Road rights take wrong turn

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In the case of Jones, et al. v. Sparks, et al., property belonging to Harry and Anita Jones shared a common boundary with property owned by their neighbor, Algin Stamper, that fronted a highway. Given that access to the property via the original entrance was difficult, especially in bad weather, the Joneses paid the neighbor $500 for permission to clear and use a rough access road from the highway to their property across the neighbor’s land. The Joneses used the road across the neighbor’s property for 13 years, until the neighbor passed away and his heirs instructed them to discontinue using the road. The Joneses filed suit, claiming that they had purchased an easement to use the road across Stamper's land. The trial court ruled against the Joneses, finding that no easement existed. The Joneses appealed. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s ruling. Because Stamper had never executed any written deed granting the Joneses an easement, the statute of frauds ...