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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    Default Realestate Easement

    My question involves personal property located in the State of: Missouri
    my property has a 15 foot utility easement at the gravel road which the whole subdivision uses .My neighbors are trying to dig a ditch on my property along the edge without my consent and they are saying that they have the right to the easement . Do they have this right to dig without my permission ? If not can legal action be taken against them for doing so ? Thank you !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    3,030

    Default Re: Realestate Easement

    Have you actually read the easement? Because nobody here has. We have no idea what rights it grants or to whom it might grant them.

    Is the ditch for a utility?

    You can take legal action against them to get a judge to decide if they have the right to dig the ditch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,288

    Default Re: Realestate Easement

    Quote Quoting Daffanee
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    My question involves personal property located in the State of: Missouri
    my property has a 15 foot utility easement at the gravel road which the whole subdivision uses .My neighbors are trying to dig a ditch on my property along the edge without my consent and they are saying that they have the right to the easement . Do they have this right to dig without my permission ? If not can legal action be taken against them for doing so ? Thank you !
    You have to do a better job explaining the situation. What it sounds like you are saying is that your property is served by a 15 foot utility easement that runs along side the gravel road but the easement is not on your property. If that is the case, then your property is the dominant estate and whoever owns the property on which the easement lies is the servient estate.

    But if my assumption is not correct and the easement is indeed on your property and you are the servient estate, it is likely that without you granting permission, the neighbor could not use the easement without your permission unless there is a grant that says otherwise.

    Is there an express grant in your deed or otherwise that describes the easement or was this easement created by the platting of the subdivision? Who owns the road? Is it a private right-of-way easement belonging to the subdivision? Is there an association of property owners?

    Without more information it is impossible to know if your neighbor has a right to use the easement. What is the ditch for and where will it go?

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    Have you actually read the easement? Because nobody here has. We have no idea what rights it grants or to whom it might grant them.
    There may not be a written grant if the easement was created by a recorded plat.

    OP should consult with a local lawyer. The sooner the better.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    2

    Default Re: Realestate Easement

    Thank you for your reply . The easement is on my property . The road is owned by all of the home owners in the subdivision . When it rains water sits on the road and some of my neighbors are complaining about having to drive through it therefore they took it upon to make the decision to dig a ditch on my property . My property survey papers states that there is a 15 foot utility easement on my property which meets the road .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: Realestate Easement

    Did the neighbors call Miss Utility to have the lines marked before digging willy-nilly in the easement? Are they digging by hand or with equipment?

    Also is there a maintenance agreement/fund for the shared gravel road? One solution is to have it graded so water drains properly.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Realestate Easement

    Quote Quoting Daffanee
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    Thank you for your reply . The easement is on my property . The road is owned by all of the home owners in the subdivision . When it rains water sits on the road and some of my neighbors are complaining about having to drive through it therefore they took it upon to make the decision to dig a ditch on my property . My property survey papers states that there is a 15 foot utility easement on my property which meets the road .
    Then you are known as the servient estate. The neighbors have no right to the easement unless you grant them an additional easement for a drainage swale or you give them permission to dig. The net effect is the same but permission without a grant can be revoked at any time.

    Would it be correct to assume that they are the dominant estate and that it is their utilities that run in the easement?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,646

    Default Re: Realestate Easement

    The utility company would be the dominant tenant, not the customers the utilities serve. The people digging on your property, unless they are the utility company who has infrastructure in the easement, would likely be trespassing and surely guilty of damaging your property.

    The homeowners association or the local municipality may have a right to dig a drainage ditch but that is something that would require more research to determine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    1,401

    Default Re: Realestate Easement

    Quote Quoting Daffanee
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    My neighbors are trying to dig a ditch on my property along the edge without my consent
    Trying to dig or actually are digging? Also, was your reference to "neighbors" (plural) intentional (i.e., is there really more than one neighbor doing this)?


    Quote Quoting Daffanee
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    they are saying that they have the right to the easement .
    Ok, and what do you "say" about this?


    Quote Quoting Daffanee
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    Do they have this right to dig without my permission ?
    We've never read the document that created the easement, so we have no conceivable way of knowing.


    Quote Quoting Daffanee
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    If not can legal action be taken against them for doing so ?
    Legal action can be taken against anyone for anything.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Realestate Easement

    Quote Quoting jk
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    The utility company would be the dominant tenant, not the customers the utilities serve. .
    How would you know that? It could be the neighbor that has the easement and not the utility company.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2006
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    38,646

    Default Re: Realestate Easement

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    How would you know that? It could be the neighbor that has the easement and not the utility company.
    I’ll grant it could be possible but it would be unusual and uncommon. it sounds like the easement is likely to be a typical utility easement that runs alongside a roadway. That is the typical situation and where the utility companies would be the dominant tenant even if the utility is to a single residence.

    regardless, it really doesn’t matter who the dominant tenant is as a utility easement (unless extremely unusual) would not allow the dominant tenant of a utility easement to create a drainage ditch within the utility easement. Not only would the digging not fall under a utility use, removal of any cover could create an illegal and unsafe installation of underground utilities.

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