Under Idaho law, what is the difference between an exclusive and nonexclusive easement?
In an easement, you are likely to see language that states that the easement is "exclusive" or "nonexclusive." Here, we explain the difference.
An exclusive easement is akin to ownership of land. The owner of the easement right can exclude the owner of the land. "An exclusive easement is an unusual interest in land; it has been said to amount to almost a conveyance of the [ownership]." Latham v. Garner, 105 Idaho 854, 856, 673 P.2d 1048, 1050 (1983). Exclusive easements are not favored the Courts. Id. To create an exclusive easement, the easement must be clear and specifically provide for exclusivity of use by the owner of the easement. Id. Or else, the Court will find it nonexclusive.
A nonexclusive easement is one where both the owner of the easement right and the owner of the land can use the easement area. For example, a nonexclusive driveway easement can be used by both owner of the easement right and the owner of the land. The owner of the land "is entitled to make uses of the property that do not unreasonably interfere with the dominant estate owner's enjoyment of the easement.” Morgan v. New Sweden Irr. Dist., 156 Idaho 247, 256, 322 P.3d 980, 989 (2014), reh'g denied (May 2, 2014). This means, the owner of the easement right can stop the use of the easement area if it can show that he is "obstructed from exercising privileges granted in the easement." Id. If the owner of the easement meets this burden, then the owner of the land must remove the encroachments from the easement. Id.