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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    1

    Angry Can the Servient Estate Reroute a Shared Driveway That is Not On the Granted Easement

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: North Carolina
    My wife and I bought a new construction house in 2013 that shared a driveway with two other properties at the time of closing. In 2014 the wooded lot adjacent to ours was purchased and a doublewide trailer was put in. The driveway runs through this person's property and she now wants us to pay to reroute the driveway. One of the complicating factors is that our right of way doesn't fall on the driveway according to the surveys that both she and we have. According to the other two neighbors the existing driveway has been in place since the eighties which has been confirmed by an attorney (1984 to be exact). The area that our supposed right of way lies on is an area of leech/drainage beds that stay soggy most of the time so running a driveway across this would be a joke at best. Regardless, the owner wants the driveway changed and has threatened to block the existing route off. She has done this previously but was told to stop by both police and the previous attorney we used to get this resolved. The new/current attorney is the person who dug up and confirmed the drive has been in place since '84 and has told us not to touch it and let her file a lawsuit since we have enough evidence to get a prescriptive easement and end this. Problem is now she's started up again about the drive and has sent word through another neighbor (she won't speak to us directly and has not done so since this all started) that she will give us a little more time to get it done before she starts blocking the drive again. What can we do in this situation to stop her from doing this and put an end to this fiasco?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: Rerouting a Shared Driveway That is Not On the Granted Easement

    Quote Quoting mwebbnc
    View Post
    My question involves real estate located in the State of: North Carolina
    My wife and I bought a new construction house in 2013 that shared a driveway with two other properties at the time of closing. In 2014 the wooded lot adjacent to ours was purchased and a doublewide trailer was put in. The driveway runs through this person's property and she now wants us to pay to reroute the driveway. One of the complicating factors is that our right of way doesn't fall on the driveway according to the surveys that both she and we have. According to the other two neighbors the existing driveway has been in place since the eighties which has been confirmed by an attorney (1984 to be exact). The area that our supposed right of way lies on is an area of leech/drainage beds that stay soggy most of the time so running a driveway across this would be a joke at best. Regardless, the owner wants the driveway changed and has threatened to block the existing route off. She has done this previously but was told to stop by both police and the previous attorney we used to get this resolved. The new/current attorney is the person who dug up and confirmed the drive has been in place since '84 and has told us not to touch it and let her file a lawsuit since we have enough evidence to get a prescriptive easement and end this. Problem is now she's started up again about the drive and has sent word through another neighbor (she won't speak to us directly and has not done so since this all started) that she will give us a little more time to get it done before she starts blocking the drive again. What can we do in this situation to stop her from doing this and put an end to this fiasco?
    If she starts blocking the drive again get the lawyer to write another letter and the police involved again...or simply undo whatever she does to block it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    98,846

    Default Re: Can the Servient Estate Reroute a Shared Driveway That is Not On the Granted Ease

    If your issue is not the location of the driveway, but the question of whether the deeded right-of-way is sufficient to support a driveway, you could propose to her that the owner of the servient estate come up with an engineering plan and quote for the construction of the driveway, establishing that it will be stable despite the wetness of the area and, if all parties find it acceptable, that she pay to relocate the drive to the agreed location with the agreed construction. There may also be a different location on her land that you might all find acceptable as a location for the relocation of the drive, at her expense.

    If you cannot come up with an agreement, and she again starts blocking the driveway, you have the option of pursuing an action in court to legally establish the present location of the driveway.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: Can the Servient Estate Reroute a Shared Driveway That is Not On the Granted Ease

    The problem I see with trying to locate the driveway on a ROW that runs through an area of leech/drainage beds is that it will not be allowed (by the State) if these beds are for a subsurface disposal sewerage system. You cannot build a paved or gravel road over those beds. But that, in some measure, works to OP's advantage.

    The area that our supposed right of way lies on is an area of leech/drainage beds that stay soggy most of the time so running a driveway across this would be a joke at best

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Can the Servient Estate Reroute a Shared Driveway That is Not On the Granted Ease

    I don't have the impression that the "leech field" at issue was a leach field for a septic system, as opposed to this simply being a soggy area of land. If in fact the owner of the servient estate has constructed a septic system leach field across the area, and the road is moved there at her insistence, the repair of her leach field will be her problem. If her construction of a leach field prevents the relocation of the road, she will have to remedy that issue before she can successfully have the road relocated.

    If the land at issue qualifies as a wetland, environmental laws and regulations may prevent the construction of the road, or possibly require that an an area of the servient estate equal to any lost due to the construction be converted to wetlands.

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