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  1. #1

    Default When Can a Dominant Estate Remove Trees from a Right of Way

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: maine.
    I own 2 lots on a subdivision of 5.There exists a woods road to the rear of all five to gain the top of a ridge
    The deed states that there is an easement for the exclusive benefit of the other lot owners to pass and repass over the existing woods road for purposes of reaching the top of the hill.
    My neighbour is talking about bringing through earth moving machinery to make a road to the furthest part of the subdivision for purpose of building a house
    He has road frontage further down. Right now it is accessible by atv only
    If he follows through with his proposals he will be cutting down a large number of my trees and leveling out my terrain for his purposes.
    Where do I stand ???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: Right of Way

    If his behavior will violate the EXPRESS provisions of the easement (read it) you can petition the court for an injunction against that behavior.

    You might want to nip this in the bud by hiring a lawyer to write him a scary letter about the consequences of his proposed actions.

    If you do that, just be prepared to put money aside to take him to court if you have to.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    7,056

    Default Re: Right of Way

    If you want to post the exact language of the grant, we could take a look. But it is ambiguous with language that says, " to reach the top of the hill."

  4. #4

    Default Re: When Can a Dominant Estate Remove Trees from a Right of Way

    Thank you for your replies
    The exact wording as per deed....Also subject to an easement for the exclusive benefit of other lot owners on said plan (there are 5 lots) to pass and repass over the existing woods road for purposes of reaching the top of the hill.
    Right now it is an atv trail. Can he bring through a dozer to widen and improve the trail which will inevitably take down trees and move /reshape an existing woods road ??
    Regards

  5. #5
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    Default Re: When Can a Dominant Estate Remove Trees from a Right of Way

    If that is all the grant says and does not give a description of the easement as to width, length, metes and bounds, then the easement is only what it was when the grant was made (existing woods road). It cannot be turned into a road for ingress and egress to property. It says to pass and repass to reach the top of the hill. And it is only for use by lot owners on the plat also at the time the grant was made. That is clearly the intent of the grantor.

    Is this a platted woods road in the subdivision? If so, what does it say on the plat about this easement?

    Does the easement run between properties or is it on only one (or several) property?

  6. #6

    Default Re: When Can a Dominant Estate Remove Trees from a Right of Way

    Thank you budwad. There are 5 lots in the subdivision . Woods road runs from lot 1 through 5....primarily at back of lots. All lots have road frontage not connected to the woods road. Lot 4 has a very steep front aspect hence the reason for opening up the woods road. I own lots 2 &3. Condition of the road varies from bad to very bad. It is a very old woods road . The condition of the road has never been improved on much....just basic maintenance. The " top of the hill " referred to is on my lot num 3.
    My concern is that lot 4 will use a bulldozer to widen and change the grade of the road (now an atv trail ) where I end up with a road at the back of my house. How can I prevent such a move before it happens ??

  7. #7
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    Default Re: When Can a Dominant Estate Remove Trees from a Right of Way

    You can bring your documentation (the grant, the deed, any survey plats, ) to a local real estate lawyer and have them reviewed. You could prevent it with an injunction. All it will cost is money.

    The last word on whether the owner of lot 4 could change the wood road (now an ATV trail) into a road for ingress and egress to lot 4 is with the court.

    In general, one cannot increase the servitude on a servient estate and if what the grantor's intent was to allow the dominant estates to reach the top of the hill was for recreation, then bulldozing an access road for heavy equipment would not be permitted. Especially if lot 4 has road frontage.

  8. #8

    Default Re: When Can a Dominant Estate Remove Trees from a Right of Way

    Thank you very much for your guidance
    Maybe a strongly worded letter should suffice at this stage
    Regards

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    672

    Default Re: When Can a Dominant Estate Remove Trees from a Right of Way

    Why was the easement created? Why was it necessary that all the lot owners be able to reach the top of the hill? Once there, do they have rights to use your property for something? It seems as if each property owner can go from their property to the top of the hill, and back, but not continue on _past_ the hill. But as already mentioned, it may be up to a court to ultimately decide this. How does the other property owner (#1) effected feel about having a road on his land to benefit #4?

  10. #10

    Default Re: When Can a Dominant Estate Remove Trees from a Right of Way

    The 5 lots were once part of a ridge top or hill. Top of the hill is just a viewing point . All 5 were once part of a larger lot.....75ac or so
    All 5 lots have excellent frontage...300 ft plus
    Lot 1 owner is extremely pis...... should this go ahead

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