What is the name of your state? California
In June of 2004 we purchased a 5 acre piece of vacant land. During the negotiations we learned that the neighbor who had been leasing the property (and hundreds of acres more owned by the seller) for some 15+ years for cattle grazing, had lost their lease (which created a heated dispute between 2 very large land owners) and they were now claiming (2) perscriptive easements across the property, and they claim that they go back into the 40s. The seller of the land had never been notified of any claim and rejected it, but still informed us of it. Since perscriptive easements run in 5 year cycles in CA, and you have to be against the true owners will, it did not appear that their claim had any merit. We also talked to our attorney at the time (we owned a business and he took care of business related items for us), he also felt they had no case, so we went through with the purchase. They claim that the lease(s) did not extinguish the claimed easement and that it just reinstated after the lease was over. Today we got served with a lawsuit to make those claims legal. There still is no proof that any perscriptive easement ever existed, only claims. There is no need for the easement, he owns the very large parcel that wraps all the way around ours, plus he has thousands of feet of roadway frontage and multiple gates (not to mention literally thousands more acres around the county). This is the property we plan to build our dream house on (it has a creek, a pond and a 100 year old bridge), and he wants to runs semi trucks up and down our driveway (which is right through the middle of the property). We have offered to pay put a gate on his property where he wanted just to make this go away, but he would obviously rather torment us! I don't think he has a leg to stand on, but if he did win...Who would pay for the driveway maintenance, who is liable for injuries, what happens if he leaves the gate open and our kids get hit by a car?!! Anyone know about a "lease pause" in a perscriptive easement?
Thanks for your time and thoughts.