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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Angry Neighbor says he owns easement ??

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? I own a 4 acre land parcel with a home on it that I inherited from My Father's Family Farm. My deed was surveyed and recorded Feb. 1994. It states and shows on my deed that I have a 20" Ingress & Egress Easement to my property. It is located on a dirt road. Several tracts around me have been sold over the years. Here's my problem: I have a neighbor that put in a Public Paintball Field on land next to my property. I also signed for him to obtain a permit to open, that I didn't foresee a problem with him opening his business, as I re-married 8 years ago and rent my home out. The problem started several months ago when we mowed on the far side of the easement so that trees and bushes wouldn't scratch and scrape vehicles going in and out, as the dirt road is only about 15' wide now. There is one other Family that lives down beyond us. The neighbor with the Paintball field also owns land across from my property. When we started bush hogging app. 6 feet of shrubs and hanging limbs in front of my property, the Neighbor called the Police and threw a fit! He said he OWNS the road and we can't touch it for any reason~~~ There are several wash-outs now and it is extremely hard when it rains to get to my house. The worst part is I looked his property up on our Tax GIS mapping, ad the road is outlined as being property that he purchased! How can you BUY an easement and right-of way?? The SAME surveyor surveyed my track and his both years ago. This property dates back to my Great GrandFather~~ never had a problem til now. I know advice is going to be "Get a Lawyer", Why should I have to pay for what's already mine??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by flowerlady1 View Post
    Why should I have to pay for what's already mine??
    Because if you don't defend it, you won't keep it.


  3. #3
    You don't say what state you're in . . . . and you seem to have a lot of marginally relevant facts included

    He does own the property, but you have a right to use the easement for ingress and egress. In many (if not all) states you have the right to maintain the easement for its intended purpose, so you could fill ruts and cut back vegetation if need be for use of the easement.

    That said, the vegetation/shrubs issue is potentially sensitive and you might be better off asking him first to cut back the bushes if they're blocking use of the easement, because you don't have the right to just start yanking out his plants because the branches might scrape your car. (It's not clear if you were "hogging" bushes along the easement or elsewhere on his property, or yours--if it's on your property, it's okay; if his, then you're trespassing)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    New Hampshire
    You have a "good case" to clear brush, maintain, fill holes, etc. out to the limits of the 20 foot right of way bounds. Anything more than that and you are liable for damages. The fact that you cleared 6' back from a 15' wide road would seem to indicate you are already outside the bounds of the right of way by at least one foot.

    An easement, and its language, are always up for interpretation by a court, so there is no certainty that a court would uphold your right to clear the entire 20 foot right of way.

    I have seen a court case where someone cut trees within the limits of the easement right of way and was held liable. In my own case, I determined I was possibly guilty of timber trespass when I cut trees within an easement and had them hauled away. I should have left them for the owners of the property, but was able to settle by giving them money instead. Be careful what you do; the courts will look at the reasonableness of your actions.

    How can you BUY an easement and right-of way??
    An easement generally runs with the land, regardless of who owns it. It is possible to purchase land that is burdened with an easement. I'm not sure what your argument is on this point. He owns the land, and you have an easement grant to utilize a 20 foot wide piece of his property; that's all.

    Don't look to the police to resolve this; it is a civil matter. Either one of you may bring the issue to a court. Once in court, as debtcollector said, you must defend your position or risk losing it.

    Last edited by 154NH773; 04-06-2010 at 06:17 PM.
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