The plaintiffs own land directly east of the defendants, and use the north 60 feet of defendants’ land to access a two-acre tract separated from the rest of plaintiffs’ parcel by a creek. A disagreement arose over the location of the boundary line, and resulted in plaintiffs bringing an action for a prescriptive easement to access the two-acre field.

In Kansas, the elements necessary to prove a prescriptive easement are very similar to adverse possession. The elements are: (1) open, (2) exclusive, (3) continuous, (4) for a set prescriptive period; and (5) adverse. The controversy of this case rested on whether plaintiffs met the exclusive element since others would use the north 60 feet to hunt or fish.

The court held that the exclusive element to establish a prescriptive easement meant that the plaintiffs’ use was unique compared to others. This is different than the exclusive element for adverse possession, where exclusive means the person claiming ownership must keep all others out. The court made it clear that multiple parties could have prescriptive easements over the same land, as long as their easement was for their unique purpose. Ultimately, the court found that the plaintiffs had established a prescriptive easement over the north 60 feet of defendants’ land for purposes of “a corridor” to the two-acre field.

Pyle v. Gall, No. 123,823 (Kan. July 7, 2023).