Two of the three lot owners in a subdivision had a dispute over a driveway easement and boat slips. Lot 2 was contracted to be sold first and it included a driveway easement on Lot 1 and Slip A (the one with the boat lift). When Lot 2 was deeded, however, Slip C was on the deed (no boat lift). Lot 2 used Slip A, but when Lot 1 was later sold, that deed stated Slip A. Despite what was on the deeds, after Lot 1 was sold its owner used Slip C, as he was apparently aware of the error on the Lot 2 deed. Later a dispute broke out over whether the driveway easement was simply for ingress or egress or included the right of Lot 2 to park vehicles on the driveway. This resulted in Lot 1 filing suit for the court to determine the extent of the driveway easement and who owned which boat slip.
Found for Lot 2 on both issues, holding that Lot 2 could park on the driveway and that the deeds should be reformed so that Lot 2 would own Slip A, instead of Slip C. The trial court also awarded costs and attorney fees to the Lot 2 owner. Lot 1 owner appealed.
Court of Appeals
Affirms in part and reverses in part.
- The driveway easement is not limited to ingress and egress and therefore Lot 2 can park vehicles on it. Lot 1 can use the driveway for ingress and egress provided it does not interfere with Lot 2 easement rights.
- Lot 1’s interest in Slip A is superior to Lot 2 and therefore that portion of the trial court judgment is reversed.
- Defendants (Lot 2) are not the prevailing party and therefore they are not entitled to attorney fees.