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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102184
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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I own a lot in a cul de sac neighborhood, no house yet.

Customer Question

I own a lot in a cul de sac neighborhood, no house yet. Somebody who owns timber land behind my lot split the one large tract, into 3 smaller tracts. The one that backs to our lot is now land locked, the way they split it. The guy is now suing us for a right of passage easement, to build a 60'x200' access road, across our lot, to then build a neighborhood behind us. I've been told he can't force passage, once it's a subdivided, existing neighborhood with covenants in place. But nobody can tell me an actual law or ruling that says this. This person suing us is a lawyer, AND a judge in the same area as the property, which is in Louisiana. HELP!?!?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times.

Unfortunately, they can request a servitude be recognized by the Court. Servitudes in Louisiana are akin to easements. See Louisiana Civil Code article 693:

Art. 693. Enclosed estate; voluntary act.

If an estate becomes enclosed as a result of a voluntary act or omission of its owner, the neighbors are not bound to furnish a passage to him or his successors.

If the property is truly landlocked, then the owner has a right to request a REASONABLE egress/ingress road. Now, what he may be requesting may not be reasonable and the Court may with the length/width/location of the path and make it smaller and more straight and narrow. However, he is likely to get the servitude request. And this is true even if the land has been subdivided (even by them) and there are covenants in place (not sure who told you otherwise).

The best argument one has here is to minimize the path that the party is requesting. And also note that it is not as though that they would OWN the path or could use it for anything else aside from egress/ingress.

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Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
Let me clarify - the article is one of several that applies. You'd have to show that the property was enclosed by his actions only. If so, then he would not get servitude. However, the onus is on you to prove this. The rest of the answer applies as is.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

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