Prescriptive Easement Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, a prescriptive easement is created by adverse, open, notorious, continuous and uninterrupted use of land for a period of 21 years. Estojak v. Mazsa, 522 Pa. 353, 562 A.2d 271 (1989); Burkett v. Smyder, 369 Pa. Super. 519, 535 A.2d 671 (Pa. Super. 1988).
The issue of whether a prescriptive easement is acquired is a question of fact for the fact-finder. Burkett.
The public may acquire a prescriptive easement. Wampler v. Shenk, 404 Pa. 395, 172 A.2d 313 (1961).
In Wanczyki v. Svoboda, 36 Lehigh L.J. 59 (1974), the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County rejected a claim for a prescriptive easement in part on the basis that the plaintiffs had no way of knowing whether the use began as a permissive use. Citing Bennett v. Biddle, 140 Pa. 396, 21 A. 363 (1893), the Lehigh County court noted that where a use commenced permissively, it is presumed to continue as permissive "in the absence of a clear showing that the user brought home his intention to make an adverse use without recognizing the rights of the owner." 36 Lehigh L.J. at 64.