Estate of Thomson v. Wade

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Estate of Thomson v. Wade
Court New York Court of Appeals
Date decided May 28, 1987


The estate of Thomson ("Thomson") owned a parcel of land on the St. Lawrence River.

Judith Wade (defendant) owned a parcel with access to the public road.

Both the Thomson & Wade estates were originally owned by Edward Noble.

St. Lawrence River -- Thomson -- Wade -- public road

Over several generations, the general public and later owners passed through "Wade" to access the public road.

Eventually, Thomson built a motel on his estate. Wade sought to prevent Thomson's guests passage through her estate for road access.

Thomson obtained a quitclaim deed from Noble (original owner of Thomson & Wade estates) for a right of way (easement) to access the public road.

Procedural History

Thomson sued Wade for declaratory judgment claiming an easement over Wade parcel by express grant (from the quitclaim deed).

Thomson won in the New York trial court. The Appellate Division reverse judgment.


Can a grantor (Noble) reserve an easement to benefits 3rd parties?


A grantor can't reserve an easement to benefit a 3rd party who is a stranger to the deed.

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