State Bar of Wisconsin

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Supplement: Wisconsin Law of Easements and Covenants

 Supplement: Wisconsin Law of Easements and Covenants

Specific developments discussed in the 2012 supplement include the following:

  • The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has held that an action pertaining to protection of an easement or other interest in land is subject to a different, and longer, statute of limitation than is an action subject to enforce a contract, even if the document granting the easement bears the term “easement agreement” or “lease.”  
  • There is no meaningful distinction between an easement and a profit à prendre. 
  • Under section 703.10(3), the absence of “heirs and assigns” language in the granting document does not prevent profits à prendre rights from being fully transferable. 
  • If changed circumstances make it is impossible to use an easement at the originally specified location, the courts may now modify the easement to permit the purpose of the easement to be accomplished.
  • Extinguishing an easement may be appropriate when the dominant owner has overburdened the easement if “the additional burden imposed is so violative of the terms of the express easement that ‘continued use of the easement is precluded as a matter of law.’” 

The reasonableness standard applies not to the terms of an unambiguous covenant, but rather, and only, to the means of enforcing the covenant.