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  1. #1
    JLB1jenny Guest

    Private Road Liability

    Missouri.

    We live in a rural subdivison with a road that was included in the original plat to be used by all of the property owners. We do not have a POA and have maintained the road through a cooperative effort of the property owners.

    If someone were to be injured, or killed, on the road, or, perhaps, because of the state of disrepair of the road, could we be sued?

    Further, would the person who is the self-appointed "road chairman", the person who decides what is to be done to maintain the road, collects our money, and makes arrangements for road maintenance, be more at risk to be held responsible for the road, and more at risk to be sued?
  2. #2
    hexeliebe Guest
    The first thing you need to do is review the deed to your property. Next, contact the county Recorder's office and see if this subdivision has been platted and if so, who filed the original plat, the original deeds and where the deed to the road is.

    I have a feeling this is a developer issue that you need to take up with the county commission and the builder from whom you purchased the home.

    As to your question about maintenance, someone who is injured could make a case against everyone who has participated in the maintenance of the road since, by accepting the responsibility for it's care you have also accepted responsibility for anything that might happen as a result of your actions.

    Do as I suggest or pool your money and have a real estate attorney figure out who is responsible for maintenance and get them off their ass.
  3. #3
    JLB1jenny Guest
    Thanks.

    Sorry I wasn't clear. There is no developer or builder involved. The subdivision was platted and recorded around 40 years ago. The road was included in the Plat and was recorded at that time.

    Our deed mentions easements for the power company and for the road.

    The county is not involved because we (the property owners) have never deeded the road over to them. Others around us have and we are looking into that now. Thus this question, since if we have a possible liability by keeping the road private we would have a greater incentive to turn it over to the county.
  4. #4
    hexeliebe Guest
    Our deed mentions easements for the power company and for the road.
    Then you need to make a visit to the county recorder's office to find out from whom you have the easement because someone owns that road and it's not you.

    An easement is the right to use, not ownership. So you can't deed anything over to the county.
  5. #5
    JLB1jenny Guest
    Sorry I used the wrong word when I said "deeded". You are correct that the county takes over maintenance of roads in this area through a process of each affected property owner giving easements.

    It is very common in that we live on a large lake, with many originally private roads. We have a very active county road department that has taken over many private roads near ours.

    On our original plat map, record May 7, 1964, the reference to the road says, "The roads shown hereon are hereby relinguished and dedicated to the use of the public." There is no further mention of the roads anywhere.
  6. #6
    hexeliebe Guest
    If that is the case then this is not a private road and the county should be taking care of it.

    You need a complete title search and, as I suggested before, pool your money and hire a RE attorney to determine who actually owns the road.

    If it's the county put a burr up their asses.
  7. #7
    JLB1jenny Guest
    That's exactly the thought I had as I was typing the wording from the original plat.

    As a point of clarification, however, that plat is for the subdivision my wife and I own in, which is only the last 500 feet or so of the 3/4 mile or so of road. The bulk of the road lies in an adjoining subdivision and I don't know how their plat reads.

    However, between then and now I have talked to our road chairman and he said there is enough in the account for me to go ahead and contact the attorney that has worked with the other roads around us. I've been waiting six years to hear that so some progress is being made.
  8. #8
    hexeliebe Guest
    There you go. And I thought Misery people were all about fishin' and fightin'

    Let us know what you find out.

    And by the way, I was born in Kansas City, did a stint at WHB and a few clubs on the Plaza and used to cover sports and entertainment for the "Star".

    so I kinda like Misery
  9. #9
    JLB1jenny Guest
    We're on Table Rock Lake now, having moved here from Blue Springs.

    Fishin' and fightin' is fairly accurate. Occassionally common sense prevails, but not often.
    Last edited by JLB1jenny; 02-03-2004 at 03:56 PM.

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