Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blog Post #2

Real Property and Easemants
by: Rudy Serrato

When you purchase property someone would assume that you completely own what ever is above or under the property.  But the reality is that you receive a bundle of rights that allows you to have individual rights in real property.  In the bundle of rights there are non-public restrictions on real property rights.  This is known to be an encumbrance, which is a restriction on the free simple estate interest. 

In Texas thousands of landowners filed a class action lawsuit against three of the largest communication companies in the United States.  The landowners from Texas are pursuing a settlement based on the fact that the communication companies did not have the right to an easement on their property.  The three companies installed fiber-optic cable-networks in the Texas properties without the landowners consent. In other words, the landowners are disputing the fact that these companies did not have the right to use their property in a specified manner other than to benefit the communication companies.  
            The Texas landowners have brought of pervious decisions made by the United States courts.  As brought fourth as a benchmark this landmark case that was brought to the United States Supreme Court in Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust, et al. v. United States.  In this case the basis defined the limits on permitted uses of railroad right of way easements.    

            Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. delivered the opinion of the 8-1 majority stating, “When an easement is abandoned, the easement disappears and the land reverts to its previous owner, so in this case, the land would revert to the Brandt Revocable Trust and property owners.”  The landowners in this case believed that they first gave the easement to the United States and not the railroad, so if the United State abandoned the easement property in question the railroad company has no right to go through their property.   

            The Texas landowners have a long way to go in fact it is an uphill battle with regards to a Supreme Court decision.  This is a good example of the right in question to bundle of rights there are a few such as surface rights, air rights, and subsurface rights.  When purchasing property is wise to do your do diligence and finding everything that has to do with the property.

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