In 1953 Ps acquired five parcels of land together with a nonexclusive perpetual easement and right-of-way appurtenant over a private road called Witherly Lane, which connected with the main highway.
In 1955 Ps sold and deeded Whiteside and sold Parcel A to Symes. Then Ps sold to Ds both parcel B-1 and B-2.
As a result, parcel C, which was retained by Ps, became landlocked without any way to get to Witherly Lane (and thus the highway).
For some years prior to the sale, Ps used a pathway along B-2 and B-1 to get to Witherly Lane from parcel C.
At the time of the sale, Ps intended to buy parcel A from Symes, and had talked to him about it.
But, they claimed that they had an understanding with the Ds that if they were unable to buy parcel A from Symes that they would continue to have an easement along the pathway customarily used by them on B-1 and B-2.
Ps were unable to buy Symes' parcel because defendants got it.
Ds deny that there was an understanding regarding the use of the pathway. In fact, they constructed their house so as to block access to parcel C via the pathway.
Trial court granted declaratory judgment for Ps for a right of way of necessity over a parcel of land previously conveyed to Ds.
When does a right-of-way necessity arise by operation of law?
A right of way necessity arises by operation of law when it is established that there:
Is strict necessity for the right-of-way as when the claimants' property is landlocked; and
The dominant and servient tenements were under the same ownership at the time of conveyance.
Trial court found that the Ps formerly owned all of the parcels and had an easement appurtenant over Witherly Lane.
At the time the parcels were conveyed the parties intended that Ps have a temporary right of way from parcel C to Witherly Lane until parcel C was no longer landlocked.
The fact that the plaintiffs were aware of the lack of access is not important, because the trial court granted relief based on a right-of-way necessity not an easement by implication.
Ps would have no other way to access the highway except through Ds' land because Parcel C is landlocked.
These findings, made by the trial court, are sufficient to support the judgment. They are not negated by any express intent of the parties to the contrary.