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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12359
Experience:  JD, MBA
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Hi, I recently brought a house which has two easements.

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Hi,

I recently brought a house which has two easements. For simplicity one is on the right side and a second on the left. They allow access to a landlocked property. The easement on the left has a gravel driveway(build more recently and after the easements) that allows access and even a driveway for the neighbor. The neighbor claims to have never used the easement on the right but now that we've moved in they say they plan to use. I have a few questions: Can we get the easement abolished since they neighbor can now access their property with a relatively new driveway? Can we argue lack of use and abolish the easement? Is this a state matter or does local county court have jurisdiction for land matters?
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you. The attorney that you requested appears to be offline. If you'd like, I can answer your question.

Q: Can we get the easement abolished since they neighbor can now access their property with a relatively new driveway?
A: An easement would only be abolished under those circumstances if it was granted as an easement of necessity. The reason it can be abolished in that situation is because the necessity no longer exists. However, if the easement was obtained under any other circumstances (such as a purchase), then the fact that another easement exists is not a reason that the first easement would be abolished.

Q: Can we argue lack of use and abolish the easement?
A: Lack of use (i.e., abandonment) can sometimes be a reason to abolish an easement. The owner of the easement would need to demonstrates by physical action an intension to abandonment his interest in the easement. Lack of use alone would not likely be enough, however. An example would be if the owner of the easement put something, such as a structure, on the easement such that it is blocked and cannot be used. Another way lack of use could abolish an easement is if the owner of the land (i.e., you in this scenario) were to use the easement in such a way as to indicate that there is no easement. You would regain the land in its entirety after 10 years of continued, exclusive use. If the 10 years have already passed, then you can argue that the easement is gone.

Q: Is this a state matter or does local county court have jurisdiction for land matters?
A: These issues are determined by a local county court, but using state law.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Much appreciated. Great answer! Can you clarify when an easement is obtained under a purchase. Is that the case with a home bought or is the purchase example referring to when a utility company purchases an easement from a property owner.

Hi again.

Regarding a purchased easement, I meant where the easement is literally purchased from the land owner, such as your example of the utility company purchasing an easement.
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