The Trusted Adviser October 2009 | Volume 2 - Number 8

ATTORNEYS | Practice Notes



Easements; Riparian Rights

Konneker v Romano, 2008 AP 1546 (Wisc Ct App, 2009).

Facts:In 2004, the Konnekers acquired property in Green Lake, including a 20-foot easement on a neighboring lot. The purpose of the easement was to grant "access to Beyer's Cove." When the easement was created in 1983 by the Ciszeks, it was simultaneously conveyed to the owners of seven other neighboring properties.

Although there had never been a pier along the easement's shore, the Konnekers erected one in 2006. The Romanos and the Nelsons, successors to the Ciszeks, removed the pier. The Konnekers sought declaratory judgment to establish that the easement implicitly conveyed riparian rights, allowing them to erect a pier. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the Konnekers because it found no indication that the easement was intended to be limited in scope.

Holding:Reversed and remanded. The court of appeals directed that summary judgment be entered in favor of the Romanos. Because there was no express limitation in the easement, the court looked to the way the easement had been used for the twenty-three years prior to the erection of the pier. The court determined that because there had never been a pier and because the cove was most suitable for swimming and fishing, the easement did not implicitly grant the Konnekers the right to erect a pier.






THE TRUSTED ADVISER is published by Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., P.O. Box 9136, Champaign, IL 61826-9136. Inquiries may be made directly to Mary Beth McCarthy, Corporate Communications Manager. ATG®, ATG® plus logo, are marks of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. and are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The contents of the The Trusted Adviser © Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc.

[Last update: 9-29-09]