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A trial court did not err in concluding defendant possessed a prescriptive easement validating her use of the property when a successor owner argued otherwise

The court held that the trial court did not err by granting summary disposition for the defendant in this action involving an easement across the plaintiff-trustee’s property. Plaintiff’s predecessor-in-interest executed a land contract in 1970, granting defendant “an easement across their property, in order to give purchaser right of access to and use of Woodland Lake.” Plaintiff claimed the unambiguous granting language created only ingress and egress rights to the lake and thus, defendant’s current use as if she enjoyed riparian rights was outside the scope of the easement. In a prior appeal, the court found that granting the right to access the lake did not create riparian rights and held “the word ‘use’ in the easement did not create ambiguity.” In this appeal, the issue was “whether defendant’s use of the property stems from the ‘terms of an intended but imperfectly created servitude.'” The court rejected plaintiff’s claim that “this type of prescriptive easement, i.e., an ‘imperfect servitude,’ cannot be created without expanding the express terms of the easement.” It found that the trial court did not err in concluding that defendant possessed a prescriptive easement validating her use of the property. “Indeed, plaintiff does not argue that there is a question of fact regarding whether defendant exceeded the scope of the easement. Rather, the issue raised on appeal relates to whether the trial court erred by not limiting the scope of the easement to ingress and egress rights based only on the text of the easement, to which we have answered that it did not. There is no reason to doubt the trial court’s finding that defendant ‘has continuously since the 1970s used the easement to erect and maintain a dock, park vehicles and trailers, anchor/moor boats, use vehicles over the easement to access easement and to allow social guests to do the same.’ This is the same conclusion made by the trial court relative to the other family that used the same dock under the exact same easement language, a result which was upheld by both this Court and the Supreme Court.” Affirmed.Â