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DONALD L. DICKSON AND JEAN J. DICKSON v. PENNSYLVANIA POWER AND LIGHT COMPANY (07/18/80)

filed: July 18, 1980.

DONALD L. DICKSON AND JEAN J. DICKSON, H/W, APPELLANTS,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA POWER AND LIGHT COMPANY



No. 110 October Term, 1979, Civil Action - Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Luzerne County, entered December 11, 1978 at No. 83 of 1977

COUNSEL

James A. Schneider, Hazleton, for appellants.

George A. Spohrer, Wilkes-Barre, for appellee.

Hester, Hoffman and Catania,*fn* JJ.

Author: Catania

[ 283 Pa. Super. Page 54]

This action was brought in equity for an injunction to prohibit the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company (hereinafter PP&L) from entering upon the Dicksons' land, erecting or constructing high voltage line over plaintiffs' land, cutting trees, bulldozing or in any other way destroying or altering plaintiffs' land. The lower court denied said injunction and ordered the Dicksons to remove the obstruction which they placed on their land. This obstruction was their residence.

[ 283 Pa. Super. Page 55]

By deed dated July 28, 1972, and appropriately recorded in Luzerne County, Carl G. Sharrow and Sheila L. Sharrow, his wife, conveyed 61,025 acres of land situate in Hollenback Township, Luzerne County, to Donald L. Willard and Dorothy Ann Willard, his wife. Donald and Dorothy Willard conveyed a right-of-way grant to PP&L on March 19, 1973. That right-of-way grant gave PP&L an easement on a 200 foot wide strip which was described in the agreement as being shown on a plan attached thereto. However, the plan was not attached to the agreement when the agreement was filed. That agreement created an easement giving PP&L the right to construct, operate and maintain and from time to time reconstruct its electric line, including such poles, towers, cables and wires above it, under the surface of the ground, upon, across, over, under and along a strip of land 200 feet in width on land which belonged to the Willards in Hollenback Township.

On August 17, 1973, Donald L. Willard and Dorothy Ann Willard conveyed the entire parcel of 61.025 acres of land to Donald R. Jacob and Donna Dorothy Jacob, his wife, and that deed was recorded on August 21, 1973 in Luzerne County.

On May 18, 1976, Donald and Donna Jacob conveyed 5.089 acres of the same land to the appellants, Donald and Jean Dickson for a consideration of seventy-five hundred dollars ($7500). This deed was appropriately recorded. As aforesaid, what has apparently caused the problem here is that the agreement between PP&L and the Willards giving them the easement did not specifically describe the property over which they had an easement, but referred to an attached plan which was admittedly never attached to the agreement when the agreement was filed. It is the position of PP&L and apparently the position of the lower court that when the attorney for the Dicksons conducted a title search, he should have noted that in the chain of title, the Willards had sold an easement to PP&L. It would then be their further position that although the property was not appropriately described, the attorney should have contacted either the

[ 283 Pa. Super. Page 56]

Willards or PP&L to see if, in fact, that easement was over the 5 acres which were being purchased by his client.

Shortly after the Dicksons purchased this property they began to erect a residence on the property and temporary electric service to the property was provided by PP&L to the plaintiffs in March of 1976. Thereafter, and prior to March 29, 1977, PP&L supplied permanent electric service to the residents located on the Dicksons' property. The Dicksons also testified that prior to going to settlement on the purchase of their property, Mr. Dickson walked over the entire property and found no evidence thereon of any stakes or markings or anything of PP&L's which would indicate that PP&L had any interest in the property. The property was apparently unimproved ground. In May, 1977, PP&L advised the defendants that they were intending to construct a high voltage power ...


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