My question involves real estate located in the State of: North Carolina
Hey guys, there's no one single topic that these questions fall under because I have an intricate, multi-faceted easement case. I'm the servient estate, my neighbor is the dominant estate and has a permanent, non-exclusive ingress & egress easement through part of my property. I am looking to dissolve or amend the easement due to adverse possession, abandonment, and a bad faith filing by the dominant estate done in order to harass me.
Summary of the facts:
- I have a chain link fence going through most of the easement. The fence has been there for over 21 years and the easement has existed for 21 years. NC adverse possession law is 20 years.
- Previous owners of my property/servient estate (concept of tacking) have maintained & improved the property through which the easement goes, including building a greenhouse, planting bushes, handling routine maintenance, and parking on the easement to the detriment of the dominant estate. Arguing abandonment due to these facts.
- Dominant estate does not have a survey of the easement and has caretakers who have maliciously damaged my property, both on and off the easement (undue burden), by refusing to honor the property lines marked by my surveyor. Damage has included chopping down my trees not on the easement and poisoning my bushes & grass on the easement - yes, poisoning, not maintaining. The dominant estate itself has not communicated with me about anything - it's a trust of people living in another state - I've never seen or spoken to them. All the harassment, property damage, etc. is coming from caretakers that act on behalf of the dominant estate. I've filed criminal assault and civil 50C no contact orders against the caretakers for their actions. Arguing bad faith filing by the dominant estate because they have not bothered to educate themselves about the easement or communicate with me, and instead have filed categorically false allegations in a civil complaint, relying solely on information from their caretakers who have demonstrated a history of harassment towards me.
I would greatly appreciate it if you guys could help me with some case law that sets precedent for what I'm arguing, preferably in the state of NC but nationally may work depending on the case:
1. Adverse possession of an easement in accordance with state laws, preferably where adverse possession was demonstrated by a fence, showing open & notorious, continuous & exclusive, etc.
2. Abandonment of an easement showing continued maintenance & property improvement by the servient estate.
3. Bad faith filing of an easement complaint where either estate did not behave appropriately and grossly misrepresented and/or fabricated facts.
4. Parking on an ingress & egress easement causing undue burden or resulting in punitive damages, holding the dominant estate in contempt of the easement. For example, if dominant estate can't ingress & egress with a car because of a fence or other obstruction, dominant estate can't just park on servient estate's property. That is not the intended use of an ingress & egress easement unless specified in the written agreement.
5. Lastly, what is the legally correct way to hold the dominant estate responsible for the actions of their caretakers? I want to include the caretakers in my response/counterclaim, treating them as an extension of the dominant estate.
Thank you in advance for your help!