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 socrateaser Your Own Question
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38801
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate broker -- Retired (mostly)
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a creek that runs along on side of my property and everytimes

This answer was rated:

I have a creek that runs along on side of my property and everytimes it rains it takes a little more of my property with it. As of today it has taken 6 trees and every tree that is left now leans over the creek because of the soil that has been taken away under them. I have sent pictures to the DOT and soil and water. both came out and said the problem was bad and to take it to senator griffo. His office after many months said no help will be coming and if we wanted we could make a deal with the contractors and pay for it when they use our driveway to work on bridge that is at the end of my driveway. I checked into this and we can afford this. The year before we moved in I was told there was a flood that took the bridge out, They fixed the guys across the street will a wall and the bridge and left my property to fend for it self. I will loss my driveway and a garage soon, three feet left. Any answer on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

When you say, "They fixed the guys across the street will a wall and the bridge and left my property to fend for it self," who is "they" to whom you refer?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The Man that owned the property has died. He said he fought for years to have something done and they really had no choice when the bridge went. Martin never said who did the work but through our asking we were told the county (Oneida) had something to do with it. I just read my question to you over and there is a typo. We can not afford.

Yes. The county would be obligated to maintain the bridge for the benefit of the public. If that means erecting a revetment to prevent soil loss, then the county would have to do this.

However, if the bridge and the highway is no longer at risk, then the county doesn't have to act to preserve your property interests. From what you describe, it seems as though the county doesn't intend to repair the bridge, or it doesn't believe that the bridge or highway will be at risk, due to the land loss on your property. If so, then you are stuck with having to pay for your own revetment -- or you will have to wait until the bridge or the highway fails, in order for the county to act.

Do you have flood insurance?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do not have flood insurance. bridge work is to be done when school lets out in 2014. They will be using my driveway for 6 weeks using emanate domain.

Hello again,

I've thought of a possible legal theory that you could use against the county. You could claim that by your installing a revetment, you are saving the bridge and the highway from further damage, and so the county should be required to reimburse you for a proportion of the cost, under the theory of "unjust enrichment." This is a valid means of recovering for an unjust benefit provided to another, that the person should be obligated to pay compensation. Moreover, the idea that a private person should be required to bear the cost of a public burden is unjust on its face. And, that is exactly what you would be doing if you have to pay for the revetment.

Edit: If the county is using your land under eminent domain, then you can sue for the rental value -- otherwise, the county is once again, unjustly enriched at your expense.

You would need a lawyer for all of this. If you can't afford one, you may want to try a legal aid organization. If you would like a link to some appropriate resources, please let me know if my answer is helpful and I will be happy to provide.

Thanks in advance.
socrateaser and other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, please tell me where I can go, Im all out of ideas. Thank You

See this link for NY legal aid organizations.

Also, you could try the ACLU. This is at least close to a constitutional violation of your rights, so it's possible that the ACLU could take an interest.

Please provide a positive rating for my answer. Otherwise, I receive no compensation for my efforts on your behalf.

Hope this helps.

Related Real Estate Law Questions