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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118286
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I have an alley that runs along the side of my restaurant,

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I have an alley that runs along the side of my restaurant, This is a fast food - drive in establishment and has used this alley for the last 40 years, we have been the sole maintenance . We use the drive in for outside & to go orders only. We have one drive in speaker that's butts in with the alley so our customers sit in the alley waiting for their food , I would say at a minimum of 5 minutes to a max of 10 -15 minutes,
We have a new neighbor who wants exclusive access of the alley, so wants me to remove the drive in speaker. Do I have to ? This is city property
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Neither of you can claim exclusive use of the alley. However, the problem is that even through your continued use you cannot claim adverse possession rights or an easement by prescription to be allowed to continue this because it is government property and you cannot claim such rights over government property. Thus, you need to get the city counsel to agree to your use or you could lose it because the normal legal avenues available if it were private property are not available here on city property.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so even though city by law states that the alley be used as a loading & unloading zone only, will I still be able to use it as such?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

are you still looking into my answer?

I apologize for the delay, I had some client issue to deal with. Thank you for your response.

Even though the city law says loading and unloading only, it is up to the city to actually enforce that law or not as they have not enforced it to this time. However, just because they have not enforced it does not mean they cannot do so as the neighbor is complaining about now. So they can actually enforce it as I said above and all of the normal legal arguments you could use on private property like adverse possession and an easement by prescription cannot be used against city property. The city can agree to allow your use as part of loading or unloading since they could argue they are loading waiting to pick up food. It is all up to the city's decision here to allow it or not.
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