Real Estate Law
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Is you gate attached to the fencing being moved ?
Will you neighbor restore your gate when the move is complete ?
Are you suffering any economic or other loss by the gate being unavailable. ?
The gate was attached to the cornerpost on the line fence at a angle to a shared driveway. His gate was at the same cornerpost. He moved his gate and put a fence in where our gate was,thus denied us access to our field. He did not leave us a gate at all.He fenced it. This was done already without our permission. The gates or fence was there for 20 plus years before tyhey moved it. As far as loss being suffered,Id say yes. What do we do to get our crop out of the field? Make a new driveway and let him be?
If anything on your property was moved then this is a trespass on your neighbor's part. If the boundary and gate was shared for 20 years then it is quite like that an easement by prescription was created. At this point you should contact a real estate attorney and file a law suit for trespass and/or a lawsuit to quiet title for an easement to the shared area (if it exists). The suit should required your neighbor to restore to restore the gate. You should be able to get compensation for any financial loss you may have incurred
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Would I be breaking any laws if I took his fence down and continued to use the driveway, like we have been doing for over 20 years?
Is the fence blocking just your driveway ?
Was the arfea where the fence is a common area ?
The fence is where our gate use to be, so no its not a common area, is it?
No it goes into our field. He had his own gate to his pasture.
If you are sure it is on your property you can remove it. He has no right to encumber your property. You cannot however cause a "scene" if he objects. Unless you have a compelling need to remove it right away it would be better to have your neighbor remove it. Keep in mind if the survey is off and it is really his property it could cost you quite a bit. The court also may not like that you waited until the fence was erected to complain.
You should first ask him to remove it. If he will not, I would then tell your neighbor to remove it, or you will take legal action including payment of actual and punitive damages.
I would send him a letter certified mail asking him to remove the fence. If necessary follow up in a week as well, and then again in another week.
If no progress file a complaint in Court for Intentional Trespass to Land. Your complaint should ask for punitive damages as well as damages for blocking your access.