Subject: Re: Road Easements and Adverse Possession
From: (Diane Blackman)
Date: 1997/04/19
Newsgroups: misc.rural

David Buxton wrote:
: Perhaps you can clarify this a bit. For one thing, what is meant by
: "Open and Notorious"?

Essentially it means that the use or taking was done in a manner that a reasonably alert property owner could have noticed. Its in contrast to hidden or secretive uses. The idea is that the true property owner must have a fair opportunity to discover that someone is encroaching and using the property in a way that is in conflict with the owner's rights.

: I talked to a retired Civil Engineer yesterday. He said that if I set out
: a fence inside my easement area it really is not a problem unless it
: blocks off and denies the neighbors access to that portion of the
: easement. If it is a decorative fence that can be walked around on either
: side, no problem. If that fence denies the neighbors access to the
: easement for 7 years without them protesting and having it removed, then I
: have taken possesion of the easement and it is no longer an easement for
: the neighbors to make use of and so could deny them access to new
: utilities at a future date.

Whether it is advice on this newsgroup, or from a retired CE the legal advice you are getting is worth exactly what you are paying for it. You have no way of knowing whether I, or anyone else, has any clue as to the right answer, and no recourse if the advice turns out to be wrong. If getting the right answer isn't particularly important then use your own judgment in deciding your course of action. If getting the right answer is important then consider paying for it so that at least if its wrong you have recourse. Consider the possible consequences of acting on advice that you have a right to deny access to an easement holder. If there are recorded rights and if you claim the rights no longer exist but you are wrong there is (at least in some states, I don't know about yours) a thing called "slander of title" There is such a thing as "Penny Wise, Pound Foolish" If you decide to save legal costs now it may well cost you dearly in the end. Some of us are bigger risk takers than others. You are the only person in a position to evaluate your risk, just understand there is a risk before plunging on.

Diane Blackman

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