Mutual Agreement Never Ripens Into Prescriptive Easement

The parties owned adjacent residential tracts with a gravel path running between the properties.  After a survey, the defendants poured concrete on their portion of the gravel path and built a fence four inches inside their property line which prevented the plaintiffs from parking on the gravel path.  The plaintiff filed a quiet title action on the basis that they held an easement by prescription.  The trial court disagreed.  On appeal, the court affirmed.  The court noted that the plaintiffs had admitted that their usage of the grassy strip was pursuant to a mutual understanding with the defendants.  There was also no evidence that the plaintiffs had expended substantial amounts of money or labor in reliance based on the mutual understanding.  Bales v. Shepard, No. 14-0960, 2015 Iowa App. LEXIS 407 (Iowa Ct. App. May 6, 2015).