How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 19927
Experience:  Lawyer
26798026
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a non-patented mining claim on Federal land, which the

Resolved Question:

I have a non-patented mining claim on Federal land, which the only vehicle access too, is across a patented claim. These were mines operated in the 1890's-1915. The owner of the patented claim does not want to let me cross his property on the existing road to access my claim. Do I have a right to do so?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I’m a moderator for this topic and I wonder whether you’re still waiting for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will do my best to find a professional to assist you right away. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What other information does "My Expert" need?
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 2 years ago.
Sometimes, finding the right Expert can take a little longer than expected and we thank you greatly for your understanding. We’ll be in touch again shortly.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. We have recently implemented a new payment and feedback system. Please be aware that you are rating my courtesy and service as a professional, and not whether the answer supports your legal position. If you have any questions at all, or there is anything I can clarify for you, please bypass the rating system and click “Continue the Conversation” or "Reply". Choosing either of the lowest two options reflects poorly on me (and not the law), so please reply to me if there is anything I can do to help before choosing those options. I appreciate your patience while we work out the kinks.

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.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Good start, thank you. Does this specifically apply to mining claims, as there are many Federal regulations involved? There are "RS 2477 roads", which may apply here. I have read in Federal mining claim Regulations, that one claim holder "cannot" prevent access to another claim and the land I wish to cross is still listed on county records as a claim, even though it is "Patented", which makes it the owners own property.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
That's the general rule for crossing someone else's property, where there may not be an established right of way or road. A patented mining claim is considered private land, which is why I was going over the general provisions. R.S. 2477 gives the government the right to build highways over public lands, so that doesn't apply to your situation. I'm going through the federal mining regulations, but I'm not finding specifically what you mentioned. You may want to call your local field office to see if there's anything they can do.
http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/info/arizona_offices/boundaries.html

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I mentioned the RS 2477 reference because there is a visible road which went to the extensive mine workings on the Patented claim, and the old workings on my claim are on the top of the same ridge, a little farther on. Satellite images show the road "leading towards" my workings, but not definitively reaching my mine, though the oldest view is from 1992. Thank You!
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
You're welcome.

Also, if that's a public road, you can use it. Where the federal government puts a public road down pursuant to authorization by statute, the public has an easement to use it. The owner of the land can't stop you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The 100 year old "road" goes to and past the neighbors mine, and was probably created just for mining in the area by the company which created his mine, I doubt the Government built the road. The road is just a one lane probable wagon trail, though there is some bank work done on it. If I can find when the neighbors claim was patented, would that make a difference, as in, if the road was "Probably there" to work the mine before the claim was patented, the Federal claim rule that "one claim cannot prevent access to another claim" would apply?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
If there's no other way to access your claim, you'll be able to use the road no matter what under the general rule that property should be used. You may need to go into the records to see who owns that road. It's entirely possible that there is a public easement on it. But try talking to BLM first.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 19927
Experience: Lawyer
Lucy, Esq. and 11 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
 
 
 

Related Legal Questions