Tressel v. Williams

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Property Law
  • Date Filed: 04-04-2018
  • Case #: A163990
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Aoyagi, P.J. for the Court; Egan, C.J.; & Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When interpreting an express easement, the court must “look first to the words of the easement, viewing them in the context of the entire document.” Kell v. Oppenlander, 154 Or App 422, 426, 961 P2d 861 (1998).

Defendants argued that their current grant to an easement requires the plaintiff to maintain an electronic gate at the entrance to the driveway. Plaintiff argued that the easement only requires that if a gate exists, they are required to provide a key or gate code. The language of the easement provided that "[plaintiff] would have access for a remote control and code for the gate." Plaintiff stated that, although the language of the easement could have been more precise, Spickler’s intent is “clear enough” when one considers all of the evidence. Fitzstephens v. Watson et al, 218 Or 185, 344 P2d 221 (1959). The easement allows the plaintiff ingress and egress to the property and a gate is not required to maintain the easement. The trial court erred when it ordered the easement requirement of maintaining an electronic gate at the entrance of the driveway. 

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