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There is not an automatic right to cross someone's land to reach your own. However, there are several ways to gain such a right. There are two types of rights to cross land - one is called a license, which is oral, and the other is an easement. A license simply occurs when someone says, "Yes, you can cross my property," and that can be revoked at any time. An easement is in writing, and it can not be unilaterally revoked by the person who owns the land - it's a contract
. The starting point here may be the property records - an easement has to be recorded with the Registry of Deeds. If there's already one there, even if the agreement was made with a prior owner, it transfers with the land, so it's still valid. You can cross the land in that case.
Otherwise, you have a few options.
1. You can negotiate with the owner and purchase the right to cross his land, then get a written contract and record it with the county. It's between the two of you to determine a fair price, but you may need to bring in some experts. The holder of the easement, which would be you in this scenario, usually is required to pay for the upkeep of the easement. So, if you're the only one using the road, you have to maintain it. If the other owner also uses it, you'll have to share the costs of maintenance.
2. An easement by prescription occurs where a person uses the land of another, without permission, continuously, for an extended period of time. The use must be open and notorious - sneaking across someone's land in the middle of the night isn't sufficient. The problem is, you have to do it for ten years, which gives your neighbor plenty of time to block your access or have you arrested for trespassing. So, that's usually not the best option.
3. You can bring a suit against your neighbor for an easement by necessity. The law wants land to be used. That's actually why we have laws that allow people to gain the right to use or keep land if they take initiative and the owner lets it happen - it's a matter of public policy
. So, if there is literally no way to reach your land, other than across this other person's property (no matter how inconvenient another means must be, if it exists, you're expected to use it), you can file suit against your neighbor asking a judge to condemn an easement for you. You will be ordered to pay for it. The order would then be recorded with the county, and you would have the legal right to cross his property. These cases can be complicated, though, so it may be worth calling a local attorney and asking him to help you. It's not the kind of thing that can be done in Small Claims
Court, and most courts aren't going to have forms. Another option is to send your neighbor a letter, via certified mail, explaining that you will sue if he makes it necessary, but you'd prefer to reach a resolution without having to go through the court system. In some cases, that may help.