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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Private Drive question, The road next to me is a public access

Resolved Question:

Private Drive question,
The road next to me is a public access road to about 5 different families. There is a red sign (not a blue like most county roads) that says Comanche Ln.
I use this road from time to time when one of my other cars are leaving at the same time I am coming home. (I have a long narrow 1 lane driveway)
Can anyone who lives on comanche lane have any legal right to keep me from using that lane?
I would think that it is a public access since multiple people use it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Do you know if the road is maintained buy the county or is it privately maintained?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Privately, from what I understand.

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

You do not have an automatic right to use a private road like this.

However, you can develop an easement over the road by continuing to use it in an open and continuous manner for a period of seven years. If they try to block you, you need to send your neighbors a letter stating that they are violating your easement rights.

Please let me know if this helps or if you have any further questions. Please also consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated for my work on your question by the website.

Thanks,
ZDN
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


 


Look at this photo, the road on the left is my driveway. The easement on the right is how I access The Private drive to get to the main hwy. Again, I only use this from time to time. But my quest is since there is an easement can I use this road if I choose to?

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Yes. The easement I'm talking about is different from what you are talking about.

I'm talking about the doctrine of "prescriptive easement". This is related to an adverse possession. How it works is that if someone else has property (like the private drive), and you continuously and openly pass over that property (like you are suggesting you do) for a period of seven years, you create a prescriptive easement over the private drive and cement your right to use that drive. The fact that there is a separate easement from your driveway to the private drive further supports your claim for a prescriptive easement. In fact, you could argue that the period of prescriptive easement started when the separate easement was created.

Do you follow me?

So in conclusion, yes, you can use the road as you want to. If they challenge that use, you would argue you have a prescriptive easement.
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3818
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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