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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    367
    Location
    Northern California
    Tractor
    B21

    Default Help! I need legal advice re: easements

    My neighbor has an easement thru my property " for ingress and egress, 20' in width upon the existing roadway" The existing roadway is a gravel road about 10' wide.
    He is now trying to widen the existing road and also take more of my land at the end of this road by adverse possession or prescriptive easement. I have hired a lawyer but also want to find any case law that relates to this for him. Has anyone had a similar experience? Where can I find similar cases?
    (The kubota came in handy in putting up about 400 feet of fence, the first day he tried to say some of mine was his!)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help! I need legal advice re: easements

    <font color=blue>…My neighbor has an easement thru my property " for ingress and egress…</font color=blue>

    I also had spent a few years in the court system fighting a farmer over adverse possession… (thousands of dollars later, I won… or did I?)

    My take on this is… if your neighbor has been crossing your property to go to his property for a length of time “without” your permission… you find out, and tell him to stop crossing your property… then he can file for prescriptive easement on that section of your property (winning is another thing [img]/w3tcompact/icons/blush.gif[/img])…

    If your neighbor is already on your deed mentioned for the “easement” to cross your property… he can never claim adverse possession on that section of your property… but he can claim adverse possession on another piece …

    Anyone can claim adverse possession by…being open (for the whole world to see, can’t be secretive), exclusive (only that person, no one else), continuous (the clock cannot be broken or the time starts over)and hostile and notorious (ex.-that person posting “No Trespassing Signs” on your property), and under claim of ownership for the statutory period of that state… (again…winning is another issue)


  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    907
    Tractor
    yanmar ym1810

    Default Re: Help! I need legal advice re: easements

    He has a 20ft easement, but is using 10 and will make it wider? will it be wider than the 20ft easement? how much wider?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    197
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    B2910

    Default Re: Help! I need legal advice re: easements

    Brings back bad memories. In Pa there's an old law (1921) that states that any "un-opened" (developed) access left in excess of 20 years, from centerline the access reverts to the owners of the abutting properties. I fought that battle when trying to get a public water line, and trying to convince both the Municipality and the utility company that the access didn't need to be formally "abandoned". One of those catch 22's utilities won't run on a private road, township wouldn't "abandon". While my situation was different than yours, it may be cheaper (and less frustrating) to offer to sell the easement to the pain in the a**, even at a ridiculous token price and have it recorded it as his 20' strip of property than to pay the lawyers and all the grief you'll have.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    367
    Location
    Northern California
    Tractor
    B21

    Default Re: Help! I need legal advice re: easements

    There are really two issues here.
    1. His easement description was poorly written. It says "an easement 20 feet in width for ingress and egress upon the existing road.......to be surveyed later" The existing road has never been wider than about ten feet. To make it wider would involve cutting into a slope. I contend that he does not have an easement for twenty feet but only an easement speciffically "on the existing road" whever it meanders within this twenty foot width that he was supposed to have surveyed when he boought it 14 years ago. The easement was for "ingress and egress" so he should have no rights over the uphill area that is not driveable. The cases I have found tend to rule in favor of the situation that causes the least inconvienence to the subserviant tenant (me) as long as it accomplishes what the easement is for (ingress and egress).

    2. The other issue involving adverse possession and prescriptive easements revolves around this situation:
    When the above mentioned roadway gets to his property, one can continue unto his property to his garage or turn left and continue on my property parrallel to the property line. Well he has continued parrallell to the line and parks an RV on my property. When I bought the property 7 yrs ago, I pointed out that he was on my property. He was surprised, thought it was his. I (naively) said thats ok, we'll work something out - buy or rent or something. This went on for years with no urgency by either of us with him still parking there with my permission.
    Then a few months ago he had it surveyed, clearly showing his RV well over the property line and I get a letter from his lawyer saying the are attempting to claim right to the area (not just the parking, but also the adjacent area) by adverse possion or prescriptive rights.
    I immediately put up a fence along the surveyed property line.
    So far he has been to court three times. Twice in trying to get a temporary restrainning order to keep me off of my own property. Both times they were denied. Yesterday he tried to get an injunction against me for activities on my own property i.e. building fences, storing building materials, parking cars etc on my own property(!) not even on the roadway easement. This was also denied by the court.
    So now I have spent thousands of dollars defending my property and his RV still sits parked on my property.
    Thus I am researching any other similar cases for the future battles but have not been to effecient in my internet searches.

