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WARNER v. GRAYSON. TALBOTT V. GRAYSON. WOOD V. GRAYSON.

decided: January 8, 1906.

WARNER
v.
GRAYSON.

TALBOTT
v.
GRAYSON.

WOOD
v.
GRAYSON.



APPEALS FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

Author: Day

[ 200 U.S. Page 267]

 MR. JUSTICE DAY, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court.

These appeals raise practically three questions:

1st. Was the Warner trust entitled to an easement, and, if so, to what extent, in the lands on the south and west of the flats building?

2d. Was the Grayson trust entitled to a like easement in the same premises? and,

3d. Was the property properly authorized to be sold as an entirety in the discretion of the trustees?

As to the first proposition, the Supreme Court was of opinion that the Warner trust was entitled to ten feet on the south and west sides of the property. The Court of Appeals was of the opinion that as the lots were not built upon at the time when the deed of trust was executed, and it was not then known that an easement would be necessary to the enjoyment of the property as constructed, the Warner trust took only the conveyances of the land by metes and bounds, without an easement, which that court held arose from the manner in which the building and its appurtenances were subsequently constructed and used.

The record discloses that the loan secured by the Warner trust was made for the purpose of erecting a hotel or apartment building. It is established that the first purpose of the proprietor was to construct the building so as to leave an adjacent space and way for its accommodation and use, between

[ 200 U.S. Page 268]

     its outer walls and the lot lands adjacent on the west and south. This purpose was changed upon notification that restrictions in the title of the property required the building to be set back from the streets. The building was thereupon constructed by the mortgagor in the manner shown. The deed of trust was mortgage security and Haller continued to be the owner of the property to the full extent of the lots. The building was constructed in such wise that the use of some of the adjacent property, even independent of an easement for light and air, was absolutely necessary to the use and enjoyment of the building as constructed. It did not need the expert testimony which was introduced in the case to establish the fact that if another structure should be erected, practically even with the wall of the building, it would prevent access to and greatly impair the use of the south and west sides thereof. It would require the closing of the areaways, the shutting of the windows and doors, and must necessarily greatly depreciate the value of the property. The Warner trust contained the language (above quoted), conveying the described premises, with all and singular the improvements, ways, easements, rights, privileges and appurtenances to the same belonging or in anywise appertaining, etc., to have and to hold to the second parties, their heirs and assigns. It is true that there was no building upon the property at the time when this deed of trust was executed, but it is equally true that it was within the knowledge and purpose of the parties that a building should be constructed, which would be the principal security for the money loaned. And no one disputes that when Haller constructed the building upon the property it became immediately subject to the mortgage. He was the owner of the adjacent premises, and when he abandoned the design to leave sufficient space about the building for its proper use and enjoyment, and erected it in such manner and so close to, and overlapping upon, other parts of his own property as to require the use of an easement therein in order to occupy the building and permit the enjoyment and use of it as constructed, we

[ 200 U.S. Page 269]

     see no reason why the express language of the conveyance above quoted would not carry with the building thus constructed the improvements, ways, appurtenances, rights and privileges necessary to the enjoyment of the same. The principle upon which subsequent buildings and fixtures annexed to the realty become a part thereof for the benefit of the mortgagee is thus stated in Butler v. Page, 7 Metcalf (Mass.), 40:

"All buildings erected and fixtures placed on mortgaged premises, by the mortgagor, must be regarded as permanently annexed to the freehold. They go to enhance the value of the estate, and will therefore inure to the benefit of the mortgagee so far as they increase his security for his debt; and to the same extent they enhance the value of the equity of redemption, and thereby inure to the benefit of the mortagor. Winslow v. Merchants,' Ins. Co., 4 Met. 306. There is no necessity to adopt any liberal rule in regard to fixtures, to enable the mortgagor to remove what he has erected at his own expense; because he has the full benefit of all such improvements when he regains the estate by redemption, which he may do, simply by payment of his actual debt. The general rule of the Common law, therefore, that what is fixed to the freehold becomes part of ...


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