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Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5189
Experience:  Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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We live in rural Sonoma Count. We have 116.9 acres of

Customer Question

We live in rural Sonoma Count. We have 116.9 acres of agriculture land. We have livestock on it. This land was bought by my husbands parents in 1954. There has always been livestock of one kind or another on this property. The property next to us has only been used for logging. Due to the logging our fence was knocked down and never fixed so our animals have had free run of the property next to us for at least 50 years. The property next to us is land locked. The only way to get on it is to walk through the creek. The creek is a spawning creek. As I said this piece of property has never been developed. It has had about 5 owners and only logged. Now some person bought the property and says she owns 150 ft over the fence line and we need a survey. I told her the fence has been there for probably around 100 years and I'm happy with that and no one else ever questioned it and if she wanted a survey it was on her. She bought this property 2 years ago on the 16th of this month. The survey took 1 year and the markers are 150 ft over on what we thought was our property. This includes taking a natural spring that our livestock have been drinking from for 50 years. She is now putting in metal pickets to put up a fence. My question is do we have a chance to file for prescriptive easement?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: No because we have been trying to find a lawyer we could afford because we are on social security and don't want to use all my husbands retirement. The lawyer I had called, called me back and said she had something pending against the surveyor who did the survey here so it might be a conflict
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: How much does this cost?
JA: It can cost anywhere from $10 to $100, depending on the type of issue and how much of the Real Estate Lawyer's time your question is expected to take (how complex and lengthy an answer you require).
Customer: Ok. I think I told you everything. I would just like to find out what our chances are and if it could be done without a lot of cost.
JA: It can cost anywhere from $10 to $100, depending on the type of issue and how much of the Real Estate Lawyer's time your question is expected to take (how complex and lengthy an answer you require).
Customer: Ok
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 1 month ago.

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only. Additionally, most people believe a phone call is the easiest and most efficient way to handle problems. Accordingly, you will receive an automatic phone call request. If you would like a phone call, please click “Accept” when prompted.

Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for your patience. Depending on the circumstances and on state law, someone who uses another's property may eventually gain the right to use part of the property for a particular purpose (prescriptive easement). To gain ownership of someone else's land, a trespasser must occupy it hostilely, openly, exclusively and continuously for a certain period of time set by state law. Payment of property taxes is never necessary for a successful prescriptive easement claim. A trespasser can gain the easement when others are also using the property--even the owner. Thus, in your case, it is likely that you would be able to get a prescriptive easement because 50 years is plenty of time to have the land, you’re doing it adversely to the owner, and it’s open (not secret). You may need to file a claim in court to get a court order to get access to the land. Upon victory, you can have the easement to the section that you desire.

Also, although I provided an initial answer, it’s important that you are 100% satisfied. If you feel I have done so, please rate me 5 stars and let me know if you have any follow up questions. As a side note, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.