This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).





Francis A. Remerowski,



Daniel Lasnetski,


Filed July 7, 1998

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded

Toussaint, Chief Judge

Lincoln County District Court

File No. C796093

John D. Moritz, P.O. Box 76, Springfield, MN 56087 (for respondent)

John E. Mack, Mack & Daby P.L.L.P., 26 Main Street, P.O. Box 302, New London, MN 56273 (for appellant)

Considered and decided by Davies, Presiding Judge, Toussaint, Chief Judge, and Harten, Judge.


TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge

Appellant Daniel Lasnetski appeals the district court's denial of his motion for a new trial wherein he challenged the grant of a permanent injunction and award of damages in favor of respondent Francis Remerowski. We affirm in part since we conclude that the district court did not err in finding that (1) when respondent purchased the subject property in January 1983 he obtained an express easement; (2) until appellant purchased the servient property in 1991 respondent had unrestricted access to his property; and (3) appellant unreasonably restricted respondent's use of the easement. We remand for further findings on the location of the roadway easement. As the district court erred, in ordering appellant to turn the well over to respondent, we reverse in part.


When a motion for a new trial is made following a court trial, we affirm the decision "if the findings are reasonably supported by the evidence." Parrish v. Peoples, 214 Minn. 589, 597, 9 N.W.2d 225, 229 (1943). The decision to grant an injunction rests within the discretion of the district court and will not be reversed unless, based on the entire record, we conclude that discretion has been an abused. Cherne Indus., Inc. v. Grounds & Assocs., Inc., 278 N.W.2d 81, 91 (Minn. 1979). To obtain an injunction, the petitioner has the burden of proving that a legal remedy is inadequate and that an injunction is "necessary to prevent great and irreparable injury." Id. at 92. Injunctions are generally granted only in cases where an interference with or obstruction of the easement substantially changes or unreasonably interferes with the owner's use of its easement. See, e.g., Giles v. Luker, 215 Minn. 256, 9 N.W.2d 716 (1943) (where owner of servient estate threatened to prevent use of right-of-way by trucks, owner of easement was entitled to injunctive relief).


Appellant asserts that because the easement agreement is so nebulous that the location of respondent's roadway access cannot be defined, the district court erred in enjoining him from obstructing the roadway. But to create an easement, it is only necessary that the land subject to the easement is identified and the parties express their intent to create the easement. Ingelson v. Olson, 199 Minn. 422, 427, 272 N.W. 270, 274 (1937). Here, there is a document evidencing the creation of a valid roadway easement, and respondent has had unrestricted use of the roadway. We conclude that the court did not abuse its discretion in enjoining appellants from further obstruction of respondent's bargained-for access to his property. However, because the easement does not include a metes and bounds description of the roadway, we remand for an evidentiary hearing including, if called for, expert opinion regarding the location of the roadway or, if necessary, determination by the district court. See id. at 429, 272 N.W. at 274 (where the description of an easement is indefinite or the parties cannot agree, the court may determine the location).


Appellant also challenges the portion of the injunction requiring him not to "obstruct [respondent] from water use as set out in the agreement or shall at [appellant's] option turn over to the [respondent] the existing water well." Because a property interest "should not be enlarged by legal construction beyond the objects originally contemplated or expressly agreed upon by the parties," we reverse the portion of the injunction that turns the well over to respondent. Minneapolis Athletic Club v. Cohler, 287 Minn. 254, 258, 177 N.W.2d 786, 789-90 (1970)


Appellant also asserts that the district court overcompensated respondent by awarding him damages for the cost of constructing an alternate roadway. The district court based its award on its finding that appellant had unreasonably restricted respondent's easement causing him to construct an additional roadway "at a cost of $1,405.95 in addition to loss of planted crop and cutting a portion of a farm field into two pieces." The district court, noting that the easement was part of a "bargained-for contract," appropriately awarded damages for breach of contract, that is, money sufficient to place respondent in the same situation as if the contract had been performed. Peters v. Mutual Ben. Life Ins. Co., 420 N.W.2d 908, 915 (Minn. App. 1988); see also 28A C.J.S. Easements 208 (1996) (damages may be awarded for interference with or obstruction of an easement where an injunction has been granted). Moreover, we conclude that appellant's argument that the issue of damages was not before the district court is not supported by the recorded. See Minn. R. Civ. P. 15.02 ("When issues not raised by the pleadings are tried by express or implied consent of the parties, they shall be treated in all respects as if they had been raised in the pleadings.").

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.