Adverse Enjoyment Law and Legal Definition

Adverse enjoyment means the possession or use of land under a claim of right against the owner of the property from which the easement derives. The modern doctrine is, that, upon proof of an adverse enjoyment of lights for twenty years or upwards, unexplained, a jury may be directed to presume a right by grant or otherwise. The modern doctrine may very well be applied to the acquisition, upon the presumption of a grant, of those easements of which there is such adverse enjoyment and user, as to lay a foundation for that presumption against the party who has so long suffered an invasion and denial of his/her rights, without asserting them.

In Workman v. Curran, 89 Pa. 226 (Pa. 1879), the court observed that “Where one uses an easement whenever he sees fit, without asking leave and without objection, it is adverse, and an uninterrupted adverse enjoyment for 21years is a title which cannot be disputed. Such enjoyment without evidence to explain when it began, is presumed to have been in pursuance of a grant. The enjoyment must be adverse as well as uninterrupted, and one of the conditions of adverse enjoyment is that it be without objection. If, therefore, it is shown that during the period of alleged acquisition of an easement by use and enjoyment, the owner of the servient tenement resisted such claim or opposed such use, it will negative the claim.”