Safety Bldg. &. Loan Co v. Lyles

Decision Date22 June 1925
Docket Number(No. 11787.)
Citation128 S.E. 724
CourtSouth Carolina Supreme Court
PartiesSAFETY BUILDING &. LOAN CO. v. LYLES.

Appeal from Common Pleas Circuit Court of Richland County; Jas. E. Peurifoy, Judge.

Action by the Safety Building & Loan Company against Preston E. Lyles and others. From a judgment for plaintiff, the named defendant appeals. Affirmed.

The decree of the circuit court follows:

The plaintiff entered into a contract with the defendant Preston E. Lyles for the sale of the lots of land described in the complaint. The defendant, Lyles, has refused to comply on his part, and undertakes to justify his refusal on the ground that the property is incumbered with an easement in favor of the heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns of Mrs. Julia C. Marshall, deceased, the town of Eau Claire, and the public, or in favor of one or more of them. This action resulted, and plaintiff now seeks to have the court declare the lots to be free of any incumbrance of that character. The legatees, devisees, and heirs at law of Mrs. Marshall are parties. The town of Eau Claire was also joined. Lucile Spigener and Ollie de Launay, granddaughters of Mrs. Marshall, filed answers, in which they allege that the real estate of which their mother died seized and possessed was sold by the probate court in aid of assets, and that they "no longer have any interest in said 'circle' of a substantial nature of which they are aware, " but submit their rights to the protection of the court. The defendants May Belle Hatchel and Agnes W. Tompkins, daughters of Mrs. Marshall, and the defendant the town of Eau Claire made default. The answer of the defendant, Lyles, seems to admit all of the circumstances alleged in the complaint, but denies some of the conclusions stated therein, particularly these claiming the easement or right acquired by Mrs. Marshall was merely one in gross, and that there had been no dedication.

"The essence of dedication is that it shall be for the use of the public at large. * * * Properly speaking, there can be no dedication to private uses, nor for a purpose bearing an interest or profit in the land, as distinguished from general public uses." 8 R. C. L. p. 882.

"It is essential to a valid dedication that it be made by the owner of the fee, or at least with his consent." 8 R. C. L. p. 885.

"There is no such thing as a dedication between the owner and individuals. The public must be a party to every dedication. * * * In short, the dedication must be made to the use of the public exclusively, and not merely to the use of the public in connection with a user by the owners in such measure as they may desire." 8 R. C. L. pp. 888, 889.

The testimony of the witnesses in the former cases in which the elimination of the "circle" was involved, including Mrs. Marshall, was that it was represented to them that a tourist hotel, church, or other building of this kind would be erected on the "inner circle, " and none of them claimed that the lot and building was to begiven to the free use of the public. The decree in one of the cases in which this very same "circle" came up for consideration contains this statement. "My own conclusion is that the "driveways and walkways indicated upon the square were intended more for ornamental purposes in connection with some hotel or other quasi public building."

The Supreme Court in the Diseker Case (86 S. C. 283, 68 S. E. 529), in speaking of its judgment in the Marshall Case (73 S. C. 241, 53 S. E. 417), said: "Even if the map was not accepted or adopted by the defendant company, and even if the 'circle' was not dedicated, so as to confer rights that could be enforced by the public, nevertheless, if the company represented to the plaintiff that the 'circle' would be kept open, and thereby induced the plaintiff to purchase her lots, such representation would be binding upon the defendants."

The Niernsee & La Motte plat showing the "circle" is dated 1897. The town of Eau Claire was not...

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5 cases
  • Springob v. Farrar
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • February 22, 1999
    ...182 S.E.2d 720 (1971). Easements are divided into two classes: easements appurtenant and easements in gross. Safety Bldg. & Loan Co. v. Lyles, 131 S.C. 542, 128 S.E. 724 (1925). "An appendant or appurtenant easement must inhere in the land, concern the premises, have one terminus on the lan......
  • K & a Acquisition Group v. Island Pointe
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • August 10, 2009
    ...Beach toll road. "The essence of dedication is that it shall be for the use of the public at large." Safety Bldg. & Loan Co. v. Lyles, 131 S.C. 542, 544, 128 S.E. 724, 724 (1925). A dedication "must be made to the use of the public exclusively, and not merely to the use of the public in con......
  • Hoogenboom v. City of Beaufort
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • February 19, 1992
    ...has not proved a dedication to the City. Only the owner of a fee simple interest can make a dedication. Safety Building & Loan Co. v. Lyles, 131 S.C. 542, 128 S.E. 724 (1925). To prove a dedication of land to the public, the party claiming dedication must show that a person who owned the la......
  • Timberlake Plantation Co. v. County of Lexington
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • March 22, 1993
    ...in Knoerr is misplaced. The essence of a dedication is that it shall be for the use of the public at large. Safety Building & Loan Co. v. Lyles, 131 S.C. 542, 128 S.E. 724 (1925). A dedication must be made to the use of the public exclusively, and not merely to the use of the public in conn......
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