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Being sued by new owners of adjoining property to close

Being sued by new...

Being sued by new owners of adjoining property to close existing driveway easement that is the only access to my property from the sole public roadway. My property is surrounded on 4 sides by other owners and the easement is the only access to my home.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

None so far. Have 20 days to respond. Just received summons 2 days ago.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the home located?

Sequoyah County in Oklahoma

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Easement was granted by original owner

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Answered in 21 minutes by:
3/19/2018
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 8,905
Experience: 30 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
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Welcome and thank you for your question. I will be the professional that will be assisting you.

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You cannot be landlocked. How long have you been living in your property and using the drive way easement?

Is the easement that was granted by the original owner in writing and recorded?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Easement was written into property description when we bought property 12 years ago (2006). Easement was granted by original neighboring property more than 20 years ago when our property was subdivided from (original) neighboring property.
Further, topography and drainage prevents alternative routes for driveway from any other direction. Our property sits atop a hill in the eastern Ozark plateau in east-central Oklahoma.

Do you have title insurance for your real property showing the easement? This may be a matter the title insurance is required to handle for you.

Either way based on what you are telling me you have an easement and the neighbor cannot deny you access. You would file a answer and a motion to dismiss the case and file an injunction against the new neighbor immediately. There are 2 different arguments that you have aside from the actual easement,

You have prescriptive easement as well as an easement by necessity, I can provide a link for local Attorneys in that area that provide FREE legal consultations as well as an overview of the law on easements. Please give me a few minutes to put information together for you.

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One moment please.

Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 8,905
Experience: 30 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I see rating scale.

My apologies, you do not need to rate until we have concluded.

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Overview of an easement by necessity and a prescriptive easement. I will also provide the specific law for Oklahoma.

“An easement is a legal right to use someone else’s land for a particular purpose. For example, the municipal water company may have an easement to run water pipes under your property. Your name is ***** ***** deed (you’re the title holder and the property owner), but the water company has the right to use a part of your property for its pipes. Easements are sometimes in writing and referred to in property deeds or title papers prepared by a title insurance company or attorney.

Easements are part and parcel of the land they affect. They don’t change when the property changes hands. Subsequent owners are obliged to let whoever owns the easement use the property, so anyone buying a house should be sure to find out exactly what easements a property is subject to before finalizing the purchase.

There are several types of easements, including utility easements, private easements, easements by necessity, and prescriptive easements (acquired by use of property)…

Easements by Necessity

Even if it isn’t written down, a legal easement can exist if it’s absolutely necessary to cross someone’s land for a legitimate purpose. The law grants people a right of access to their homes, for example. So if the only access to a piece of land is by crossing through your property, the law recognizes an easement allowing access over your land. This is called an “easement by necessity.” When land is subject to such an easement, the landowner may not interfere with the neighbor’s legal right.

Prescriptive Easements

Someone can acquire an easement over another’s land for a particular purpose (such as accessing their own home) by using someone else’s property openly and continuously for a set period of time. This is called a prescriptive easement, and typically one is created when someone uses land for access, such as a driveway or beach path or shortcut. The length of use required for a prescriptive easement varies from state to state and is often the same (10 or 20 years) as for adverse possession (which is when someone acquires legal ownership of land by occupying it).

While prescriptive easements and adverse possession may be the same (in terms of length of use required), there are important differences. For example, payment of property taxes is not necessary for a successful prescriptive easement claim, while some states require a trespasser to pay property taxes to obtain legal ownership. Also, to acquire a prescriptive easement, a trespasser does not need to be the only one using the land. More than one person can acquire a prescriptive easement in the same portion of land—an example would be a driveway on another’s land or a path people use as a shortcut…” https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/easements-overview.html

.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Any recommended real estate attorneys in my neck of the woods?

"In the state of Oklahoma there are several scenarios for easements to a landlocked parcel of property. According to Oklahoma law if person has used a certain road, path, or access for a period of 15 years or more than that person has an easement by prescription which allows that person to continue to use that route to reach their property over the servant parcel. A person may also obtain an easement by necessity, which means that the easement is necessary to prevent the property from being landlocked. For this to happen, a person must prove that at some point in time that property was all owned by the same person and that during a sale part of the land was cut off from the public access roadway." https://www.justanswer.com/topics-easement-by-necessity/

Prescriptive Easement Adverse Possession:

What is Oklahoma's Adverse Possession Law?

In order to claim legal title under Oklahoma adverse possession law, an individual must occupy the property for at least 15 years, while the rightful landowner has two years to challenge the adverse occupation. Additional provisions of the law are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Land Use Laws section for more related articles and resources.

Code Section 12 §93, 94

Time Period Required for Occupation 15 yrs.- http://statelaws.findlaw.com/oklahoma-law/oklahoma-adverse-possession-laws.html

Attorneys in your area that provide FREE consultations http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/firm/land-use-zoning/sequoyah-county/oklahoma

I have more Attorneys for you.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you very much.

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter it would be my pleasure to continue to assist you. Now would the time to rate 5 stars if you were happy with my service.

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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