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  1. #1
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    Oct 2020
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    Windsor
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    Smile Right of Way Law in State of New York. How to Enforce

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: New York, Broom County
    Such post is my only way to get understanding about right of way in NYS because so far NS Bar Association provided with zero search result looking for an attorney to hire for such matter. That was a surprise.

    Nothing seemed spooky when I signed the purchase agreement about 67 acres located around Windsor, NY in Broom county on May 18th , 2020. The seller\s attorney verbally promised to me to get to a closing date as soon as he solves a problem with a right of way because the deal was about landlocked property.

    Such "lock" probably happened somewhere in 1975 when Broom county decided to abandon Vroman Rd that was only access connecting approx. 15 properties to civilization I mean with another public roads. Probably because all such property owners have died in time and the entire massive area became uninhabitable presented by a wild only huntable acreage forest, Broom county or Windsor township has closed such road for an obvious reason : no dwellings, no people , no need to keep spending money on such road maintenance ; everything seemed logical.

    Former road width ( as I have learned later) was lately divided between all bordering landlords as 50 x 50 nevertheless all available to observe surveys still clearly show such Vroman road is crossing the wilderness going along all adjourned properties.
    As well all bordering still alive alive land owners have attached No Hunting, No fishing, NO trespassing plastic posts on those trees facing the road creating with an illusion you are going inside a tunnel were you can hunt, fish or trespass only. Kidding.

    My point is a former road width seems completely nobody's property in fact while Windsor Township verbally confirmed to me by phone such road is PRIVATE. ( no sign about it is posted though)

    As I stated from the beginning the seller's attorney has assured me with two possible case scenarios that might happened. They are he said either one of neighbor is going to sell a swath of land of 25' wide to create a path for my future private driveway or in case of a neighbor's stubborn resistance a court order is gonna serve same purpose ( court order procedure, a driveway survey, recording fees, etc. been promised to be covered by the seller). As well he added that court order is gonna be more time and money consumed process but for 6 months no way the land is not gonna be yours he has resumed.

    As of today, the seller attorney stopped responding to my messages/emails/phone calls asking the seller to tell me directly that the neighbor does not want to sell the swath of land for a driveway and he (attorney} does not want to pursue such deal through court. The seller also stated he is not willing to hire another attorney.

    WOW. I thought that land is already mine , even purchased doe permits for such zone (7-0) for incoming season. Now I'm merely standing & crying down silently without any thought in my stupid head about how nevertheless to buy such property finally but only with a driveway to be able to install in a future ( right of way).

    In general, I'm talking about a distance of 330 ft to touch the public McAllister Rd on East side or 0.9 mile long to touch another end of former Vroman Rd entrance on West.

    I never felt myself like a shit so realistically as of today and now I don't know what to do. To proceed on pro bono in such complicated case is risky and probably a fail on my end because I'm not an owner and I'm not a lawyer. To buy the land without right of way means to buy a land on a paper only without legal way to access it unless to be dropped off by a helicopter.
    Any suggestion, any advice for how to proceed or where to get such law to read and understand about how such law is enforceable in state of New York. Of course , I do prefer to hire an attorney.
    Of course my first idea was to ask county to reinstate the road on at least that distance of 330 ft to connect the land to the current public road but everybody who I have told about such idea looked at me like I'm alien ( which, in fact, I'm).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,302

    Default Re: Right of Way Law in State of New York. How to Enforce

    Duplicate post. Reported for deletion. See:

    https://www.expertlaw.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=246891

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    7,052

    Default Re: Right of Way Law in State of New York. How to Enforce

    Ok, lots of issues here to address.

    Nothing seemed spooky when I signed the purchase agreement about 67 acres located around Windsor, NY in Broom county on May 18th , 2020. The seller\s attorney verbally promised to me to get to a closing date as soon as he solves a problem with a right of way because the deal was about landlocked property.

    Such "lock" probably happened somewhere in 1975 when Broom county decided to abandon Vroman Rd that was only access connecting approx. 15 properties to civilization I mean with another public roads. Probably because all such property owners have died in time and the entire massive area became uninhabitable presented by a wild only huntable acreage forest, Broom county or Windsor township has closed such road for an obvious reason : no dwellings, no people , no need to keep spending money on such road maintenance ; everything seemed logical.

