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BEATRICE R. ADSHEAD v. JOHANN AND MAGDA SPRUNG (06/29/77)

decided: June 29, 1977.

BEATRICE R. ADSHEAD
v.
JOHANN AND MAGDA SPRUNG, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of May 11, 1976, of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division at June Term, 1975, No. 3562, in Equity.

COUNSEL

Joseph J. Carlin, Philadelphia, for appellants.

Haywood B. Huntley, Jr., Philadelphia, for appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ.

Author: Jacobs

[ 248 Pa. Super. Page 254]

This appeal, involving a familiar type of dispute between neighboring landowners, is taken from a final decree in equity holding that Beatrice R. Adshead, appellee, has acquired a prescriptive easement over a portion of land owned

[ 248 Pa. Super. Page 255]

    by Johann and Madga Sprung, appellants, and permanently enjoining appellants from maintaining a fence that interferes with the easement. For the reasons that follow, we agree with the chancellor that plaintiff met her burden of proving the existence of prescriptive rights, and that appellants failed to show either permissiveness of the use or abandonment of the easement.

Appellee has resided at 7418 Lawndale Avenue in Philadelphia since October 13, 1949, when she and her husband took title to the property. As the result of a divorce, the property was conveyed to appellee as trustee for herself and her children on August 23, 1961.

Appellants reside at 7420 Lawndale Avenue, adjacent to appellee's property, and own the property by virtue of a deed dated June 11, 1962. Separate driveways on each of the properties run side by side for most of the length of the properties and lead to separate garages. These driveways were originally composed of concrete ribbons running between strips of grass, until appellants completely paved that portion of the driveway area on their property.*fn1

From October, 1949, until June 19, 1975, appellee indiscriminately drove over the common driveway area to and from the garage at the rear of her property. On about June 19, 1975, appellants erected a chain link fence along the boundary line between the two properties. The fence effectively narrows the driveway area so as to completely impede appellee's access to her garage.

After a letter sent by appellee's attorney to appellants was unsuccessful in obtaining removal of the fence, appellee instituted this action in equity to enjoin obstruction of her alleged easement over the driveway area. The chancellor found that appellee had acquired a prescriptive ...


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