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REAL ESTATE 72: The court held that the trial court did not err by granting partial summary disposition for plaintiffs-property owners and declaiming that they had exclusive right to use a private road easement.

Defendant developed the Stone Valley Development, a residential development, and conveyed to plaintiffs by warranty deeds Lots 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6. The Stone Valley Development is subject to a Declaration of Easements and Restrictive Covenants (DERC) recorded on September 1, 1999, which, among other things, provided lot owners easements for ingress and egress to their lots via a private road known as Stone Valley Court. Notably, the DERC did not specify that “Remainder Parcel ‘B’ ” be subject to the easement appurtenant to Lots 1 through 7. At some point, defendants began developing “Remainder Parcel ‘B’ ” and used Stone Valley Court to access the parcel for construction purposes and indicated an intention to extend the private road for use as a means of ingress and egress to the new lots which prompted plaintiffs to bring this action to determine their rights to, among other things, Stone Valley Court. The trial court granted plaintiffs summary disposition and defendants now appeal.


 This Court reviews de novo the trial court’s decision on a motion for summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(10). A motion brought pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(10) tests the factual support of a plaintiff’s claim and is reviewed “by considering the pleadings, admissions, and other evidence submitted by the parties in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. outcomes.


Defendants argue that the trial court erred in determining that the private road easement specified that it ended at Lot 7, and that the easement could not be expanded. In this case, Defendant developed seven lots and created an easement for a private roadway to access the lots by owners. The recorded survey for the development specified the private road easement for Lots 1 through 7. The recorded DERC similarly specified the private road easement for Lots 1 through 7. The recorded warranty deeds conveying to plaintiffs their properties also set forth specifically that the private road easement applied to their respective lots. The language of the recorded warranty deeds, the DERC, and the development’s survey, therefore, are dispositive in this case. There is no ambiguity that the private road easement attached to Lots 1 through 7 alone. Defendants argue that the easement allows for the roadway to be extended and used for more properties that would be developed. We disagree. The record reflects that the Defendant recorded the DERC on September 1, 1999, and incorporated the survey of the land that unequivocally set forth the limits of the easement of ingress and egress and utilities that attached to Lots 1 through 7 alone. The legal description of “Remainder Parcel ‘B’ ” specified a separate easement for the parcel’s ingress and egress. Notably, the easement described for “Remainder Parcel ‘B’ ” differs significantly from those described for the individual lots by stating that that parcel is “subject to the reservation of a perpetual, non-exclusive 66-foot wide easement for the purposes of ingress and egress and the installation and maintenance of utilities” that extended from Cherry Hill Road to the north to the point of origin. The deeds for Lots 1 through 7 on record contain identical language to the lot descriptions in the recorded survey. The trial court correctly determined that the DERC, the survey, and plaintiffs’ warranty deeds established the scope of the private road easement and that it did not benefit “Remainder Parcel ‘B’ ” or any future lots.


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