    Former road width ( as I have learned later) was lately divided between all bordering landlords as 50 x 50 nevertheless all available to observe surveys still clearly show such Vroman road is crossing the wilderness going along all adjourned properties.
    As well all bordering still alive alive land owners have attached No Hunting, No fishing, NO trespassing plastic posts on those trees facing the road creating with an illusion you are going inside a tunnel were you can hunt, fish or trespass only. Kidding.

    My point is a former road width seems completely nobody's property in fact while Windsor Township verbally confirmed to me by phone such road is PRIVATE. ( no sign about it is posted though)
    When a right of way becomes a public road there is a dedication process whereby either the county (if it was a county road) or the township (if it is a township road) must formally accept (by resolution of the governing body) the dedication from private landowners to create the public road. For the county or township to abandoned the road and have the right of way revert back to the property owners that abut it, they must vacate the road, again by a resolution of the governing body. You should be able to find that resolution in the county or township records. It will tell you the reason it was vacated and what the intent was with respect to returning the ROW to the abutting properties. It doesn't make sense that only a 50 foot long parcel would be returned. It should be the entire length of the road footage that abuts the property and to the centerline of the road. That has to be a mistake.

    I wouldn't count on individual surveys to show that the ROW reverted back to the property owners. I would check the township tax maps. They are updated periodically to reflect changed in deeds. You may find that the ROW now appears as a private road easement across each property and there is no no-man's-land.

    As I stated from the beginning the seller's attorney has assured me with two possible case scenarios that might happened. They are he said either one of neighbor is going to sell a swath of land of 25' wide to create a path for my future private driveway or in case of a neighbor's stubborn resistance a court order is gonna serve same purpose ( court order procedure, a driveway survey, recording fees, etc. been promised to be covered by the seller). As well he added that court order is gonna be more time and money consumed process but for 6 months no way the land is not gonna be yours he has resumed.
    The seller's attorney is in way over his head. That is my impression because you don't own the land yet. It was offered for sale and it is landlocked. For the seller to offer the land today (current laws) there must be a means of ingress and egress. See New York Consolidated Laws, Real Property Law - RPP 335-a. Easements of necessity If you already owned the property (and it was landlocked) you could go to court to obtain an easement by necessity or you could offer to buy an easement. But you don't own it and you have no standing to sue for the easement. You never closed on the property.


    WOW. I thought that land is already mine , even purchased doe permits for such zone (7-0) for incoming season. Now I'm merely standing & crying down silently without any thought in my stupid head about how nevertheless to buy such property finally but only with a driveway to be able to install in a future ( right of way).
    You jumped the gun on obtaining permits before closing on the property. You may consider suing the seller for any earnest money you put down and for the cost of any permits you obtained.

    You have to find an attorney that practices in easement law. Many attorneys that do closings don't know easement law.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Windsor
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Right of Way Law in State of New York. How to Enforce

    WOW again. I have not even expected to get such swift and professional advice from such Forum. THANK YOU !!!!!! I really fell myself pissed off with such deal and specifically by changing as a weather in Spring seller's mood. To be specific, I;d like to understand about his legal right to withdraw himself from a sale agreement( and if the answer is YES, on what ground). I can only guess about the reason : his attorney told him about such lengthy and costly process to pass the issue through the court as well asking for extra money to his account for to proceed, and the seller denied such extra expenses.
    Would appreciate for your comment on this.

    As well , your quota says , " For the county or township to abandoned the road and have the right of way revert back to the property owners that abut it, they must vacate the road, again by a resolution of the governing body. You should be able to find that resolution in the county or township records. It will tell you the reason it was vacated and what the intent was with respect to returning the ROW to the abutting properties. It doesn't make sense that only a 50 foot long parcel would be returned. It should be the entire length of the road footage that abuts the property and to the centerline of the road. That has to be a mistake."
    I spoke to local authority (Windsor Town) and they told me that was a county road, I spoke to the county authority and they told me it was a town decision. I have both answers that did not bother me until yesterday. Moreover, drilling deeper in the issue the town authority has informed that the reason such abandoned road has changed its status to "private" because of a lawful in NYS effect going from such road retirement decision. I've been told such road width space is going to all adjourned properties by 50 x 50 almost automatically and no any specific records is necessary. Are they playing me ?

    You said , " I wouldn't count on individual surveys to show that the ROW reverted back to the property owners. I would check the township tax maps. "

    I did check it and all abutted property parcels shown with a yellow line as a property border but same time it is still showing a line where former Vroman road was going on. Sometimes such road goes as a straight line somewhere it goes as a snake. You can see that on the image attached- a copy from county Tax Map portal

    YOu said , It was offered for sale and it is landlocked. For the seller to offer the land today (current laws) there must be a means of ingress and egress. See New York Consolidated Laws, Real Property Law - RPP 335-a. Easements of necessity If you already owned the property (and it was landlocked) you could go to court to obtain an easement by necessity or you could offer to buy an easement. But you don't own it and you have no standing to sue for the easement. You never closed on the property.

