A burden or charge upon an estate or property, so that it
cannot be disposed of without being subject to it. A mortgage, a lien for
taxes, are examples of encumbrances.
2. These do not affect the possession of the grantee, and may be removed
or extinguished by a definite pecuniary value. See 2 Greenl. R. 22, 5
Greenl. R. 94.
3. There are encumbrances of another kind which cannot be so removed,
such as easements for example, a highway, or a preexisting right to take
water from, the land. Strictly speaking, however, these are not
encumbrances, but appurtenances to estates in other lands, or in the
language of the civil law, servitudes. (q. v.) 5 Conn. R. 497, 10 Conn. R.
422 15 John. R. 483, and see 8 Pick. R. 349, 2 Wheat. R. 45. See 15 Verm.
R. 683, l Metc. 480, 9 Metc. 462, 1 App. R. 313, 4 Ala. 21, 4 Humph. 99, 18
Pick. 403, 1 Ala. 645, 22 Pick. 447, 11 Gill & John. 472.
Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition
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