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: 19686
Experience:  Lawyer
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have recently been denied the right by a landowner to use

Resolved Question:

I have recently been denied the right by a landowner to use a road/trail onto my land which is "landlocked. This access has been used by family for around fifty years. I live in Wisconsin. My question is can I be denied access through this route although it is not being used for anything but getting to my property. I live in Wisconsin. I seem to recall that if a route is being used for more than twenty years that is is then considered a right of way. Thanks for any help you can give me regarding this situation.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

What you're talking about is called a prescriptive easement. The law says that, if a person openly and notoriously uses the land of another, without permission, for 20 years, he gains a permanent right to do so. The right can only be revoked if the landowner blocks the access, consistently, for 20 years. See Wis. Stat., Section 893.28. You're allowed to take all of the years used by different family members that lived there and add them together, as long as there weren't any breaks in usage (for example, if the property were abandoned for a year, the 20 years starts over). To claim a prescriptive easement, you may have to go to court and file a lawsuit if your neighbor is now trying to block your access.

The starting point is to check the property records. It's possible that there once was a written easement recorded. An easement is ongoing and it transfers when ownership of the land does. So, if you ever had an easement, you still have one, unless the owner bought it from you - he can't unilaterally terminate it.

If there isn't a written easement, and you were using the road with permission, that's unfortunately not adverse, so you wouldn't meet the requirements of the statute. Oral permission to use land is called a license, and it can be revoked at any time.

In that scenario, your options are to:
1. Try to negotiate with the neighbor. Agree to pay him for an easement to avoid going to court. Get it in writing, and record it, so this can't happen again.
2. Send a demand letter, explaining that you'll sue if necessary, and you'll win, so he should just try to work things out. He may take this more seriously if it's sent via certified mail and/or written by a lawyer.
3. Go to the local superior court and file a Complaint for Easement by Necessity. In that case, what you're doing is asking the judge to declare legally that you need to use that road to access your property so he can't stop you. The judge will order you to pay the reasonable value of the easement. He's also looking at strict necessity - if there's another access road that's just more inconvenient, you'll be required to use it.

So, there are various legal theories you can argue, and you might have to go to court, but you will likely eventually be able to reclaim that road for access to/from your land if there is no other way to access it. There is a public policy in favor of allowing people to use and benefit from their land.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 19686
Experience: Lawyer
Lucy, Esq. and 6 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.