Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fourth District: Easements, Directed Verdict, Laches, etc.

In Conrad v. Young, et al (4D07-244), the Fourth District analyzed an easement dating back to 1937.

The court reached a number of conclusions, including:

When an appellate court reviews the trial court’s denial of a motion for directed verdict, it must “view the evidence and all inferences in a light most favorable to the non-movant, and should reverse if no proper view of the evidence could sustain a verdict in favor of the non-movant.” Weinstein Design Group, Inc. v. Fielder, 884 So. 2d 990, 997 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004).


The statutory laches provision applies to actions involving easements. See Carlton v. Germany Hammock Groves, 803 So. 2d 852, 856 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002). As we explained in Carlton, “[a] cause of action for an easement accrues when an adverse party prevents use of the easement.” 803 So. 2d at 856 (citing Estate of Johnston v. TPE Hotels, Inc., 719 So. 2d 22, 26 (Fla. 5th DCA 1998)).


No cause of action accrues until such time as the servient owners’ use is hostile or until the easement holders retract permission for the servient owners’ use.


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