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Language of easement allows parking

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The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that the language of an easement dating back to the 1800s allows for a family to park its cars on that easement.

In Dennis and Jeremy Cochran v. Zeroffos Hoffman and John Dye, 15A01-1109-SC-00015, Zeroffos Hoffman and John Dye filed a claim against Dennis and Jeremy Cochran in small claims court over use of an easement. The easement allowed for the Cochrans to access their home through the Hoffman property.

In February 2011, Dye, who lives on the Hoffman property, had the Cochrans’ car towed because it was partially parked on the Hoffman property and partially parked on the easement. The Cochrans countersued for damages for conversion as a result of the car being towed. The small claims judge ruled in favor of Dye and Hoffman.

The appellate judges reviewed the language of the easement, which dates back to 1896, and found it grants the right of way for “all purposes of travel,” creating a general easement.

They reversed the trial court on the finding that parking is prohibited, but the court upheld the denial of damages to the Cochrans. There was no evidence that the car was parked completely on the easement when it was towed.

 

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