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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    3

    Default Stop Servient Estate from Trashing Non Exclusive Shared Easement

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

    We have property in south Georgia. The only way to the house is a private gravel drive alongside a neighbor's property noted as "non-exclusive easement for ingress and egress" on the deed. The entrance to the neighbor (servient estate) occurs prior to the gravel drive; in other words the servient owner does not need to traverse the drive to access their house. There are a couple more houses that have the same easement access stated in their deeds. The dominant houses (that use the easement) have covered the maintenance cost of the easement for at least a decade, to which the servient estate has not participated (nor was asked).

    The servient household now has an ongoing feud with one neighbor that is affecting the rest of us. As has persisted for a decade, the dominant households continue to maintain the gravel drive and keep forest debris off. The servient household has decided to childishly act out and immediately throw debris (sticks, leafs, etc.) back on the drive after it is cleaned, while everyone watches. Our first concern is of safety (one neighbor recently walked the drive in the middle of the night to direct EMS to their house) and our second concern is appearance and maintenance of the gravel to which the dominant households have paid. Just to add perspective, the servient household spent 30 minutes putting debris back on the easement drive (300ft x 10ft). We aren't talking about 3 twigs and 4 leafs here.

    As I read it, the servient estate does not have the right to impede the dominant households from ingress and egress. Is throwing the debris back on the drive considered an impediment? If so, what recourse do we have?

    Before someone suggests trying to diffuse the situation via conversation, believe me we have tried. It's ridiculous and embarrassing, but the servient estate is only escalating their behavior. Now they've started placing random objects and signs alongside the easement, which isn't impeding ingress and egress unless they blow into the drive.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,741

    Default Re: Stop Servient Estate from Trashing Non Exclusive Shared Easement

    Quote Quoting DaltonGA
    View Post
    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Georgia

    We have property in south Georgia. The only way to the house is a private gravel drive alongside a neighbor's property noted as "non-exclusive easement for ingress and egress" on the deed. The entrance to the neighbor (servient estate) occurs prior to the gravel drive; in other words the servient owner does not need to traverse the drive to access their house. There are a couple more houses that have the same easement access stated in their deeds. The dominant houses (that use the easement) have covered the maintenance cost of the easement for at least a decade, to which the servient estate has not participated (nor was asked).

    The servient household now has an ongoing feud with one neighbor that is affecting the rest of us. As has persisted for a decade, the dominant households continue to maintain the gravel drive and keep forest debris off. The servient household has decided to childishly act out and immediately throw debris (sticks, leafs, etc.) back on the drive after it is cleaned, while everyone watches. Our first concern is of safety (one neighbor recently walked the drive in the middle of the night to direct EMS to their house) and our second concern is appearance and maintenance of the gravel to which the dominant households have paid. Just to add perspective, the servient household spent 30 minutes putting debris back on the easement drive (300ft x 10ft). We aren't talking about 3 twigs and 4 leafs here.

    As I read it, the servient estate does not have the right to impede the dominant households from ingress and egress. Is throwing the debris back on the drive considered an impediment? If so, what recourse do we have?

    Before someone suggests trying to diffuse the situation via conversation, believe me we have tried. It's ridiculous and embarrassing, but the servient estate is only escalating their behavior. Now they've started placing random objects and signs alongside the easement, which isn't impeding ingress and egress unless they blow into the drive.
    The households using and maintaining the easement should go in together on an attorney. The attorney could try writing a strongly worded letter to the offenders first, and if that doesn't work, then they take the offenders to court.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    625

    Default Re: Stop Servient Estate from Trashing Non Exclusive Shared Easement

    Suggest you get video evidence of them putting debris in the Easement as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Stop Servient Estate from Trashing Non Exclusive Shared Easement

    We have evidence

    So throwing debris back on the drive is indeed an impediment?

    ...that we need a judge to rule on in order enforce?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,519

    Default Re: Stop Servient Estate from Trashing Non Exclusive Shared Easement

    Placing any impediment (that which causes the dominant estates to clear whatever impediments the servient estate places on the easement ) is an impediment to the use of the easement..

    You can, as has been suggested, have an attorney write a cease and desist letter to the servient estate. And if that doesn't work, you can file for an injection to stop them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Stop Servient Estate from Trashing Non Exclusive Shared Easement

    Thank you for the clarification!

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