    I really like the spot because I like it. I have pretty limited vocabulary to explain about why. The land in my understanding seems similar to a wife. If such chemistry happened , you do proceed to a marriage, if not - you can lease it for life for some reasons. I feel it is my spot while hundreds of looking similar parcels are available around. Therefore, what I want to understand is HOW MUCH such "travel to court" is gonna cost me AFTER I buy such land "as is" meaning without an access to the public road. While my side attorney is strictly against such decision I think we are talking about money, time and nerves to spend by getting such right of way through the court.
    If I knew the cost of such procedure I think I can talk to the seller about it asking to reduce the total land price on such amount and proceed on such way after having a deed. Same time you said, ... " For the seller to offer the land today (current laws) there must be a means of ingress and egress.

    and that has confused me as well. If I understood your sentence right the seller has no chance to sell me such property without the access established. Did I get you correct ?

    After reading your answers again and again I'd like to ask one more time : what % of guarantee for me to win such access ( right of way) in a court if I become a lawful land owner ? And approx. how much in expenses its gonna be .

    I put down only $1K upon signing agreement so I think to talk about lost earning on such "investment "for 6 months is not practical as well to talk about

  5. #5
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Right of Way Law in State of New York. How to Enforce

    WOW again. I have not even expected to get such swift and professional advice from such Forum. THANK YOU !!!!!! I really fell myself pissed off with such deal and specifically by changing as a weather in Spring seller's mood. To be specific, I;d like to understand about his legal right to withdraw himself from a sale agreement( and if the answer is YES, on what ground). I can only guess about the reason : his attorney told him about such lengthy and costly process to pass the issue through the court as well asking for extra money to his account for to proceed, and the seller denied such extra expenses.
    Would appreciate for your comment on this.
    I haven't read your purchase agreement so it's impossible to say on what terms the seller could withdraw the offer to sell. Read the agreement and ask your attorney.

    Therefore, what I want to understand is HOW MUCH such "travel to court" is gonna cost me AFTER I buy such land "as is" meaning without an access to the public road. While my side attorney is strictly against such decision I think we are talking about money, time and nerves to spend by getting such right of way through the court.
    This is also something you should be asking your attorney. Quiet title lawsuits a very expensive and can take many months or years to get through the courts. There is lots of title history that has to be discovered, how the land was subdivided, how the public road was dedicated and how and why it was vacated. And the list goes on. All this research can be very expensive.

    Courts will recognize an easement by necessity when the following facts exist:
    •At one time, both parcels of land were either joined together or were owned by the same owner;
    •Subsequently, the property became divided (e.g., the property owner sold a portion of the land). Different individuals obtained ownership of different parcels. Through the division, one parcels was created that was accidentally landlocked; and
    •The person whose land is landlocked can only reasonably and practicably access their property by going through the other person’s property.

    How the history of the vacated road plays into this would be an interesting problem for the court. It may be that the village is who landlocked the property.

    After reading your answers again and again I'd like to ask one more time : what % of guarantee for me to win such access ( right of way) in a court if I become a lawful land owner ? And approx. how much in expenses its gonna be .
    I don't any of the history so I have no idea if you can meet the necessary elements of an easement by necessity listed above. If you can prove all the elements, your chances are pretty good because it is in the public interest that land be put to its best use and not be landlocked. So the courts would usually grant the easement. This is also something you should be talking to your attorney about. Just make sure your attorney has tried easement cases and knows easement law. Not all attorneys do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    398

    Default Re: Right of Way Law in State of New York. How to Enforce

    Quote Quoting Brooklyner12
    View Post
    If I understood your sentence right the seller has no chance to sell me such property without the access established. Did I get you correct ?
    I am not an attorney but that's how I would interpret RPP 335-a. You will not be the one going to court, the seller will, and I think the seller's attorney figured that out which is why he's non-responsive. Ask for your earnest money back and tell the seller to contact you once he has some form of deeded access to the property.

    Also I'm curious but if there's no deeded access to the property how did you inspect it before signing the purchase contract? I've purchased raw land and before putting money down or signing anything I walked/rode the borders so I had a good idea of what I was getting even before having a survey done.

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