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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Right-Of-Way Rights to Landlocked Land

    My question involves an easement in the state of New York

    RIGHT-OF-WAY PROBLEM -- WHAT IS CODE AND MY RIGHTS HAVING A LONG (1/16 mile) RIGHT-OF-WAY?

    I have 20 acres and a home that is landlocked. I have a long right-of-way driveway built by the former owners of my house, that has run with this land for over 50 plus years. The owners of the property my right-of-way crosses have made my life miserable, most recently by putting in a lake which floods with every heavy storm making it impassable several times a year. (I have many pictures). Exacerbating the problem, they also raised two old rusted through metal culverts (going under my right-of-way) to raise the water table of their "lake." The culverts being only 2 inches below road grade broke through and need replacing which they refuse to do saying its my problem. Isn't there a right of way code that says they can't block my egress and ingress and since they broke it they are responsible to fix it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,109

    Default Re: My Right-Of-Way Rights to My Landlocked Land -- What is Code

    One important thing you need to find out: is there an actual grant that created the easement. If so, what it says could be important here.


    From what I could find, or actually couldn't find, was that NY does not have any statutes controlling the issue. It is more than likely controlled by common law.

    With that said, it is almost universally accepted the the users of the easement (dominant tenants) are liable for the costs to maintain an easement. In some states the actual maintenance is the responsibility of the dominant tenant, in others, the servient tenant (the owner of the land the easement crosses) and would bill the dominant tenant for the costs. That is for normal maintenance though.

    In your situation, the servient tenants actually caused damage so, that is not covered under typical maintenance costs. If the servient tenant is basically refusing to do anything, your next step would be to consult a lawyer. Sometimes a scare letter from an attorney gets things moving. If it doesn't, you would be best served by having an attorney assist you in this. Be forewarned: it can be lengthy and expensive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,368

    Default Re: My Right-Of-Way Rights to My Landlocked Land -- What is Code

    Since they have basically invited you to replace the culverts, you might consider doing just that. Put a couple of nice shiny new culverts in at the original elevation thus lowering the lake. Then sue them in small claims court (inexpensive) for the cost.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,109

    Default Re: My Right-Of-Way Rights to My Landlocked Land -- What is Code

    Quote Quoting LandSurveyor
    View Post
    Since they have basically invited you to replace the culverts, you might consider doing just that. Put a couple of nice shiny new culverts in at the original elevation thus lowering the lake. Then sue them in small claims court (inexpensive) for the cost.
    sneaky...


    but I like it.

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