No. 1290 April Term, 1978, Appeal from Decree in the Court of Common Pleas of Armstrong County, Civil Action-Equity, No. 254 September Term, 1974.
James G. Callas, Kittanning, for appellant.
Edward J. Steiner, Kittanning, for appellee.
Price, Hester and Montgomery, JJ.
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Presently before the court is an appeal from the Decree of the lower court dated August 21, 1978, Dismissing Appellant's Exceptions to the Chancellor's Adjudication and Decree Nisi.
The facts in this case may be briefly summarized as follows:
Appellant acquired title to approximately one hundred fifty (150) acres in Wayne Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, under deed dated June 11, 1971. The land in question had previously been owned by one William D. McIntire who by a document dated March 20, 1900, granted a right of way to the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company to "lay, use, maintain, repair and renew a line or lines of pipe for the transportation of natural gas over and through the land . . ." (R. p. 10a-11a). This document captioned "Memorandum of Agreement" was not recorded. Said Agreement was assigned by the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company on April 22, 1971, to Appellee; as was a gas lease dated April 26, 1971, and recorded April 28, 1971.
After acquiring and taking possession of the property, Appellant subsequently filed a Complaint in Equity alleging that the Appellee has improperly maintained a transmission line for natural gas across its land, and, therefore, requested that the Appellee remove its natural gas transmission line from its land and be assessed monetary damages. Contrariwise, Appellee contends that it has the right to transport natural gas via a transmission pipe line across Appellant's
[ 273 Pa. Super. Page 552]
lands pursuant to the provisions of the unrecorded Memorandum of Agreement dated March 20, 1900.
After hearing, the Chancellor issued twenty-one (21) Findings of Fact, four (4) Conclusions of Law, and a Decree Nisi denying the relief sought by Appellant and dismissing his Complaint in Equity. At the foundation of the Chancellor's Adjudication, it was concluded that (a) the unrecorded document dated March 20, 1900, granting an easement to Appellee's predecessor in title for the construction, maintenance and use of a transmission line for natural gas over the land in question, is admissible into evidence under the "Ancient Document Rule", and (b), Appellant must be charged with constructive notice of Appellee's transmission line easement, and, therefore, Appellant acquired the ...