Is a driveway considered personal (private) property? I live on an Alabama state highway. My family built a drive way here about 20 years ago. There's a large ditch between my property and the highway, my property sets up a little higher than the road. So a culvert was laid, and a drive built over it.
The driveway is your personal property, however, if you the driveway is located in an area that was dedicated to ALDOT they have the right to ask that the driveway be moved.
It is possible that since this situation has been ongoing for 20 years that you may have a claim to the land through adverse possession.
"What is Adverse Possession?
Adverse Possession is a way to obtain land by simply using it instead of paying for it. Most common is the situation where someone owns undeveloped land that is being occupied by another without the actual owner knowing about it.
How is Title Different than Possession?
Title refers to legal ownership such as having the deed. Possession refers to physical control of property. For instance, an abandoned building that squatters have taken over would give the squatters possession since they have physical control of the land, but the owner still has legal title.
What Gives Another Person Rights to My Land / Adverse Possession?
For a person to have adverse possession over a property he must:
- act like the true owner, e.g. maintain the property, pay taxes, etc.;
- openly act as if he owns the land;
- use the property without the consent of the land’s legal owner and pay no rent; and
- use the property for a period of time specified by law, usually 10 to 20 years.
How Long Does The Possessor Have To Occupy The Property?
The answer will differ by states:
- 2 years: Arizona
- 5 years: California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada
- 7 years: Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Utah, Washington
- 10 years: Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming
- 15 years: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont, Virginia
- 18 years: Colorado
- 20 years: Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin
- 21 years: Ohio, Pennsylvania
- 30 years: New Jersey"
This is a link for the Administration Code. http://www.dot.state.al.us/DoingBusiness.html They need to provide you with the section you are allegedly violating. You may be grandfathered in. A survey could easily disclose if they are correct.
This is a link for the contact information https://www.dot.state.al.us/contact_us.html
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