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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
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I have a deeded easement to take water from a well in common

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I have a deeded easement to take water from a well in common with others - the others are not specified. The present owner of the property is threatening to fill in the well. What are my options?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Legalease replied 7 years ago.

 

DO you use this water / water easement regularly?

 

Do you know in what year the easement was granted?



Edited by Mary Meaden Esq on 12/1/2009 at 12:23 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Yes - the house is on a lake, and although I could draw from the lake in the summer, its impossible to do so in the winter. Also because of the configuration of my lot it is prohibitively expensive to drill a well. And, because of the size of my lot it is impossible to have a legal well and a septic system.

 

Expert:  Legalease replied 7 years ago.

 

Your only choice here if the other property owner cuts off the well rights is to take him into court to establish your right to the water and seek a court order for him to unblock the well for your use and the use in common with others. His argument will be that you do not use the well or the well water (if an easement is not used regularly, the serviant property (his) can claim that it is no longer necessary and try to reclaim the easement land). So, you are going to have to decide how important it is for you to take the water from the well and if you are willing to pay a lawyer to go to court and seek an order that he cease and desist from interfering with the easement. If you do choose to take him into court over it, just make it perfectly clear that you will do so and hope that he backs off. If you believe that this easement is important to your property value, you can seek an appraisal and put that amount into a damage claim and then let the court decide whether to force him to open the well or to pay you damages for your decreased property value. If you do litigate this matter, just be certain that you have some witnesses and/or witness statements that you do draw water from the well in the summertime for your property needs (outdoor watering? to fill children's pools?). Anything that establishes your continued use will be sufficient. So long as this easement is deeded in perpetuity to your property, then it runs with both his land and your land and he will lose the case in court. If he wants to spend money needlessly to try and fight you in court on this, then that is his prerogative. If he blocks the well, then you should seek out a local real estate lawyer to bring action against him (you can do this yourself, but there are probably no forms for this at your local court house and you will have to start the action with a complaint against him for violating the easement and write the complaint yourself -- which is complicated if you do not know what you are doing). That's all I can tell you -- if he blocks the well, then you will have to take him to court to unblock it.

 

GOOD LUCK

 

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THANK YOU

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok Thanks - I would have thought an injunction would work. Or make him dig me a well if he covers the old one up. I do think you were a bit confused - my ONLY water source is the well.