Miller v. Skaggs

Citation91 S.E. 536
Decision Date20 February 1917
Docket Number(No. 3182.)
CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia

91 S.E. 536
(79 W.Va. 645)


(No. 3182.)

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Feb. 20, 1917.

(Syllabus by the Court.)

Error to Circuit Court, Summers County.

Action on the case for damages by Janet E. Miller against C. H. Skaggs. Judgment for plaintiff, and defendant brings error. Affirmed.

Wm. H. Sawyers and R. F. Dunlap, both of Hinton, for plaintiff in error.

T. N. Read, of Hinton, for defendant in error.

MILLER, J. An action on the case for damages for obstructing a private sewer serving the adjoining properties of the parties and other properties and running under and across a corner of defendant's lot at the rear end thereof.

Plaintiff obtained a verdict and judgment for three hundred dollars, and defendant sued out the present writ of error.

One J. A. Graham once owned both properties, and then in connection with the owners of adjoining properties built and maintained the sewer in question. All properties served, including that of the defendant, are situated on a hill side; defendant's property faces Second Avenue, as does the property of one

[91 S.E. 537]

Cundiff, at the corner of James Street and Second Avenue, and as does the hotel property also of plaintiff, that of the defendant being situated between the Cundiff property and plaintiff's hotel property; and the sewer in question after leaving the lot of defendant runs down between his property and the plaintiff's lot, and connects into the city sewer on Second Avenue. The property of plaintiff affected by the defendant's act complained of, however, fronts on James Street immediately back of the Cundiff property, and between it and the property of one James, and below it and the property of one Pucket, the other properties connected into said private sewer.

The sewer in question serves both as a sanitary and a storm sewer, and there is connected into it not only water closets, bath tubs, and sinks from the respective houses on the lots, but down spouts from the roofs thereof are also run into it, the latter on the plaintiff's property evidenced by terra cotta tiling projecting above the ground and plainly visible from defendant's property; and the lateral pipe or sewer from the Cundiff property crosses the entire width of defendant's property back of bis house and is connected into the sewer before leaving his lot. The evidence shows that the main trunk of this private sewer occupies the natural channel for the drainage of the surface waters from the hill side and is practically coincident with an old drain or gutter once open and denned for a part of the way at least across defendant's lot by a stone curbing, but at the time of the sale and conveyance to defendant the sewer had been laid under ground and was in use and serving the properties of all parties connected therewith.

Defendant obtained his property by deed dated November 10, 1909, and the injuries complained of occurred on or about September 30, 1915. A few days prior to that time defendant had dug down to and torn up the sewer where it crossed under his lot, and stopped it up with old rags and clothing, completely shutting off the flow of the water and sewage, and a heavy rainfall occurring thereafter and at the time of the injury, the water and sewage backed up and overflowed the basement of plaintiff's house, resulting in the damages for which she sued.

Neither in the deed from Graham to his immediate grantee, nor in any of the intermediate deeds down to and including the deed from one Butler and wife to defendant was there reserved in terms any easement over the lot of defendant for the purpose of said sewer, and it is conceded that if such easement exists it is one implied in the original grant by Graham and...

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22 cases
  • Stuart v. Lake Washington Realty Corp., 10743
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 28 d1 Maio d1 1956
    ...servitude must at the time of the deed be apparent, continuous and strictly necessary.' Point 1, syllabus, Miller v. Skaggs, 79 W.Va. 645 [91 S.E. 536]. 4. The general rule in equity is that mere lapse of time, unaccompanied[141 W.Va. 628] by circumstances which create a presumption that th......
  • Sally-Mike Properties v. Yokum, SALLY-MIKE
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 3 d3 Julho d3 1985
    ...See, e.g., Syl. pt. 2, Stuart v. Lake Washington Realty Corporation, 141 W.Va. 627, 92 S.E.2d 891 (1956); Miller v. Skaggs, 79 W.Va. 645, 91 S.E. 536 (1917); Syl. pt. 1, Bennett v. Booth, 70 W.Va. 264, 73 S.E. 909 (1912); Syl. pt. 2, Hoffman v. Shoemaker, 69 W.Va. 233, 71 S.E. 198 2 The app......
  • Cobb v. Daugherty, 35015.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 19 d1 Abril d1 2010
    ...between “necessary,” “reasonable necessity,” and “strictly necessary.” For instance, syllabus point 1 of Miller v. Skaggs, 79 W.Va. 645, 91 S.E. 536 (1917) says:To raise an implied reservation or grant of an easement the existing servitude must at the time of the deed be apparent, continuou......
  • Nomar v. Ballard, CC765
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 21 d5 Julho d5 1950
    ...mill. A covenant of general warranty of title is not broken by the existence of such an easement.' In Miller v. Skaggs, 79 W.Va. 645, 91 S.E. 536, Ann.Cas.1918D, 929, it is held: 'To raise an implied reservation or grant of an easement the existing servitude must at the time of the deed be ......
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