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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    28

    Default Use of Road and Diverting Water

    My question involves an easement in the state of: Pa
    The road running through my property was closed in 1960 by vacated status which in the letter and clearly shows the road was vacated and property turned over to my family.
    The property behind us was granted right of way in 1961 when the road behind them was also vacated which is in NY now by definition in Pa when a road is vacated from that date forward all contracts by county/state/township are now void. which brings me to my next point the property behind us was sold in 2002 to a new party they now claim ROW of the old road from 1937, but after court hearing in 1960 the center line was now made void. I have no problem with him using this road to access his property but now he is using the old county road map 1937 to be able to damage our property claiming he is in his ROW he now has dug ditches and graded the road down and has caused water runoff, that has caused damage to fields. what can I do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Use of Road and Diverting Water

    tell him to stop.

    either hire a lawyer to send him a cease and desist demand or do it yourself.

    If you so choose, call the police to report a trespass after that. Often times they will not get involved in situations such as this if the ownership or legally allowed use is in dispute. They will not attempt to read and apply your letter.


    So, if the guy continues to encroach on your property, plan on heading to court,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
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    2,571

    Default Re: Use of Road and Diverting Water

    I'm sure the road was vacated, but in Pennsylvania (and some other states) abutters to the vacated right of way might retain easement rights over it.

    What happened between 1937 and 1960 to change the location of the road?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Use of Road and Diverting Water

    it was maintained by the township up to 1960 the road was signed over to my family from there and we have maintained it. in the vacated document the landlocked piece retained the right to access the property ( we do not dispute that) but in 1960 the road dimensions had been voided because of it being vacated. and we paid the tax on all of the vacated portions. now new owner is digging up top soil outside of the access road and digging ditches and flooding out fields. this road is a driveway to a small hunting camp and he claims a 50ft ROW because it used to be a road.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
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    2,571

    Default Re: Use of Road and Diverting Water

    in 1960 the road dimensions had been voided because of it being vacated. and we paid the tax on all of the vacated portions.
    That is of no consequence if the neighbor had private easement rights surviving the road vacation. The original dimensions of the road become the new private easement in that case. The surviving rights would include all of the rights anyone in Pennsylvania would have to a private easement 50' wide.

    If you are experiencing flooding, topsoil removal, etc. you will need to get a local attorney for advice on those issues. The road likely never went away, it just ceased to be public, along with the maintenance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Use of Road and Diverting Water

    But in the state of pa vacation of road voids all previous contracts of original road township has even said this.. to add to this the land this man bought was in two sections in 1960 when the road was closed and turned over to my family (the original owner) retained the right to drive to his first part of his land. the second part of his property still had access point from the same road on opposite side because that section of road was not closed yet and still open to public. so with that said shouldn't the ROW have to travel through the second road that closed in 1961. to land section B note first section is owned by diff party

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
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    2,571

    Default Re: Use of Road and Diverting Water

    But in the state of pa vacation of road voids all previous contracts of original road township has even said this..
    That's completely incorrect. What lawyer told you that? If one is an an adjoiner to the original road at the time of vacation, a private easement may well still exist over the entire extent of the former road. There is nothing concerning contract law in any of this.

    the land this man bought was in two sections in 1960 when the road was closed and turned over to my family
    It was turned over to your family as servient tenants subject to any dominant tenancy rights remaining to adjoiners. You have to understand that the road may still exist, it's just not a public road.

    I am used to reading and interpreting very vague descriptions of property but I am not able to make heads nor tails of your description. If you don't want to post up a map here, I understand that but find a surveyor and attorney locally and get their advice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Use of Road and Diverting Water

    LS, not sure if any of that is even needed.

    OP states use of the easement or whatever is not the problem but the guy is altering the terrain and causing damage to OP;'s property. Even if there was a lawful use of an easement, the actions being taken are not likely to be allowed.



    I have no problem with him using this road to access his property but now he is using the old county road map 1937 to be able to damage our property claiming he is in his ROW he now has dug ditches and graded the road down and has caused water runoff, that has caused damage to fields. what can I do.
    that was the basis of my first post; not to necessarily restrict the use itself but to address the damage.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
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    2,571

    Default Re: Use of Road and Diverting Water

    jk, the Op, to me, seems to be confused about his rights but also the location of whatever easement the neighbor might have. He states that he has no problem with the neighbor using the road but then seems to think that he can refuse to allow the neighbor to maintain the roadway. The maintenance of the original road might have caused the same result. Generally, holders of valid easements have the right to reasonably maintain the roadway, including grading and drainage. To me, the OP seems to feel that he now owns the road due to the vacation and that he can regulate the neighbor's use of it as he wishes.

    The question as I see it is what is reasonable. That would be for a court to ultimately decide, as it is simply a matter of fact for a jury. I'll refer him to my earlier advice to find a local surveyor and attorney.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Use of Road and Diverting Water

    So LS is what your telling me the township in town has 50ft ROW through all the town streets, but the road is only 18ft wide so from what I get from you is that I can measure out the full 50ft and drive through everyones lawns dig ditches because Im in my 50ft ROW even though they own land on and pay the taxes

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