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Finn v. Williams

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Property Law Keyed to Cribbet

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.376 Ill. 95, 33 N.E.2d 226 (1941)

Brief Fact Summary. Eugene and Curtis Finn (Plaintiffs) became owners of the back 40 acres of a 140-acre property. Plaintiffs’ land had no outlet to the public highway.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Where an owner of land conveys a parcel, which has no outlet, a way by necessity exists across the lands remaining.

Facts. Charles Williams owned a tract of land consisting of 140 acres. In 1895, Williams conveyed 39.47 acres to Bacon. The Plaintiffs acquired the title from Bacon in 1937. Zilphia Williams (Defendant) inherited the remaining 100 acres. The Plaintiffs charge in their complaint that the only possible means of ingress and egress from their property is by means of a right of way across Defendant’s 100 acres. The relief sought by Plaintiffs is that an easement by necessity be declared from the north line of Plaintiff’s tract through the Defendant’s tract to where the Defendant’s current means of ingress and egress begins. The Defendant argued that the Plaintiff’s had a road leading to the south across another’s land, which led to the highway. There were private roads accessible by owners of the 40-acre tract since the severance of the lot in 1895, including the Plaintiffs. All such private roads have been closed, however. Since May of 1939, Defendant has refused the Plaintiffs permissio
n to cross her land, and the Plaintiffs have had to walk to market, a distance of about three-quarters of a mile. The court found that the evidence does not support the Defendant’s position that the Plaintiffs had access to a road leading south across the land of others. The lower court found for Plaintiffs. Defendant appealed.

Issue. Are the Plaintiffs entitled to a right of way by necessity across the Defendant’s tract of land?
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