agreement to maintain a driveway on a right-of-way ran with the land.
The Third Department held small claims court had properly determined an agreement to maintain a driveway on a right-of-way passing through the grantor’s front parcel to the grantee’s rear parcel ran with the land. The Third Department noted its review of small claims court rulings is confined to whether “substantial justice” was done according to the rules and principals of substantive law. Small claims court correctly held that the original parties to the property transfer intended the maintenance agreement to run with the land and that the agreement “touches and concerns” the land. Therefore the defendant, the subsequent purchaser of the rear parcel, was bound by the maintenance agreement:
“Appellate review of small claims is limited to determining whether ‘substantial justice has not been done between the parties according to the rules and principles of substantive law'” … . Accordingly, this Court will overturn such a decision only if it is clearly erroneous … . As relevant here, to establish that the 1982 agreement ran with the land and was binding on defendants, plaintiff was required to establish that “(1) the grantor and grantee intended the [agreement] to run with the land, (2) there is privity of estate between the parties to the current dispute, and (3) the [agreement] touches and concerns the land” … . * * *
…[A]n agreement touches and concerns the land “if it affects the legal relations — the advantages and the burdens — of the parties to the [agreement], as owners of particular parcels of land and not merely as members of the community in general”… . Pugliatti v Riccio, 2015 NY Slip Op 06398, 3rd Dept 7-30-15