fetters v. Humphreys, 18 N. J. Eq. 260 ; Larsen v. Peterson, 53 N. J. Eq 88, 30 Atl. 1094; Whalen v Land Co, 65 N. J. Law, 206, 47 Atl. 443. Discontinuous, non-continuous, or non-apparent easements are those the enjoyment of which can be had only by the interference of man, as, a right of way or a right to draw water. Outerbridge v. Phelps, 45 N. Y. Super. Ct. 570; Lampman v. Milks, 21 N. Y. 515. This distinction is derived from the French law. Easements are also classed as private or public, the former being an easement the enjoyment of which is restricted to one or a few individuals, while a public easement is one the right to the enjoyment of which is vested in the public generally or in an entire community; such as an easement of passage on the public streets and highways or of navigation on a stream. Kenneily v Jersey City, 57 N. J. Law, 293, 30 Atl. 531, 26 L. R. A. 281; Nicoll v. Telephone Co., 62 N J. Law, 733, 42 Atl 583, 72 Am. St. Rep. 666. They may also be either of necessity or of convenience. The former is the case where the easement is indispensable to the enjoyment of the dominant estate; the latter, where the easement increases the facility, comfort, or convenience of the enjoyment of the dominant estate, or of some right connected with it. Easements are again either appurtenant or in gross. An appurtenant easement is one which is attached to and passes with the dominant tenement as an appurtenance thereof; while an easement in gross is not appurtenant to any estate in land (or not belonging to any person by virtue of his ownership of an estate in land) but a mere personal interest in, or right to use, the land of another. Cadwalader v. Bailey, 17 R. I. 495, 23 Atl 20, 14 In R. A. 300; Pinkum v. Eau Claire, 81 Wis. 301, 51 N. W. 550; Stovall v. Coggins Granite Co., 116 Ga. 376, 42 S. E. 723
    —Equitable easements. The special easements created by derivation of ownership of adjacent proprietors from a common source, with specific .intentions as to buildings for certain purposes, or with implied privileges in regard to certain uses, are sometimes so calied. U. S. v. Peachy (D. Ct) 36 Fed. 162
    —Implied easements. An implied easement is an easement resting upon the principle that, where the owner of two or more adjacent lots sells a part thereof, he grants by implication to the grantee all those apparent and visible easements which are necessary for the reasonable use of the property granted, which at the time of the grant are used by the owner of the entirety for the benefit of the part granted. Farley v. Howard, 33 Misc. Rep. 57, 68 N. Y. Supp. 159
    —Intermittent easement. One which is usable or used only at times, and not continuously. Eaton v. Railroad Co., 51 N. II. 504, i2 Am. Rep. 147.
    —Quasi easement. An "easement," in the proper sense of the word, can only exist in respect of two adjoining pieces of land occupied by different persons, and can only impose a negative duty on the owner of the servient tenement. Hence an obligation on the owner of land to repair the fence between his and his neighbor's land is not a true easement, but is sometimes called a "quasi easement." Gale, Easem. 516; Sweet.
    —Secondary easement. One which is appurtenant to the primary or actual easement; every easement includes such "secondary easements," that is, the right to do such things as are necessary for the full enjoyment of the easement itself. Toothe v. Bryce, 50 N. J. Eq. 589, 25 Atl. 182; North Fork Water Co. v. Edwards, 121 Cal. 662, 54 Pac. 69.