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  1. #1

    Default Phone Company is Digging Hole in My Front Yard

    A phone company, Qwest, is trying to repair a broken line. Their box is located on my neighbor's property and they dug it up yesterday, but apparently couldn't fix the problem. Now they are digging a big hole in my front lawn trying to find the trouble. Are they allowed to do this? I'm not aware of any easements for the middle of my yard. What if anything can I do?
    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Phone Company is Digging Hole in My Front Yard

    You can run to a lawyer's office with your checkbook and hire the lawyer to try to get an injunction stopping the work pending your determination of what rights the phone company does or does not have; something that's likely to be expensive, and unlikely to be successful. You can inquire with the phone company about the scope of their rights, when they expect to have the work completed, and what they will do to restore your lawn and/or landscaping. I expect they'll answer.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Phone Company is Digging Hole in My Front Yard

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    You can run to a lawyer's office with your checkbook and hire the lawyer to try to get an injunction stopping the work pending your determination of what rights the phone company does or does not have; something that's likely to be expensive, and unlikely to be successful. You can inquire with the phone company about the scope of their rights, when they expect to have the work completed, and what they will do to restore your lawn and/or landscaping. I expect they'll answer.
    Ding, ding, ding...I think we have a winner!!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Phone Company is Digging Hole in My Front Yard

    If they dig up your yard, without permission or easement, there is a very good chance that a phone call will result in apologies and repairs without a blink. Go out and ask the guys that are digging for their sup's phone number, and talk to him/her.
    Sugar goes a lot further than vinegar....

  5. #5

    Default Re: Phone Company is Digging Hole in My Front Yard

    I would assume that if this is a trunk line within your property they have an easement of some kind. Typically, any type of utility run outside of the right of way, unless it's a service line for the property, will have an easement. Also, I've heard of some utility companies that require their customers to sign "right of entry" release (it may be in the fine print when you applied for service) before providing service to customers.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Phone Company is Digging Hole in My Front Yard

    Two things...
    1. If you live in a subdivision it is incredibly likely that a 10' or more frontage easements exists on your property. Your deed's legal description will reference the plat's recording no or volume/page and you can look it up. Most likely you'll see that the platted subdivision has a depiction and or description of a utility and sidewalk frontage easement granted in gross to any utility provider.
    2. If this is truly a trespass, let them finish their work. You will keep the whole neighborhood from hating you delaying the phone from getting fixed and save yourself miles of embarrassment should you be wrong about your assertion. Let them finish and get off your property and than make your call to Qwest. If you are right it is likely they will pay you to get an easement rather than make a costly relocation occur. Hopefully you'll be fair and work something out that is close to market value. 10-25% of the fee value of your property (land value only) is about what I think you'd get.

    Now... I am not an attorney and surely suggest you at least consult with one.

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