    Sorry to be so long winded but beleve me I could have gone on alot longer about this.
    Any help from the TBN team is appreciated.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
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    1,344
    Location
    West Virginia (Eastern Panhandle)
    Tractor
    '78 Kubota B6100DT

    Default Re: Help! I need legal advice re: easements

    Could you counter-claim title to his RV by adverse possession?

  7. #7
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    10,079
    Location
    Triangle Of North Carolina
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: Help! I need legal advice re: easements

    mdbarb,

    I'm truely sorry to hear about your problem. Stress is not a word
    that is discriptive enough.

    Can you get his RV towed? At this point he has declared war so
    go for his family jewels.

    The only "story" I know that is similar is one I ran across when
    we where looking for land.

    We found a 20-30 acre parcel. Not really what or where we wanted
    land and it was overpriced. A man had lived on the land for
    quite a few years in a "house" that was built out of an old bus and
    wood. He had NO indoor plumbing of any kind. Certainly no septic
    system. I never did find the outhouse so he most have torn it down
    and filled it in. We call this property the "Rabbit Man Land" because
    the guy raised rabbits for food and money. There was a pile of old
    chicken cages about 10 feet tall on the property along with the bus,
    water bed, two or three old cars, a boat, batteries, 55 gallon drums
    of who knows what, etc.

    So what the heck does this have to do with your situation? To get to
    the "house site", there was a driveway, well dirt path. Once you got
    up hill to the "house site" a fence suddenly appeared in the woods.
    Now the fence just started in the middle of no where and ended in
    the middle of no where. One day I was standing there puzzling over
    the fence that was not tied to anything and the neighbor drove up.
    Now the neighbor has a house that can barely be seen from the
    fence but his driveway comes kinda close. So he stops his truck
    and we have a chat.

    What had happened was that the seller had lived on the property
    for years and his "house" straddled the lot line. When the neighbor
    bought his land it was on the condition that the seller got the
    hermit to move his "house." Of course this did not happen. The
    new neighbor gave legal notice to the guy to move his house off
    of his land. A couple of times. After about six months he brought
    in a bulldozer and move the "house" across the property line and
    built the fence.

    Problem solved.

    I would ask you legal guy what you need to do to two the RV.

    The impound lot is going to charge him a fortune for storage....

    Good Luck,
    Dan

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    1,064
    Tractor
    Yanmar 1500D

    Default Re: Help! I need legal advice re: easements

    I'm no lawyer but I would go to the court house and file a lean against his RV for storage fees at about $5 per day for however many days it has sit on my property.

    Lets see, 7 years = 2555 days X $5 = $12,775 plus interest.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    1,028
    Location
    Mid-Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710 GST

    Default Re: Help! I need legal advice re: easements

    Right On !!!
    You stated that you'd let him continue to park on YOUR land anfter he acknowledged it was YOURS ... and you left it at "we'll arrange something" ... which should have left him with the understanding he was there at your sufferance.
    This is EXACTLY the right time to go register a lien on his motorhome and send his lawyer a bill for storage of said RV.
    What's sauce for the goose ....

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    367
    Location
    Northern California
    Tractor
    B21

    Default Re: Help! I need legal advice re: easements

    I've talked to the sheriff about trespassing. He said they won't deal with it as its a civil matter. Tow companies are very reluctant to do "private tows". I saw somewhere that I can only backcharge as far as three years but thats still an option. My lawyer says that my physically removing his property could make me liable for damages later on and would create mor eproblems than it solves.
    It is soooo tempting to do some kind of proactive actions but apparantly the courts may frown on that and right now I still am in the courts good graces.

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