Massachusetts Agencies

Utilities: Implied After Severance


In Jasper v. Worcester Spinning & Finishing Co., 318 Mass. 752, 64 N.E.2d 89 (1945) the court stated the rule that governs the arising of easements between severed parcels which were originally in common ownership, where utilities installed on the original parcel straddled the lines of or passed through the severed parcels once the severance was accomplished:

The owner of a parcel of land may lay out and install over or in a part of his land a way, water pipe, drain, sewer or other physical arrangement or structure for the benefit of another part of the land, and the use and enjoyment of this quasi easement while there is unity of possession and title in the entire parcel will not create any real or actual easement, but upon a severance of the title, in the absence of anything to the contrary in the instrument of conveyance, a conveyance of the dominant estate will carry with it an implied grant of the easement for the benefit of the land conveyed, and a conveyance of the servient estate will create the easement by an implied reservation for the benefit of the land retained, if the language of the instrument of conveyance read in the circumstances attending their execution, including the physical situation and characteristics of the land and the knowledge which the parties had or with which they were chargeable, leads to the conclusion that such an implied easement by grant or reservation, as the case may be, must have been within the presumed intention of the parties.