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Power company easements on large property later subdivided

Discussion in 'Easements & Right of Way Law' started by dsttexas, Oct 31, 2021.

  1. dsttexas

    dsttexas Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Maine
    A large 1000+ acre property in Maine has a power line easement in early 1900's to feed power to main house, then later subdivides other areas into numerous smaller lots, say along the shore of a pond a long way from that easement. Lets say that property also gave easements over time for a mineral pipeline to cross that property, and perhaps some others. None of these are located anywhere near the sold properties. Those properties change hands numerous times over the years, and at some point they obtain electric power for themselves. My deed has the usual wording that it is subject to previous easements, restrictions etc. but no specifics. Is there any way that others can demand access through the sold properties using the basic deed wording meaning they all pass down to these properties.
     
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Sales of property and subdivision don't typically extinguish easements. The comments about existing easements in the subsequent deeds don't mean anything to the easement, they just state that deed isn't making any warranty about there not being any.

    You'll need to get an attorney to review the wording of the original easements and the subsequent division of the property to see what rights the dominant tenant (the utility company or whoever is allowed to USE the easement) has to the property you are concerned about.
     
  3. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    I'm really not sure what you are asking but anyone that owns property can grant an easement to another property. A dominant estate cannot extend (or expand) their easement to someone that was not part of the original grant by the servient estate to them.

    No one can demand an easement be granted except by court order under many different easement doctrines.

    If you want to give us some details we may be able to be more specific.

    Basically, if an easement has been granted to a large piece of property and the property is later subdivided, the easement that crosses the subdivided lots still is enforceable.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2021
  4. dsttexas

    dsttexas Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was pretty sure that any easement for say a power line would be stated specifically as to exact location, length etc.. So any later sale or subdivision that does not include that area would not pass on any easements that did not cross or impact that subdivided lot, even though deed wording may indicate the existence of such prior restrictions.
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    An easement doesn't get extinguished just because someone forgets to make a note of it on a future deed.
     
  6. OldSurveyor

    OldSurveyor New Member

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    Just wondering...

    Is the power company a rural electric co-op?
     
  7. dsttexas

    dsttexas Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Agreed, but my point was if the original easement has nothing to do with the lot being subdivided and sold, because it does not cross on that new sold property, then even if the deed states the general statement most deeds contain, that particular original easement does not pass to the new property.
     
  8. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Again, it depends how the easement is worded. Just because an existing use of it didn't encroach on a property OR the fact that there was subdivision or additional structures that might want power, doesn't mean the easement doesn't still apply.

    Again, you are wrong. SUBDIVISION and SALES do not limit easement rights granted originally (unless that original grant provides for that).
     
  9. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    The generic wording in a deed that the property is subject to prior easements, restrictions, and encumbrances doesn't mean that there is an easement or restriction on the property. It means that if there is a recorded easement or restriction it would be enforceable. If an easement doesn't cross or impact your property then there is likely no easement.

    The only way to know is find out how the easement was created and you do that at the county records office. Deeds do not always give the details of easements that may impact that particular property.

    Easements are created in three basic ways. One is by grant from grantor to grantee. The second is by plat which is a map of the property that is recorded with the county. And the third is by a court.

    So if any previously recorded easement doesn't impact your property, the chances are there is none. But you have to find out how the original easement to the power company was created and what it says if by grant.
     
  10. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    What it specifically means is that the deed makes not warranty about there not being any such encumbrance. The validity of the easement exists REGARDLESS of whether that clause is there or not.
     
  11. Stacy Carroll

    Stacy Carroll New Member

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    In my area, for many years the utility companies have obtained blanket easements to cross large tracts. They only need or use a strip along their utility and may not care what happens elsewhere on the tract. The blanket deed covered the whole tract, so wouldn't the whole tract, subdivided or not, still be encumbered even though only a small portion is used by the utility?
     

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