and submitted December 12, 2017.
Josephine County Circuit Court 11CV0517; Thomas M. Hull,
W. Kelly argued the cause and fled the briefs for
V. Anderson argued the cause for respondent-cross-appellant.
With him on the briefs was Davis, Hearn, Anderson &
Aoyagi, Presiding Judge, and Egan, Chief Judge, and Hadlock,
Or.App. 216] Plaintiff has an express easement to access her
property by way of defendants' driveway. Plaintiff fled
an action seeking a declaration of the terms and scope of her
easement and asserting various other claims. Defendants
counterclaimed, also seeking a declaration of the terms and
scope of the easement. After a bench trial, the trial court
ruled that plaintiff has a valid easement, declared the terms
and scope of the easement, and concluded that defendants
breached the easement when they erected a fence that blocks a
portion of plaintiff's driveway and when they removed an
electronic gate at the entrance of defendants' driveway.
Defendants appealed, and plaintiff cross-appealed.
Held: The trial court did not err, except with
respect to the electronic gate. Regarding the gate,
plaintiff's easement gives her the right to use
defendants' driveway for ingress and egress to her
property, but it does not impose an affirmative obligation on
defendants to maintain an electronic gate at the entrance of
appeal, declaratory judgment reversed in part and remanded
with instructions to enter judgment declaring the rights of
the parties in accordance with this opinion; judgment on
plaintiff's breach of easement claim reversed in part;
otherwise affirmed. On cross-appeal, affirmed.
Or.App. 217] AOYAGI, P. J.
dispute between neighbors, plaintiff has an express easement
to access her property by way of defendants' driveway.
Defendants sought a declaratory judgment regarding the terms
and scope of that easement. Plaintiff also sought a
declaratory judgment, as well as damages and injunctive
relief for breach of easement, interference with irrigation,
trespass, and emotional distress. After a bench trial, the
court ruled that plaintiff has a valid easement, declared the
terms and scope of that easement, and concluded that
defendants had breached the easement by blocking a portion of
plaintiff's driveway and by removing an electronic gate.
The court denied plaintiffs other claims.
appeal, defendants raise three assignments of error, and, on
cross-appeal, plaintiff raises four assignments of
error. Except for defendants' second
assignment of error, we reject all of the parties'
assignments of error without written discussion. In their
second assignment of error, defendants argue that the court
erred in concluding that plaintiff's easement includes an
affirmative obligation for defendants to maintain an
electronic gate at the entrance to their driveway. We agree
with defendants as to the electronic gate and therefore
reverse and remand on that issue. Otherwise, we affirm the
judgment in all respects.
forth the relevant facts in a manner consistent with the
trial court's express and implicit factual findings.
Manusos v. Skeels, 263 Or.App. 721, 724, 330 P.3d 53
(2014). We also include certain undisputed historical facts
from the record.
owns real property in Grants Pass that was previously owned
by her mother, Spickler. Defendants own real property next
door that they purchased from a trust of which Spickler was
the trustee. We refer to plaintiff's property as the 4963
property and defendants' property as the 4965 property.
The two properties are adjacent to one another, and both face
the same road. The only [291 Or.App. 218] existing motor
vehicle access to plaintiff's property is via
defendants' paved driveway. Defendants' paved
driveway is 266 feet long and runs near the western edge of
defendants' property. Plaintiff has an unpaved U-shaped
driveway on her own property that meets defendants' paved
driveway at two points-referred to as the "northern
leg" and the "southern leg"-approximately 60
feet apart at the eastern edge of plaintiffs
property The following is a rough approximation,
not to scale, of the layout of the two properties and their
August 2007, when the trust still owned the 4965 property,
Spickler recorded an easement for the benefit of the ...