Legal Memorandum: Types of Easement in MO

Issue: What types of easement may be granted under Missouri law?

Area of Law: Real Estate Law
Keywords: Granting an easement; Types of easements
Jurisdiction: Missouri
Cited Cases: 398 S.W.2d 190; 928 S.W.2d 886; 347 S.W.2d 683; 539 S.W.2d 711; 281 S.W. 715; 731 S.W.2d 880; 541 S.W.2d 725; 575 S.W.2d 213
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 04/01/2001

           Under Missouri law, an easement by prescription is only created by the use of property that is shown to be continuous, uninterrupted, visible and adverse for a period of ten years. Hodges v. Lambeth, 731 S.W.2d 880 (Mo. Ct. App. 1987).

Missouri courts have stated that “[a]n easement is never presumed to be a mere personal right if it can fairly be construed as an easement appurtenant to some other estate.”  Brown v. Redfern, 541 S.W.2d 725, 728 (Mo. Ct. App. 1976) citing Engelhardt v. Gravens, 281 S.W. 715,718 (Mo. 1926); Bradley v. County of Jackson, 347 S.W.2d 683, 687 (Mo. 1961). In Brown, the fact that an easement was long used for access to a tract of land convinced the court that it was an easement appurtenant to the land even though the easement did not extend to the “heirs” or “assigns.” Id. The court found that such words were not required to create an appurtenant easement.  Id. Further, the court found the intent of the parties to be controlling and the fact that the grant of the easement was reduced to writing made it an express easement. Id.

In Hodges v. Lambeth, 731 S.W.2d 880, the court noted that an essential legal attribute of an easement appurtenant for right of way purposes “is that one terminus of the right of way must lie on the land to which it is […]

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