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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Beeson owned two small, neighboring tracts of real property immediately north of a railroad right-of-way. A public highway known as “Old Katy Road” runs along the corresponding southern boundary of the railroad right-of-way. Accordingly, the state of Texas owned the property located on the other side of the railroad right-of-way. The parties’ respective tracts have a common source of title; a 655-acre tract acquired by Max and Eliza Roy prior to 1893. The Missouri Kansas & Texas Railway Company of Texas condemned a railroad right-of-way across the original Roy tract in a judgment entered on Jan. 18, 1893. The area condemned by the railroad consisted of a 100-feet-wide right-of-way running east to west across the northern portion of the Roys’ large tract. The railroad easement bisected the Roy tract into two tracts: a relatively narrow strip of land lying north of the railroad right-of-way and a large tract of land lying south of the right-of-way. A very narrow strip of the original Roy tract located along the northern line of the railroad right-of-way constitutes the southernmost portion of Beeson’s’ two tracts. With respect to the land lying south of the right-of-way, the Roys conveyed a 7.8-acre strip of land running parallel to the railroad right-of-way to Harris County on March 30, 1896. This property has been utilized as Old Katy Road for many years. From 1893 until the 1990′s, the right-of-way was continuously used for railroad purposes. In 1992, the state purchased the railroad right-of-way from the successor-in-interest of the original railroad company. Pursuant to the terms of the purchase agreement between the railroad company and the state, the railroad company abandoned its use of the railroad right-of-way in 1998. This appeal concerns the use of the right-of-way by the adjoining property owners after its abandonment by the railroad company. The property descriptions contained in the conveying instruments for the tracts located north and south of the railroad right-of-way do not include the property located within the right-of-way. As noted by the Texas Supreme Court in 1966′s State v. Fuller, 407 S.W.2d 215, a deed to land abutting a railroad right-of-way conveys title to the center of the right-of-way unless the contrary intention is expressed in the conveyance instrument. Upon abandonment of the right-of-way, the adjoining landowners’ title to their respective halves of the right-of-way ripens into absolute ownership, the Texas Supreme Court stated. The parties recognized the applicability of this principle by agreeing that, upon the railroad company’s abandonment of the right-of-way, Beeson owns the northern half of the right-of-way and the state owns the southern half of the right-of-way. Since the parties acknowledge Beeson’s ownership of the northern half of the right-of-way, the state’s appeal focused on Beeson’s right to cross the southern half of the right-of-way. Beeson’s property consists of two tracts that are 7.0065 acres and 5.7923 acres in size. Their two tracts are separated by a private road know as “Walne Street.” Walne Street is a paved road that runs across the right-of-way and intersects with Old Katy Road. Beeson used Walne Street to access Old Katy Road prior to the railroad’s abandonment of the right-of-way. Beeson contended that he possesses an easement to continue using Walne Street to access Old Katy Road. Beeson bases his claim of an easement by necessity on the contention that the Roys reserved the right to cross the railroad right-of-way in order to access both portions of their property lying north and south of the right-of-way. Beeson bases his prescriptive easement claim on the contention that Walne Street has been used by them to access Old Katy Road at least since 1975. The trial court decreed in its final judgment that Beeson is the owner of an easement for the purpose of providing them access to the public road system across the portion of Walne Street that lies on the southern half of the railroad right-of-way. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. Easements by necessity, the court stated, are temporary, because their existence is dependent on the necessity that created them. Easements by necessity terminate upon the cessation of the necessity. Accordingly, the court stated, Beeson is required to show that the necessity that existed at the time of the severance of the estates in 1893 existed until the time of trial. But Beeson, the court stated, failed to meet his burden to show that the necessity which the Roys perhaps possessed to access the 2.5-acre tract in 1893 continued to exist after its conveyance. Thus, the court found that no easement by necessity arose. Next, the court examined whether a prescriptive easement arose. A person acquires a prescriptive easement by the open, notorious, continuous, exclusive and adverse use of someone else’s land for 10 years, the court stated. The state contended that Beeson’s prescriptive easement claim is barred by Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code �16.030(b), which provides that “[a] person may not acquire through adverse possession any right or title to real property dedicated to public use.” The state formally dedicated the railroad right-of-way for highway purposes upon its purchase from the railroad in 1992. The court found that even if Beeson established a prescriptive easement against the railroad’s right to possess the right-of-way, their adverse use was ineffectual against the state’s future right to possess the property. Any prescriptive easement that Beeson possessed against the railroad terminated when the railroad abandoned the property in 1998. Thus, the court held that the state’s dedication of the right-of-way to public use in 1992 prevented the state’s interest in the property from being impaired by a prescriptive easement after the railroad abandoned the right-of-way. OPINION:McCall, J.; Wright, C.J., and McCall and Strange, J.J.

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