Jerry Brown Farm Ass'n, Inc. v. Kenyon, No. 75-262-A

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Rhode Island
Writing for the CourtBEVILACQUA
Citation119 R.I. 43,375 A.2d 964
Decision Date29 July 1977
Docket NumberNo. 75-262-A
PartiesJERRY BROWN FARM ASSOCIATION, INC. v. Orrin P. KENYON, II and Lillian H. Kenyon. ppeal.

Page 964

375 A.2d 964
119 R.I. 43
Orrin P. KENYON, II and Lillian H. Kenyon.
No. 75-262-Appeal.
Supreme Court of Rhode Island.
July 29, 1977.

Page 965

[119 R.I. 52] Robert B. Gates, Providence, for plaintiff.

Edward M. Botelle, Westerly, Z. Hershell Smith, Providence, for defendants.


[119 R.I. 45] BEVILACQUA, Chief Justice.

This is an appeal by the plaintiff from a judgment for the defendants in a civil action to enjoin the defendant 1 from passing over the plaintiff's road. The plaintiff also sought damages, and the defendant counter-claimed for damages and an injunction against interference with her right to use the road. Trial was held before a justice of the Superior Court sitting without a jury. The trial justice ruled that the defendant had acquired an easement appurtenant by prescription and entered an order permanently enjoining the plaintiff from interfering with her right-of-way. We affirm.

Page 966

[119 R.I. 46] The plaintiff, Jerry Brown Farm Association, Inc. (the association), a Rhode Island corporation, is the owner of Jerry Brown Farm on the west shore of Point Judith Pond in South Kingstown. Shareholders of the association are owners of cottages situated on the farm. Prior to 1948 access from the Highway U.S. 1 (Post Road) to the farm was by means of a right-of-way through neighboring farmyards. In order to provide direct access from Post Road to Jerry Brown Farm, in 1948 the association purchased a strip of land upon which they constructed the road in question, Jerry Brown Farm Road.

Before this road was constructed, the Brownings owned all the land between Post Road on the west and the Jerry Brown Farm on the east, and south of a stone wall which now abuts the entire length of the road. All the land north of the wall between Post Road and the Babcock farm, which abuts Point Judith Pond, was owned by the Whaleys with the exception of a seven-acre Browning parcel measuring 600 feet from east to west which jutted into the Whaley land. Therefore, three purchases were required to secure the land for the road.

In an indenture dated May 1, 1948, Samuel E. and Thelma S. Whaley granted to the association two separate 27-foot-wide strips, one on either side of the 600-foot Browning jut. The indenture reserved a right-of-way over the road to be constructed on that land to the grantors and their successors. By a warranty deed dated May 6, 1948, Thomas W. and Isabel B. Browning conveyed a 35-foot strip, 600 feet long, to the association. That deed also reserved a right-of-way over the conveyed premises to the grantors and their successors. Finally, in an indenture dated July 12, 1948, the Babcocks conveyed the remaining required strip to the association.

Two subsequent real estate transactions are relevant to this case. By warranty deed dated June 4, 1963, the [119 R.I. 47] Whaleys conveyed to Isabel Browning 2 two parcels of land: the first, consisting of approximately 30 acres, lies north of the Jerry Brown Farm Road between the Browning jut and the Babcock land; the second, a 50-foot strip, lies north of the road between Post Road and the Browning jut. In that deed the Whaleys granted Isabel Browning the right to use Jerry Brown Farm Road for egress and ingress from the conveyed premises to Post Road.

By warranty deed dated May 8, 1970, Isabel Browning conveyed to defendant Kenyon and her subsequently deceased husband a parcel which abuts for 175 feet the southerly line of Jerry Brown Farm Road. The deed granted "a right of way * * * to and from the public highways of said town (South Kingstown) over and along the Jerry Brown Farm Road." Mrs. Browning testified that the bank to which the Kenyons applied for a mortgage denied the application because it was not convinced that the Kenyons had access to their land from Post Road by means of a recorded right-of-way. Therefore, Isabel Browning, by a quit-claim deed dated July 17, 1970, granted an easement appurtenant to the Kenyons to pass over her fields north of Jerry Brown Farm Road to Post Road. However, this unimproved right-of-way was never used.

A review of the evidence presented at trial reveals that after construction of the road in 1948, those persons who planted the Browning land used the road in order to obtain access to the various Browning fields including the field upon which the Kenyon's house is now located, for their trucks and farm equipment. Thomas Browning planted the fields from 1940 to 1951. After Thomas' death in 1951, his son Edward Browning planted the fields from 1951 to 1954. From 1954 through 1974 the fields were rented to various farmers, all of whom used the road for access. And from the time defendant and her husband moved into the house they built on the lot purchased from the Brownings in 1970, they [119 R.I. 48] used the Jerry Brown Farm Road for access to and from Post Road. Although the association

Page 967

placed a saw horse with a sign reading "Road Closed" at the entrance to the road once a year, the saw horse only covered a small portion of the road. Vehicles...

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26 cases
  • Boccanfuso v. Conner, 24545.
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • 31 Mayo 2005
    ...evidence that the tenant's use of adjacent property was implied in the lease. See, e.g., Jerry Brown Farm Assn., Inc. v. Kenyon, 119 R.I. 43, 50-51, 375 A.2d 964 (1977) (listing "physical appearance of the claimed easement in relation to the leased property" among relevant circumstantial ev......
  • Reitsma v. Pascoag Reservoir & Dam, LLC, 2000-306-Appeal.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Rhode Island
    • 20 Junio 2001
    ...A.2d 482, 483 (R.I.1980); Matineau v. King, 120 R.I. 265, 268, 386 A.2d 1117, 1119 (1978); Jerry Brown Farm Association, Inc. v. Kenyon, 119 R.I. 43, 51, 375 A.2d 964, 968 (1977); Russo v. Stearns Farms Realty, Inc., 117 R.I. 387, 391, 367 A.2d 714, 716-17 (1977); Foley v. Lyons, 85 R.I. 86......
  • Newport Realty, Inc. v. Lynch, No. 2003-363-Appeal.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Rhode Island
    • 20 Julio 2005
    ...might be drawn from the evidence." Robidoux, 120 R.I. at 435-36, 391 A.2d at 1155 (citing Jerry Brown Farm Association v. Kenyon, 119 R.I. 43, 51, 375 A.2d 964, 968 (1977); Providence and Worcester Co. v. Exxon Corp., 116 R.I. 470, 486, 359 A.2d 329, 338 (1976); Chase v. Blackstone Distribu......
  • Butterfly Realty v. James Romanella & Sons, Inc., 2013–15–Appeal.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Rhode Island
    • 1 Julio 2014
    ...this burden of proof involves an exercise by the trial justice of his factfinding power.” Jerry Brown Farm Association, Inc. v. Kenyon, 119 R.I. 43, 52, 375 A.2d 964, 968–69 (1977); see Hazard v. East Hills, Inc., 45 A.3d 1262, 1271 (R.I.2012) (claims for prescriptive rights are “fact-inten......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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