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  1. #1
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    Apr 2013
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    Default Property Taken by Court

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: PA

    I have a business in pa that has been shown to have a ROW going through this row goes my property and four others it was a old vacated road that was laid out but never built from 1894. A property owner sued another property owner not myself to open this row. And has now won and was granted private road act PRA. The PRA has guideline rules that are clearly stated in the state PA and beyond on that the vacated road was vacated and stated all property owners adjacent to this road have the right to use it. Now my main question I was never sued or brought to court for this road going through my property and two others the same thing. The man only sued one property owner. The judge has now granted this ROW or PRA without myself or any other properties affected there day in court. My main reason for this is the judge granted this man the property he now owns the property that once belong to me and v never even been in court and can no longer use saidnroad or property the judge also granted all timber with in the road now belongs to this guy as well Iím confused as how myself and three others have had property taken from us without our day in court thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Property Taken by Court

    Do you have proof the paper road was actually and officially vacated? Not used or apparently abandoned is not the same thing as it being officially vacated.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Property Taken by Court

    Yes there is a township document stating the road was vacated in 1961 and we have the letter sent to the original landowner from town solicitor stating such so two documents recorded and found at court house

    My main concern or complaint is how can a court take my property along with three others and hand to another individual as private property for his exclusive use without us ever being notified or sued

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Property Taken by Court

    The road that was laid out in 1894 and never built is likely the result of some subdivision that designated this road as public. If the local jurisdiction never accepted the dedication, it was never a public road. The document that says the jurisdiction vacated the road is confusing unless there are also documents that say the jurisdiction had, at one time, accepted the dedication.

    A road that is laid out by plat in a subdivision of property is but an easement that encumbers the property that front the road. In general terms, the properties that front the road own the property to the centerline of the road. When the road is offered for dedication to be a public road and accepted, the easement ceases and the road becomes public. If it is later vacated, the property reverts back to the property owners.

    The PRA is for landlocked property to gain access to public roads. If the property in question already had access to public highways via the private road, then the PRA should not have been used to give the property access.

    You and your neighbors need to consult with a local attorney ASAP. If you description of the events are accurate, then you need to file in court to regain your rights to the property.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Property Taken by Court

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    The road that was laid out in 1894 and never built is likely the result of some subdivision that designated this road as public. If the local jurisdiction never accepted the dedication, it was never a public road. The document that says the jurisdiction vacated the road is confusing unless there are also documents that say the jurisdiction had, at one time, accepted the dedication.

    A road that is laid out by plat in a subdivision of property is but an easement that encumbers the property that front the road. In general terms, the properties that front the road own the property to the centerline of the road. When the road is offered for dedication to be a public road and accepted, the easement ceases and the road becomes public. If it is later vacated, the property reverts back to the property owners.

    The PRA is for landlocked property to gain access to public roads. If the property in question already had access to public highways via the private road, then the PRA should not have been used to give the property access.

    You and your neighbors need to consult with a local attorney ASAP. If you description of the events are accurate, then you need to file in court to regain your rights to the property.
    while i agree with almost everything here (wow, imagine that), I have an issue with your statement regarding the acceptance of the paper road and, based on your reply, the lack of requiring a vacation to release said encumbrance.

    I know your an easterner and their laws do vary some from my Midwest laws but as far as I recall, once a road is platted and the plat accepted, the easement remains until formally vacated/released. In the case at hand it would appear the neighbors argument was that the easement was not vacated and through his trickery has somehow laid claim to it.

    But the original post also has a conflicting statement. At one point he states the row was allowed to be open creating a private road but later states he is disgruntled because the state has taken his property and (my interpretation) granted the other guy title..




    but regardless, it appears that even if it was possible for the neighbor to invoke the pra, it would appear the state is obligated to condemn the property through an eminent domain action where, of course, the owner of the target property can defend against the claim.



    So, what I wonder is:

    does the use of the pra moot the concern of the easement issue? I would think that it does and regarding the placement of the road allowed under the pra is simply coincidental that the pra allowed road is in the same location as the originally platted but since vacated row.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2013
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    Default Re: Property Taken by Court

    It was a vacated road.. after road was vacated the vacation left all property owners the right to use the road. The road was never built just laid out never built by township... no a landlocked property is laying claim to said road. This property let’s call him Jeff sued property owner Chris to be allowed to build road court granted it. But the also gave all land that said road touches to Jeff which includes Chris Zach and myself. Myself and Zach have never been notified or sued to have our property taken away. Again I’m not fighting the road being built I’m asking how can a court take property without me ever being notified

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Property Taken by Court

    If you’re not fighting the road being built then I’m at a loss as to why the mechanics of the issue matter.

    It shouldn’t have happened as it did but if the end result is acceptable I’m not seeing the problem. If it’s just to answer the question, then reviewing the actions that took place give you your answer.

    But a correction: once the paper road was vacated it removed any encumbrance, real or planned, from the properties. There was no road to use and the rights in the area that was within the planned road returned to the respective owners.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Property Taken by Court

    But question lis how can a judge keep us from using the road that is my problem when a vacated road has been turned over to all adjacent properties

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Property Taken by Court

    Quote Quoting Plumout
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    But question lis how can a judge keep us from using the road that is my problem when a vacated road has been turned over to all adjacent properties
    Why do you believe that the judge is keeping you from using the road?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Property Taken by Court

    Quote Quoting Plumout
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    But question lis how can a judge keep us from using the road that is my problem when a vacated road has been turned over to all adjacent properties
    He can't. But there is a gap in the information that you have provided. The Act 169 of 1836,4 commonly known as the Private Road Act (PRA) allows for the condemnation of land to access property that is landlocked. We don't know from your post if the land was landlocked. And even if it were, was the land part of all the parcels that were involved in the subdivision that created the private road?

    There are other remedies for landlocked properties such as easement by necessity or by prior use. The PRA is an extraordinary measure to give access to a landlocked property. So we would need to know if this property was part of a subdivision that created the private road.

    You have to decide, along with our neighbors, if it is worth it to regain your property in light of this ruling. It seems to me that it is an improper ruling. But without all the facts, it just all conjecture.

    Your should really be consulting with an attorney.

    One more point to add. If your property was taken through the PRA you should have received compensation for it.

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