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Sanborn v. McLean

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.233 Mich. 227, 206 N.W. 496 (1925)

Brief Fact Summary. The McLean (Defendant) owned a lot in a residential neighborhood, where they began construction of a gas station. Plaintiffs, who are neighboring landowners, sued to enjoin the construction.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A reciprocal negative easement occurs if the owner of a parcel of lots, which are related, sells one with restrictions of benefit to the land retained, the servitude becomes mutual, and during the period of the restraint, the owner of the lots retained can do nothing forbidden to the owner of the lot sold.

Facts. Defendant and her husband own the west 35 feet of lot 86 in the Green Lawn subdivision in Detroit. On this lot, there is a house, which fronts an avenue. In the back of the house, there is an alley, where Defendants started construction on the gas station. The neighboring property owners sued to enjoin the construction. The lower court granted the injunction. The neighborhood in question is a high-grade residence street and the Plaintiffs, as well as the Defendants, trace their title back to the original proprietors of the subdivision. Plaintiffs contend that the Defendants were subject to a reciprocal negative easement, which limited the use of the lots in the neighborhood to residential use only.

Issue. Is Defendants’ lot subject to a reciprocal negative easement?

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